TagSpecial Elections

Flores wins Texas’ 34th Congressional District special election

Mayra Flores (R) defeated Dan Sanchez (D), Rene Coronado (D), and Juana Cantu-Cabrera (R) in a special general election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District on June 14. The previous incumbent, Filemon Vela (D), resigned on March 31, 2022.

The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek said, “The winner of the special election will only get to finish Vela’s term, which extends until January. But Republicans are eager to capture the seat as they try to gain new ground in South Texas, and the special election is happening under the previous, more competitive boundaries of the 34th District. The November election for a full term in Congress will be held under new district boundaries that were redrawn during last year’s redistricting process.”

Sanchez is a lawyer and was a county commissioner for Cameron County. Sanchez also served as a justice of the peace for Cameron County from 2003 to 2010. “I’m running for Congress to finish Congressman Filemon Vela’s term because South Texas deserves a representative who will focus on what matters: lower costs, affordable healthcare, safe communities, and a secure retirement,” Sanchez said.

Flores is a respiratory care practitioner and also served as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic outreach chair. In addition to running in the special election, Flores is also on the ballot for the regular general election on Nov. 8 after advancing from the March 1 Republican primary. Flores said the election would “set the tone for the entire nation in the upcoming midterms” and that “South Texas is ready for true conservative leadership in office.”

The special election was held under previous district lines in which Pres. Joe Biden won by four points in the 2020 election. The November election will be held in the newly redrawn district where Biden would have won by over 15 points, according to the Texas Tribune.



Four candidates running in Texas’ 34th Congressional District special election

Four candidates are running in a special general election to fill the seat representing Texas’ 34th Congressional District in the U.S. House on June 14, 2022. The special election will fill the vacancy left by Filemon Vela (D), who resigned effective March 31, 2022.

Dan Sanchez (D) and Mayra Flores (R) have led in media attention and fundraising. Rene Coronado (D) and Juana Cantu-Cabrera (R) are also running. The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek said, “The winner of the special election will only get to finish Vela’s term, which extends until January. But Republicans are eager to capture the seat as they try to gain new ground in South Texas, and the special election is happening under the previous, more competitive boundaries of the 34th District. The November election for a full term in Congress will be held under new district boundaries that were redrawn during last year’s redistricting process.”

Sanchez was elected county commissioner for Cameron County in 2011 and previously served as justice of the peace for Cameron County from 2003 to 2010. “I’m running for Congress to finish Congressman Filemon Vela’s term because South Texas deserves a representative who will focus on what matters: lower costs, affordable healthcare, safe communities, and a secure retirement,” Sanchez said. Sanchez received endorsements from Vela and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D).

Flores’ career experience includes working as a respiratory care practitioner. She also served as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic Outreach Chair. Flores said the election would “set the tone for the entire nation in the upcoming midterms” and that “South Texas is ready for true conservative leadership in office.” Flores received endorsements from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi (R), and the Congressional Leadership Fund.

In addition to running in the special election, Flores is also on the ballot for the regular general election for District 34 on Nov. 8 after advancing from the March 1 Republican primary. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) advanced from the March 1 Democratic primary and will also be on the general election ballot.

Prior to resigning, Vela had represented the distinct since 2013. In the 2020 general election, Vela defeated Rey Gonzalez Jr. (R) with 55% of the vote to Gonzalez Jr.’s 42%.

If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the general election, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff election. According to the proclamation announcing the special election, a runoff election would likely be held in August.



Thirty-nine state legislative special elections scheduled for 2022

Thirty-nine state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 19 states in 2022. Fourteen special elections have taken place already. Heading into those races, Democrats had controlled 11 of the seats, and Republicans controlled three. No seats have changed party control as a result of special elections this year.

Upcoming special elections include:

Mar. 1

  • Connecticut House of Representatives District 5
  • Michigan House of Representatives District 15 (primary)
  • Michigan House of Representatives District 36 (primary)
  • Michigan House of Representatives District 43 (primary)
  • Michigan House of Representatives District 74 (primary)

Mar. 5

  • Delaware House of Representatives District 4

Mar. 8

  • Florida State Senate District 33
  • Florida House of Representatives District 88
  • South Carolina House of Representatives District 97 (primary)

By this time in 2021, 27 special elections had been called in 16 states. There were 33 special elections called in 15 states by this time in 2020. No seats flipped in the 14 special elections that had taken place between the two years; six in 2021 and eight in 2020.

