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Filing deadline passes for special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District

Candidates interested in running in the special election for New York’s 27th Congressional District had until February 20, 2020, to file. The special general election is scheduled for April 28, 2020. Ballotpedia will provide a full candidate list once the state has released the official candidate filings.

The special election was called after Chris Collins (R) resigned on October 1, 2019, after pleading guilty to conspiracy and false statement charges. Collins served in the district from 2013 until his resignation.

As of February 20, 2020, nine special elections had been called during the 116th Congress. Seven of those were called for seats in the U.S. House, and two were called for seats in the U.S. Senate. From the 113th Congress to the 115th Congress, 40 special elections were held.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent member, and five vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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Two Kentucky House special elections scheduled for Tuesday

Two special elections are scheduled for February 25 in District 67 and District 99 in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Voters will have until 6 p.m. local time to cast their vote.

Rachel Roberts (D) and Mary Jo Wedding (R) are running for the District 67 seat. The seat became vacant when Dennis Keene (D) resigned on December 16, 2019, to take a job as the commissioner of the Department for Local Government in Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) gubernatorial administration. Keene had represented District 67 since 2005. He was re-elected in 2018 with 60% of the vote.

Bill Redwine (D) and Richard White (R) are facing off in the election for District 99. The seat became vacant when Rocky Adkins (D) resigned on December 10, 2019, to take a job as a senior adviser in Beshear’s gubernatorial administration. Adkins had represented District 99 since 1987. He was unopposed in 2018 and won re-election in 2016 with 66% of the vote.

Republicans have a 61-37 majority with two vacancies in the state House and a 29-9 majority in the state Senate. Kentucky has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Andy Beshear (D) was elected to a first term as governor in 2019.

As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Filing deadline passes in special election for New York State Senate District 50

Candidates interested in running in the special election for New York State Senate District 50 had until February 20, 2020, to file. The special general election is scheduled for April 28, 2020.

The special election was called after Bob Antonacci (R) left office on December 31, 2019, to join the New York Supreme Court 5th Judicial District. Antonacci assumed office in January 2019.

New York has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. The New York State Senate has 40 Democrats and 22 Republicans, with one vacancy. A majority in the chamber requires 32 seats.

As of February 2020, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Eight apply for Alaska Supreme Court vacancy

Eight candidates have applied to fill a vacancy on the Alaska Supreme Court. The vacancy will occur when Justice Craig Stowers retires on June 1, 2020.

Stowers was appointed to the court in 2009 by Governor Sean Parnell (R). Before that, he was a judge on the Alaska Third Judicial District Court from 2004 to 2009, an attorney in private practice from 1987 to 2004, and a law clerk to Alaska Supreme Court Justice Warren Matthews from 1986 to 1987 and to Judge Robert Boochever on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit from 1985 to 1986. He received his undergraduate degree in biology, with honors, from Blackburn College in 1975 and his J.D. from the University of California Davis in 1985.

The five justices of the Alaska Supreme Court are each appointed by the governor from a list of two or more nominees compiled by the Alaska Judicial Council (AJC). New justices serve an initial term of at least three years, after which the justice must stand for retention in an uncontested yes-no election to remain on the bench. Subsequent terms last ten years. The AJC is an independent state commission, established by the Alaska Constitution, that is responsible for screening applicants for judicial vacancies. The AJC has seven members–three lawyers, three nonlawyers, and the chief justice of the state supreme court.

The following eight individuals applied to fill the upcoming vacancy:

  • Dario Borghesan: A chief assistant attorney general in Anchorage, Alaska. Borghesan graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2008.
  • Judge Dani Crosby: A superior court judge in Anchorage. Crosby graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1996.
  • Kate Demarest: A senior assistant attorney general in Anchorage. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2008.
  • Judge Jennifer Stuart Henderson: A superior court judge in Anchorage. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2001.
  • Judge Yvonne Lamoureux: A superior court judge in Anchorage. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2003.
  • Margaret Paton Walsh: A chief assistant attorney general in Anchorage. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2004.
  • Judge Paul A. Roetman: A superior court judge in Kotzebue, Alaska. He graduated from Regent University School of Law in 1999.
  • Judge Jonathan Woodman: A superior court judge in Palmer, Alaska. He graduated from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1993.

The Alaska Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. In addition to Stowers, it includes the following justices:

  • Daniel Winfree – Appointed by Gov. Sarah Palin (R)
  • Joel Harold Bolger – Appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell (R)
  • Peter Jon Maassen – Appointed by Gov. Parnell
  • Susan Carney – Appointed by Gov. Bill Walker (I)

In 2020, there have been eight supreme court vacancies in seven of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. The vacancies were caused by retirements. Four vacancies are in states where a Democratic governor appoints the replacement. Three are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. One vacancy is in a state where the state supreme court votes to appoint the replacement.

