Britt and Brooks advance to runoff for U.S. Senate in Alabama

Katie Britt and Mo Brooks advanced from a field of six candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Alabama on May 24, 2022. As no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, Britt and Brooks will compete in a June 21 runoff. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R), first elected in 1986, did not run for re-election.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Brooks on April 7, 2021, and withdrew the endorsement on March 23, 2022. In a statement, Trump said, “Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you.'”

In response to the withdrawn endorsement, Brooks said, “I am the only proven America First candidate in this Senate race . . . I am the only candidate who fought voter fraud and election theft when it counted, between November 3 and January 6.”

Britt was Shelby’s chief of staff and the president and CEO of the Alabama Business Council. Britt’s campaign website said she was an “advocate for smaller government, modern job growth, constitutional liberties and greater opportunity.” Sen. Shelby, Maggie’s List, the Value In Electing Women PAC, and Winning for Women, Inc. PAC endorsed Britt.

Brooks was elected to represent Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in 2010 and served as Madison County Commissioner from 1996-2010. Brooks’ campaign ads have highlighted his speech at Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021, which preceded the U.S. Capitol breach. Brooks campaigned as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support his agenda. Brooks’ endorsements included Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.).

Ramirez and Vallejo advance to runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District primary

Ruben Ramirez and Michelle Vallejo were the top two finishers in the Democratic Party primary election for Texas’ 15th Congressional District on March 1, 2022. Ramirez received 28.3% of the vote, followed by Vallejo with 20.1%. Because no candidate won 50% of the vote, Ramirez and Vallejo advanced to a runoff election on May 24.

Media attention focused on Eliza Alvarado, Ramirez, John Villarreal Rigney, and Vallejo, and these candidates also led in fundraising. Incumbent Vicente Gonzalez (D) ran to replace retiring District 34 incumbent Filemon Vela (D) after the Texas State Legislature redrew the 15th district to include more of western Hidalgo County during the 2020 redistricting cycle.

Ramirez is an Army veteran and former teacher who previously ran for election in the 15th District in 2012 and 2016. At the time of the election, he worked as an attorney. His top campaign priorities were healthcare, national security, and education. Ramirez said he would “continue to fight for my fellow veterans and district. Like all challenges I have faced, I will not back down and I promise to uphold our values and our Constitution” if elected.

Vallejo was a business owner and co-founder of two advocacy groups, New Leaders Council STX Frontera chapter and Hustle + Socialize. Her platform includes supporting Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and an anti-war foreign policy. “I think traditionally these races are based on who has the most purchasing power when it comes to mailers, signs, and media, and I’m so grateful that for my campaign that’s not the only thing we’re focusing on, and I love that it started with the energy of having a ground game,” Vallejo said.

Alvarado was a director at South Texas educational service center Region One, and she previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and served as a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D). She emphasized her experience in government, education, and healthcare and said partisanship was unimportant in representing the district. “I’m not there to represent Brooklyn or California, I’m there to represent District 15. And as such, I need to understand what District 15 needs regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat,” Alvarado said.

Rigney worked as an attorney and founded a construction company, Rigney Construction & Development. His top campaign issues included public safety, education, veterans’ education and healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and providing residency and citizenship opportunities for immigrants. Rigney said his campaign was focused on “you, your family, and all the people that work every day to provide for their families. Whether that means trying to put food on the table, dealing with rising gas prices, trying to pay for unaffordable medical care, or making sure your kids have quality afterschool care, I want to make sure you get the best representation.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Texas’ 15th Congressional District became more favorable to Republicans as a result of redistricting. Joe Biden (D) won the district by two percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump (R) would have won the new district by three percentage points. The Cook Political Report and other outlets rated the 15th district Solid Democratic in 2020 but rated it Lean Republican in 2022.

Julio Garza and Vanessa Tijerina also ran in the Democratic primary.

Dickens defeats Moore in Atlanta mayoral runoff election

City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) defeated City Council President Felicia Moore (D) in the general runoff election for mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 30, 2021, receiving 64% of the vote to Moore’s 36%. Incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced on May 6, 2021, that she would not seek re-election, making her the first Atlanta mayor since World War II to choose not to run for a second term.

Dickens and Moore advanced to a runoff after placing second and first, respectively, in the Nov. 2 general election. Moore received 41% of the vote followed by Dickens with 23%. This was the city’s seventh mayoral runoff since 1973.

Dickens was first elected to the city council in 2013 and won re-election in 2017. During the mayoral race, he promoted his SAFE Streets Atlanta plan, a series of public safety proposals in response to voter concerns regarding crime. He received endorsements from Mayor Lance Bottoms, former Mayors Shirley Jackson (D) and Andrew Young (D), and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams (D). Dickens also received endorsements from six members of the Atlanta City Council and three Fulton County Commissioners.

The number of votes cast in the runoff decreased by 18.1% compared to the general election, making this the largest decrease since the 1993 contest between Bill Campbell and Michael Lomax. 2021 was also the second time since at least 1981 where the second-place finisher in the general election went on to win the runoff.

Mississippi Senate District 32 special election advances to runoff

The special general runoff election for Mississippi State Senate District 32 is on Nov. 23. Rod Hickman and Minh Duong are competing in the runoff, after finishing in first and second place, respectively, at the general election on Nov. 2. 

Hickman and Duong defeated seven other candidates in the general election, earning 25.8% and 22.5% of the vote, respectively. A runoff was necessary because no candidate earned more than 50% of the vote.

State legislative special elections in Mississippi are nonpartisan, meaning that candidates’ party affiliations do not appear on the ballot.

