TagSpecial Elections

Voters in California Assembly District 18 to decide special election primary on June 29

A special election primary is being held on June 29 for District 18 of the California State Assembly. Victor Aguilar (D), James Aguilar (D), Mia Bonta (D), Eugene Canson (D), Janani Ramachandran (D), Malia Vella (D), Stephen Slauson (R), and Joel Britton (I) are on the primary ballot. Nelsy Batista (D) filed as a write-in candidate for the primary. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, he or she will win the election outright. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates will advance to a special general election on August 31. The winner will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Rob Bonta (D) was appointed attorney general of California. Bonta was confirmed by the state legislature on April 22. He had represented District 18 since 2012.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 59-19 majority in the California Assembly with one independent member and one vacancy. California 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.

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. California held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Melanie Stansbury sworn in to Congress on June 14

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D) was sworn in to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District on June 14. Stansbury defeated Mark Moores (R), 60% to 36%. to win a special election for the seat on June 1. The seat became vacant when former Rep. Debra Haaland (D) left office to become secretary of the interior. 

At the time of her election to Congress, Stansbury served in the New Mexico House of Representatives, representing District 28. She was first elected in 2018, defeating incumbent Jimmie Hall (R), 54% to 46%. Before running for office, Stansbury worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Office of Management and Budget. She has also worked as a science educator with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. 

When a vacancy occurs in the New Mexico House of Representatives, the governor appoints a replacement from a list provided by the board of county commissioners representing the vacant seat. The governor is not required to appoint someone of the same party as the last person who held the seat. 

With Stansbury taking office, the partisan breakdown of the U.S. House is 220 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and four vacancies. The partisan balance of the New Mexico House is 44 Democrats, 24 Republicans, one independent, and one vacancy. 

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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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Filing deadline is June 18 for Dane County Board of Supervisors special election

Candidates interested in running in the special election for Dane County Board of Supervisors District 20 in Wisconsin have until June 18 to file. The general election is scheduled for Aug. 10. If more than three candidates file to run, a nonpartisan primary election will be held on July 13. 

The special election was called after Supervisor Julie Schwellenbach passed away on May 19. Schwellenbach served from 2018 to 2021.

Dane County had an estimated population of 546,695 in 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau.

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Two Georgia state legislative special elections advance to July 13 runoffs

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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Special election primary to be held in Wisconsin Assembly district

A special election primary is being held on June 15 for District 37 of the Wisconsin State Assembly. Cathy Houchin, Steve Kauffeld, Nick Krueger, Jennifer Meinhardt, William Penterman, Nathan Pollnow, Jenifer Quimby, and Spencer Zimmerman are running in the Republican primary. Pete Adams is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Stephen Ratzlaff Jr. is running as an independent candidate. The general election will take place on July 13, and the winner of the special election will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant on April 23 after John Jagler (R) was sworn into the Wisconsin State Senate. He won a special election for state Senate District 13 on April 6. Jagler had represented District 37 since 2013. He won re-election in 2020 with 56% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 60-38 majority in the Wisconsin Assembly with one vacancy. Wisconsin 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.

As of June, 39 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. Wisconsin held 19 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election primary to be held June 12 in Louisiana Senate district

A special election primary is being held on June 12 for District 7 of the Louisiana State Senate. Joanna Cappiello-Leopold (D), Gary Carter Jr. (D), Mack Cormier (D), and Patricia McCarty (R) are running in the primary. Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate does, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

The District 7 seat became vacant after Troy Carter (D) won a special election for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District on April 24. Carter had represented District 7 since 2016. He resigned on May 10, a day prior to his swearing-in as a member of Congress.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 27-11 majority in the Louisiana Senate with one vacancy. 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.

As of June, 38 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. Louisiana held 36 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Democrat Melanie Ann Stansbury wins special election in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District

Melanie Ann Stansbury (D) defeated Mark Moores (R) and four other candidates in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District special election. Stansbury received 63% of the vote to Moore’s 33%.

The election took place after the U.S. Senate confirmed incumbent Debra Haaland (D) as secretary of the on March 15, 2021.

Stansbury served in the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2019. She led the race in fundraising and spending. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, as of May 12 she had $1,348,453 in receipts and $874,861 in disbursements. Moores had raised $595,423 and spent $469,868.

Christopher Manning (L), Aubrey Dunn (I), write-in Laura Olivas (I), and write-in Robert Ornelas (I) also ran.

The outcome of this race affected partisan control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 117th Congress. Leading up to the election, Democrats had a 219 to 211 majority over Republicans. When Stansbury is sworn in, Democrats will have expanded their majority to 220-211.

As of June 1, 2021, seven special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

To read more about New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District special election, click here.