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Nebraska filing deadline is March 2

The filing deadline for non-incumbents to run for elected office in Nebraska is on March 2, 2020. The filing deadline for incumbents was on February 18. In Nebraska, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

  • U.S. President (1 seat)
  • U.S. Senate (1 seat)
  • U.S. House (3 seats)
  • Nebraska Public Service Commission (1 seat)
  • Nebraska State Board of Education (4 seats)
  • Nebraska State Senate (25 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:

  • Elkhorn Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Millard Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Norris School District 160 school board (3 seats)
  • Omaha Public Schools school board (5 seats)
  • Ralston Public Schools school board (3 seats)
  • Westside Community Schools school board (2 seats)
  • Omaha Public Power District, subdivisions 1 and 2
  • Lancaster County Commission, districts 2 and 4

In addition, retention elections for incumbent judges are being held for two Nebraska Supreme Court seats and two Nebraska Court of Appeals seats.

The primary election is scheduled for May 12, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Nebraska’s statewide filing deadline is the 14th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 6 in Georgia.

Nebraska has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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Previewing the Democratic primary for Senate in North Carolina

Five candidates are running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina on March 3. Incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R) was elected in 2014, when he defeated then-incumbent Kay Hagan (D) 48.8% to 47.3%. Three ratings outlets rate the general election a Toss-up or Lean Republican.

Cal Cunningham and Erica Smith have led in Democratic primary endorsements, polls, and media attention. Cunningham is a member of the Army Reserves and a former state senator (2000-2002). Smith has been a state senator since 2015. She also served on Northampton County’s Board of Education and as chairwoman of the Northampton County Democratic Party.

Cunningham’s campaign messaging has focused on expanding Medicaid, lowering prescription drug costs, and eliminating corruption in Washington. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed him.

Smith says she has worked to bridge the rural-urban divide through economic partnerships with urban centers. She says her platform, which includes healthcare for all and a Green New Deal, would energize the base and young people to turn out in November.

Cunningham and Smith both said they would not accept money from corporate PACs. Cunningham ended 2019 having raised $3.3 million and with $1.7 million on hand. Smith raised $213,000 and had $95,000 on hand.

Through mid-February, satellite spending toward the race topped $13 million. VoteVets Action Fund had spent $7.4 million and Carolina Blue had spent $3.2 million on ads supporting Cunningham. Faith and Power PAC spent $2.9 million on ads and other activities supporting Smith. Media outlets wrote that the group had Republican connections, and Smith’s campaign disavowed the group.

Also running in the primary are Trevor Fuller, Atul Goel, and Steve Swenson.

A candidate needs more than 30 percent of the vote to win the primary outright. Otherwise, a runoff for the top two will be held May 12 if the second-place finisher requests one.

Cunningham led Smith 22% to 12% in a Public Policy Polling poll from January and 29% to 10% in a February poll from the same firm. Respectively, 60% and 52% of respondents were undecided.

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Sanders wins Nevada caucuses

Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses on Saturday afternoon, marking his third straight popular vote victory in the Democratic presidential primary. With 4% of precincts reporting, he had won 54% of the county convention delegates used to determine the number of pledged delegates allocated to each candidate.

Former Vice President Joe Biden followed with 18 percent of the county convention delegates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg were in a close race for third with 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

The final delegate count is pending as a majority of precincts had not yet reported results as of 8:45 pm ET. The next Democratic presidential primary will be held in South Carolina on February 29, 2020.

On the Republican side, the Nevada Republican Party bound the state’s 25 delegates to President Donald Trump on Saturday at its winter meeting. The party voted to cancel its caucus last September.

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Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: February 15-21, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“The truth of Obama’s silence on the 2020 primary is that it’s not just about his obvious wish to stay out of the spotlight, but it also reflects a choreographed strategy. With the race looking more and more likely to grow bitter and messy, and maybe even wind up in a contested convention, the former president and those around him are increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer, including perhaps in Milwaukee, where the party’s meeting is scheduled to be held in July. So he is committed to not allowing his personal thoughts to dribble out in the meantime, directly or via leaks, conscious of how any sense that he’s taking sides in intraparty disputes could rock the primary in the short run and potentially undermine his ability to play this larger role in the months ahead.”

– Gabriel DebendettiNew York Magazine

“The [Knight study] confirms that nonvoters as a whole are fairly reflective of the broader electorate in terms of political preferences. If they were to all vote in November, 33 percent say they would support Democrats, 30 percent Republicans and 18 percent a third-party candidate. More surprisingly perhaps, and potentially more consequential for November, these numbers gently tilt in the opposite direction in many battleground states, with nonvoters choosing Trump over the as-yet-undetermined Democratic nominee 36%-28% in Pennsylvania, 34%-25% in Arizona and 30%-29% in New Hampshire. Wisconsin and Michigan mirror the national average, favoring the Democrat 33%-31% and 32%-31%, respectively, while in Georgia the margin is 34%-29%. This data challenges many long-standing assumptions of political experts.

