Candidates interested in running in the special election for California State Assembly District 79 had until February 11, 2021, to file. The primary election is scheduled for April 6, and the general election is scheduled for June 8.
The special election was called after Shirley Weber (D) left office due to her appointment as California Secretary of State by Gov. Gavin Newson (D). The previous secretary of state—Alex Padilla (D)—resigned following his appointment to the United States Senate. Newsom formally appointed Weber to the office on January 18, and the California legislature unanimously confirmed Weber as the first Black person to hold this position on January 28. Weber served in the state assembly from 2012 until she was sworn in as secretary of state on January 29.
As of February 2021, 26 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
A recall election seeking to remove Lance McDaniel from his position as the District A representative on the Montezuma-Cortez School District Board of Education in Colorado is being held on February 16, 2021.
The recall election ballot has two questions. One asks if voters are in favor of recalling McDaniel with the option to vote yes or no. The other question lists the successor candidates. If a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of recalling McDaniel, the successor candidate who receives the most votes will replace him on the board. If a majority of voters cast ballots against recalling McDaniel, he will retain his position on the board.
The filing deadline for successor candidates was January 8. Cody Wells was the only candidate to file.
The recall effort started in July 2020. Recall supporters said McDaniel had shown a “lack of leadership and has proven to be a poor role model for our children,” regarding several of his social media posts. The petition stated, “We need school board members that understand leadership and the power of mentoring, and know not to voice their personal, political, or social opinions that could influence children.”
McDaniel said he was not concerned about the recall effort. “When it gets down to it, I’m a loudmouth liberal, and they don’t like that,” he said. McDaniel said he stood by his social media posts. “The conservatives don’t like the fact that there are some more progressive people in the town,” he said.
To get the recall on the ballot, supporters of the effort had to submit 1,126 signatures in 60 days. The number of signatures was equal to 40% of the citizens in the school district who voted in the last school board election. Recall supporters submitted the signatures by the deadline, and Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell determined enough signatures were valid. Before a recall election could be scheduled, four challenges were submitted against the petition, saying the petition was “baseless, frivolous and infringes on Mr. McDaniel’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.” A hearing on the challenges was held on November 19, and the challenges were denied on November 23. Hearing Officer Mike Green said that the recall petition met the statutory requirements.
McDaniel is one of seven members on the board of education. He was appointed to his position in 2018.
In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 226 recall efforts against 272 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.
On January 25, the filing deadline passed to run for one of the five seats on the Orange County Board of Supervisors in California. The special election to fill the vacant District 2 seat is scheduled for March 9. Five candidates filed to run in the special election: Katrina Foley, John M. W. Moorlach, Kevin Muldoon, Janet Rappaport, and Michael Vo.
The special election was scheduled to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Michelle Steel, who was elected to represent California’s 48th Congressional District on November 3, 2020. Steel served on the board from 2015 to 2021.
Orange County, California, had a population of 3,114,000 in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Candidates interested in running in the special election for District 45 of the Missouri House of Representatives had until January 27, 2021, to file. David Smith (D) is facing Glenn Nielsen (L) in the general election scheduled for April 6, 2021.
The seat became vacant after Kip Kendrick (D) resigned to become state Senator Greg Razer’s (D) chief of staff. Kendrick had represented the district since 2015.
Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 114-48 majority in the Missouri House. Missouri 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.
As of January, 25 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.
Candidates interested in running in the special election for Massachusetts House of Representatives Nineteenth Suffolk District have until January 26, 2021, to file. The primary is scheduled for March 2, and the general election is set for March 30.
The special election was called after Robert DeLeo (D) resigned on December 29 to seek a position at Northeastern University. DeLeo served from 1991 to 2020.
As of January 2021, 23 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts held 45 special elections from 2010 to 2020.
Massachusetts has a divided government, meaning that 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. Democrats control the state Senate by a 37-3 margin and the state House by a 128-30 margin with one independent member and one vacancy. Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, is a Republican.
Candidates interested in running in the special elections for New York City Council Districts 11 and 15 have until January 19, 2021, to file. The general election is scheduled for March 23.
The special election in District 11 was called after Andrew Cohen (D) won the November election for New York Supreme Court 12th Judicial District. Cohen served on the council from 2013 to 2021.
In District 15, the special election was called when Ritchie Torres (D) was elected to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House. Torres served from 2013 to 2021.
In 2019, New Yorkers passed a ballot measure that instituted ranked-choice voting in special elections to local offices. In ranked-choice voting, voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.
Ranked-choice voting in New York City is the subject of an ongoing court challenge. On December 16, 2020, a state trial court declined to block the implementation of ranked-choice voting in a February city council special election. The decision is currently being appealed.
The New York City Council consists of 51 members. New York is the largest city by population in the U.S.
On December 9, 2020, the filing deadline passed to run for 33 school board seats across 26 school districts covered by Ballotpedia in Oklahoma. Of the 58 candidates who filed in these school board races, 24 are incumbents seeking re-election to their seats.
The primary is scheduled for February 9, 2021, and the general election is scheduled for April 6, 2021. In Oklahoma, school districts cancel primary elections if fewer than three candidates file to run for each seat up for election, and the candidates automatically advance to the general election. Both the primary and general elections are canceled if only one candidate files for a seat up for election, and the unopposed candidate is automatically elected.
The largest school district covered by Ballotpedia and holding elections in Oklahoma in 2021 is Oklahoma City Public Schools. The district served 39,806 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, will hold a nonpartisan top-two primary election for mayor on March 2, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was January 4, 2021.
Four candidates filed to run for the open seat: 2017 mayoral candidate Andrew Jones, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Aldermen President Lewis Reed, and Alderwoman Cara Spencer.
Candidates of all political affiliations will run in the primary election without partisan labels. Andrew Jones ran as a Republican candidate in 2017 and Tishaura Jones, Reed, and Spencer have previously run for office as Democrats.
Voters may choose any number of candidates to vote for and the two candidates that receive the most votes will advance to the general election. This method of voting is called approval voting. This is the first election cycle in the city using this primary election method following the approval of Proposition D on November 3, 2020.
Incumbent Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) announced on Nov. 18, 2020, that she would not seek re-election. Krewson became the city’s first female mayor after winning election on April 4, 2017, with more than 67 percent of the vote.
The last 10 mayors of St. Louis have all been Democrats. The last time a Republican held the mayor’s office was Aloys Kaufmann, who was mayor from 1943 to 1949.
Candidates interested in running in a special election for the District 35 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives had until January 8, 2021, to file. Republican Brett Geymann was the only candidate to file by the deadline. Since only one candidate filed for the race, the February 6 primary and the March 20 general election were canceled. Geymann was deemed elected to the seat without appearing on the ballot.
Geymann previously served in the Louisiana state House from 2004 to 2016. He was term-limited from seeking re-election in 2015.
The seat became vacant after the resignation of Stephen Dwight (R) on December 1, 2020. He resigned to become the district attorney of Calcasieu Parish. He had represented the district since 2016.
Louisiana 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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-12 margin and the state House by a 67-35 margin with two independents and one vacancy. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.
As of January 2021, 16 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 11 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.