The special election was called after Sampson Jackson (D) resigned from office effective June 30. Sampson assumed office in 1992.

Mississippi 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. Republicans control the state Senate by a margin of 36 to 14 with two vacancies.

As of November 2021, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Mississippi held 42 special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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Birmingham, Ala., to hold general runoff election Oct. 5

The general runoff election in Birmingham, Ala., is on Oct. 5. The general election was held on Aug. 24, and the filing deadline to run passed on July 10.

General runoffs became necessary after no candidate earned a majority of the vote in four races during the general election in August.

Candidates are competing for two seats on the nine-seat city council. In District 4, incumbent William Parker is facing challenger J.T. Moore. In District 9, incumbent John Hilliard will face challenger LaTonya Tate. 

Candidates will also be competing for two seats on the nine-seat Birmingham City School District Board of Education. In District 1, the candidates are incumbent Douglas Ragland and challenger Sherman Collins Jr. In the District 9 race, Le’Darius Hilliard and Jason Meadows are running for an open seat.

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and the 99th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Texas House of Representatives District 10 special election heads to runoff

Image of a red sign with the words "Polling Place" a pointing arrow.

A special general election was held for the Texas House of Representatives District 10 on Aug. 31. Brian E. Harrison (R) and John Wray (R) advanced to a general runoff election and defeated six other candidates. The candidate with the third-most votes was Pierina Otiniano (D). A runoff date had not been announced as of Aug. 31.

The special election was called after Jake Ellzey (R) won a special election to Texas’ 6th Congressional District on July 27. Ellzey won the 2020 election for the Texas House of Representatives District 10 seat and assumed office in January 2021.

As of Aug. 31, 57 state legislative special elections have been scheduled across the country. The District 10 election was the second state legislative special election for Texas thus far in 2021. A special election for the Texas House of Representatives District 68 was called for Jan. 23, after Drew Springer (R) won a special election to Texas state Senate District 30 on Dec. 19. David Spiller (R) won the general runoff election for the District 68 seat on Feb. 23.

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Jake Ellzey wins special runoff for Texas’ 6th Congressional District

Jake Ellzey (R) defeated Susan Wright (R) in a special runoff election in Texas’ 6th Congressional District. With 98% of precincts reporting, Ellzey received 53% of the vote and Wright received 47% of the vote.

Ellzey will fill the vacancy left when the previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on Feb. 7. The district is located in the northeastern portion of the state and includes Ellis and Navarro counties and an area of Tarrant County.

Susan Wright is Ronald Wright’s widow. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed her on April 26. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Ellzey.

Since both runoff candidates were Republicans, the seat will not change party hands as a result of the election. The two advanced from a 23-candidate special election on May 1. Wright received 19.2% of the vote while Ellzey received 13.8% of the vote.

Seven special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. Four of those have already taken place and none have resulted in a party change. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

Kenyatté Hassell wins Democratic nomination in special primary runoff for Alabama House District 78

A special Democratic primary runoff for District 78 in the Alabama House of Representatives was held on June 22, 2021. Kenyatté Hassell defeated Donald Williams and advanced to the general election.

The general election is scheduled for September 7. The filing deadline passed on March 23. Hassell will be running against Loretta Grant (R).

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2, 2021. Hatcher served from 2018 to 2021. 

The September 7 special election will mark the fifth Alabama state legislative special election this year and the third special election for the state house of representatives. Ben Robbins (R) defeated Fred Crum (D) in the January 19 special election for House District 33. Virginia Applebaum (D) and April Weaver (R) will compete for Senate District 14 and Sheridan Black (D) will face Kenneth Paschal (R) in House District 73 on July 13.

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Voters in Alabama state House district to decide Democratic primary runoff on June 22

A special Democratic primary runoff will be held on June 22 for District 78 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Kenyatté Hassell and Donald Williams advanced to the Democratic primary runoff after defeating Terance Dawson and Roderick Thornton in the May 25 primary. The winner of the runoff will face Loretta Grant (R) in the special election on Sept. 7. The winner of the special election will serve until November 2022.

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2. Hatcher served in the state House from 2018 to 2021.

Alabama 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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 26-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 76-27 margin with two vacancies.

As of June, 40 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 17 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Alabama held 23 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Two Georgia state legislative special elections advance to July 13 runoffs

Image of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

A special general election was held for Georgia House of Representatives Districts 34 and 156 on June 15. In District 34, Priscilla Smith (D) and Devan Seabaugh (R) advanced to the general runoff and defeated Sam Hensley Jr. (D), David Blinkhorn (R), and Chris Neill (L). In District 156, Leesa Hagan (R) and Wally Sapp (R) advanced to the general runoff and defeated Wright Gres (D).

The general runoff election is scheduled for July 13. The filing deadline passed on May 7.

The special elections were called after Bert Reeves in District 34 and Greg Morris in District 156 resigned on Apr. 30 and Apr. 13, respectively. Reeves served from 2015 to 2021, and Morris served from 1999 to 2021.

There was a third special election held for a state legislative seat in Georgia earlier this year. A primary for the District 90 seat was held on Feb. 9 after Pam Stephenson (D) resigned her seat on Sept. 4. Angela Moore and Stan Watson advanced to the Democratic primary runoff election held on March 9. Moore won the seat. 

Georgia had 67 state legislative special elections between 2010 and 2020. The state has held at least one special election every year during that time period. The highest number in one year was 12 in 2015, and the lowest was two in 2012. 

Georgia is one of only two states that require a majority in all congressional, state executive, and state legislative elections in order to avoid a runoff. 

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