– Colin WoodardPolitico Magazine contributing editor

Week in Review

36 pledged delegates at stake in Nevada

The Nevada Democratic Party is holding its presidential nominating caucus on Saturday. Thirty-six pledged delegates are at stake.

The RCP average of recent polling in Nevada shows Sanders leading with 30% support, followed by Biden with 16% and Buttigieg with 14%.

The Democratic Party said it would not commit to releasing unofficial Nevada caucus results on election night. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said, “We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy.”

Democrats spar over sexism, criminal justice in Las Vegas debate

Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Nevada: Joe BidenMichael BloombergPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates discussed electability, healthcare, criminal justice, foreign policy, sexism, climate change, economic issues, and immigration. Warren had the most speaking time at 16.8 minutes. Bloomberg spoke the least at 13.1 minutes.

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

Seven-figure satellite spending in Nevada this week

Several super PACs have waded into the presidential race this week. Committee to Protect the President spent $255,000 on a television and digital Spanish-language ad in Nevada criticizing Joe Biden on immigration.

new super PAC, Kitchen Table Conversations, was formed last week to support Amy Klobuchar’s presidential bid. It made a seven-figure broadcast, cable, and digital ad buy in Nevada and South Carolina.

The pro-Elizabeth Warren Persist PAC spent $800,000 to air a biographical ad supporting Warren in Nevada this week. After the announcement, Warren said she no longer opposed super PAC support since other candidates refused to disavow them.

Iowa heads to recount following recanvass

A partial recanvass of the Iowa Democratic results showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders were separated in the state delegate equivalent count by a margin of .004 percentage points.

On Wednesday, Buttigieg requested recounts in 54 precincts in Iowa. Sanders also requested recounts in 10 precincts, with one overlapping with Buttigieg’s request.

In a recount, party officials hand count and audit the individual preference cards submitted by each voter.

Trump rallies in Southwest, Weld gets first major endorsement

Donald Trump held rallies in Arizona and Colorado and a fundraiser in California this week. He is holding his final rally of the week in Las Vegas on Friday.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott endorsed Bill Weld on Feb. 15, making him the first Republican governor to endorse a challenger to Trump.

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Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Jenna Narayanan is a Democratic staffer with experience in political organization development. Narayanan graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism in 2002. She previously worked for NextGen America, a group Steyer founded in 2013.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2008 John Edwards presidential campaign, regional fundraiser

Other experience:

  • 2015-2019: NextGen America, vice president of development
  • 2012-2015: The Democracy Alliance, vice president of partner services
  • 2011-2012: New Democrat Network, vice president of development and strategic relationships
  • 2009-2011: Democracia USA, director of development

What We’re Reading

Flashback: Feb. 18-21, 2016

  • February 18, 2016: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders participated in town halls hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo.
  • February 19, 2016: The State Department released 1,100 additional pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state.
  • February 20, 2016: Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign after placing fourth in the South Carolina Republican primary.
  • February 21, 2016: The California Republican Assembly endorsed Ted Cruz.


What is the largest number of candidates who carried at least one state in a single presidential primary?

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36 pledged delegates at stake in Nevada

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

February 21, 2020: The Nevada Democratic Party is holding its presidential nominating caucus on Saturday. The American Federation of Teachers union announced its support for three candidates.       Each Friday, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.
Daily Presidential News Briefing, Staffer Spotlight - Jenna NarayananJenna Narayanan is a Democratic staffer with experience in political organization development. Narayanan graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism in 2002. She previously worked for NextGen America, a group Steyer founded in 2013.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2008 John Edwards presidential campaign, regional fundraiser

Other experience:

  • 2015-2019: NextGen America, vice president of development
  • 2012-2015: The Democracy Alliance, vice president of partner services
  • 2011-2012: New Democrat Network, vice president of development and strategic relationships
  • 2009-2011: Democracia USA, director of development

Notable Quote of the Day

“The [Knight study] confirms that nonvoters as a whole are fairly reflective of the broader electorate in terms of political preferences. If they were to all vote in November, 33 percent say they would support Democrats, 30 percent Republicans and 18 percent a third-party candidate. More surprisingly perhaps, and potentially more consequential for November, these numbers gently tilt in the opposite direction in many battleground states, with nonvoters choosing Trump over the as-yet-undetermined Democratic nominee 36%-28% in Pennsylvania, 34%-25% in Arizona and 30%-29% in New Hampshire. Wisconsin and Michigan mirror the national average, favoring the Democrat 33%-31% and 32%-31%, respectively, while in Georgia the margin is 34%-29%. This data challenges many long-standing assumptions of political experts.

– Colin Woodard, Politico Magazine contributing editor

Democrats

  • The Nevada Democratic Party is holding its presidential nominating caucus on Saturday. Thirty-six pledged delegates are at stake. Nevada has held the “First in the West” nominating event since 2008.
  • The American Federation of Teachers union, which has 1.7 million members, announced on Thursday that it was encouraging its affiliates to endorse Joe BidenBernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren. The statement of support was not a national endorsement.
  • The Latino Victory Fund endorsed Biden on Thursday. He is campaigning in Nevada on Friday and Saturday.
  • Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was named national political co-chair of Michael Bloomberg’s campaign.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed Pete Buttigieg. He is holding town halls in Colorado and Virginia over the weekend. Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib endorsed Buttigieg on Thursday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is campaigning across Utah over the weekend with events in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Snowbird.
  • Amy Klobuchar launched a seven-figure ad buy for cable, broadcast, and digital channels in Super Tuesday states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. The three ads are titled “I Know You,” “Decency,” and “Home.” Klobuchar is campaigning in Reno on Friday.
  • Sanders is holding rallies across Texas over the weekend with events in El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (Ill.) endorsed Sanders on Thursday.
  • Tom Steyer will campaign in Nevada and South Carolina over the weekend.
  • Warren is holding a GOTC town hall with Julián Castro on Friday in Las Vegas. She is campaigning in Washington and Colorado over the weekend. On Thursday, Warren said she no longer opposed super PAC support since other candidates refused to disavow them.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump is holding a rally in Las Vegas on Friday night. The Trump campaign purchased YouTube masthead ads in the days leading up to the general election in November. Bloomberg described the ad location as “more akin to a Super Bowl TV ad.”​​​

What We’re Reading

Flashback: February 21, 2016

The California Republican Assembly endorsed Ted Cruz.

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Dems spar over electability in Las Vegas debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
February 20, 2020: Six Democrats debated electability and policy in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee will spend more than $10 million to challenge Democratic voting-related lawsuits. blank    blankblank   


Democratic Presidential Primary Delegate Count, 2020

Notable Quote of the Day

“If the Democratic Party is paying attention to this actuarial action—and I think it is—their next veep nominee won’t be another no-name ticket balancer picked to satisfy the geographic, gender, and ethnicity needs of the ticket. Rather, he (or she) will be selected based on the understanding that he stands a higher statistical chance completing the term of the presidential nominee than veeps before him. Instead of nominating one prospective president, the Democrats especially will effectively be nominating two.”

– Jack Shafer, Politico senior media writer

Debate Night

Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Nevada: Joe BidenMichael BloombergPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates discussed electability, healthcare, criminal justice, foreign policy, sexism, climate change, economic issues, and immigration. Warren had the most speaking time at 16.8 minutes. Bloomberg spoke the least at 13.1 minutes.

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

Democrats

  • The Democratic Party said it would not commit to releasing unofficial Nevada caucus results on Saturday night. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said, “We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy.”

  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia (Texas) endorsed Joe Biden on Wednesday. Biden is participating in a CNN town hall in Las Vegas on Thursday. The super PAC, Committee to Protect the President spent $255,000 on a television and digital Spanish-language ad in Nevada criticizing Biden on immigration.

  • Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and South Carolina House Minority Leader J. Tood Rutherford endorsed Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday. Reps. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), and Nita Lowey (N.Y.) endorsed Bloomberg on Thursday. He is holding a rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday.

  • Pete Buttigieg requested recounts in 54 precincts in Iowa on Wednesday. Buttigieg is holding a town hall at the USC Political Student Assembly in Los Angeles on Thursday.

  • Tulsi Gabbard is holding a town hall in Boulder, Colorado, on Thursday.

  • Amy Klobuchar is airing two new 15-second ads in Nevada focused on healthcare. She is holding an event in Aurora, Colorado, on Thursday.

  • Bernie Sanders requested recounts in 10 precincts in Iowa on Wednesday. Emgage PAC, which describes itself as the biggest Muslim political action committee in the U.S., endorsed Sanders.

  • Tom Steyer made a seven-figure ad buy featuring clips of Bloomberg discussing stop-and-frisk policing and redlining. The ad will begin airing on Monday.

  • Elizabeth Warren is participating in a CNN town hall in Las Vegas on Thursday. Persist PAC spent $800,000 to air a biographical ad supporting Warren in Nevada this week.

Republicans

Flashback: February 20, 2016

Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign after placing fourth in the South Carolina Republican primary. blank

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