An average of 57 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six even-numbered years. An average of 85 special elections took place in the past six odd-numbered years. Between 2011 and 2021, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of four seats nationally each year.

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Nikki Lucas and Manny De Los Santos win New York State Assembly special elections

Two special general elections were held for New York State Assembly Districts 60 and 72 on Feb. 15.

Nikki Lucas (D) won the District 60 special election with 2,074 votes, defeating Keron Alleyne (Working Families Party) and Marvin King (R, Conservative Party). The District 60 special election was called after Charles Barron (D) was sworn in as a New York City council member on Jan. 1. Barron served in the state Assembly from 2015 to 2021.

Manny De Los Santos (D) won the District 72 special election with 1,425 votes, defeating Edwin De La Cruz (R) and Nayma Silver-Matos (Uptown Rises). The District 72 special election was called after Carmen N. De La Rosa (D) was sworn in as a New York City council member on Jan. 1. De La Rosa served in the state Assembly from 2017 to 2021.

The filing deadline for both special elections passed on Jan. 18. Lucas and De Los Santos were sworn in on Feb 17. 

As of February, 39 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 19 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. New York held 48 special elections from 2010 to 2021, the third-most of any state.

Entering the special election, the New York State Assembly had 105 Democrats, 43 Republicans, one independent, and one vacancy. A majority in the chamber requires 76 seats. New York has a Democratic trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. 

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Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R) passes away

Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) passed away on Feb. 17 at the age of 59. He was battling kidney cancer.

Hagedorn’s wife Jennifer wrote, “Jim loved our country and loved representing the people of southern Minnesota. Every moment of every day he lived his dream by serving others. There was no stronger conservative in our state than my husband; and it showed in how he voted, led and fought for our country.”

Hagedorn represented Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District from 2019 until his death while in office.

A special election will take place to fill the U.S. House vacancy on Aug. 9, 2022. Democrats currently have a 222-211 majority in the House with two vacancies.

Hagedorn is the ninth member of the 117th Congress to leave office early. Two other members died, and six resigned to take other offices.

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Colby Fulfer wins Arkansas State Senate special election

A special general election was held for Arkansas State Senate District 7 on Feb. 8. Colby Fulfer (R) won the special election with 2,032 votes and defeated Lisa Parks (D), who received 1,998 votes. The Republican primary runoff was held on Jan. 11. The filing deadline passed on Nov. 22.

The special election was called after Lance Eads (R) left office to accept a position with Capitol Consulting Firm on Oct. 28. Eads served from 2017 to 2021. 

As of February, 36 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 17 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. Arkansas held 15 special elections from 2010 to 2021.

Entering the special election, the Arkansas State Senate had seven Democrats, 26 Republicans, one independent, and one vacancy. A majority in the chamber requires 18 seats. Arkansas has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

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Special election to be held for Connecticut House District 5 on March 1

The special general election for the District 5 seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives is on March 1. Maryam Khan (D), Charles Jackson (R, Independent Party), Dean Jones (independent), and Lawrence Jaggon (independent) are competing in the special election. The deadline for parties to nominate candidates passed on Jan. 24. The write-in candidate filing deadline is on Feb. 15.

The special election was called after Brandon McGee (D) resigned on Jan. 7 to work on Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) re-election campaign. McGee served from 2013 to 2022.

As of February 2022, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 45 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2021.

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Mike Reichenbach advances from Republican primary to South Carolina Senate general election

A special primary election was held for South Carolina State Senate District 31 on Jan. 25. Mike Reichenbach (R) advanced to the special general election and defeated Jay Jordan (R). 

The special general election is scheduled for March 29. The filing deadline passed on Dec. 11.

The special election was called after the seat became vacant due to the death of Hugh Leatherman (R) on Nov. 12. Hugh Leatherman served from 1981 to 2021. 

As of January 2022, 31 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. South Carolina has held 33 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2021.

Entering the special election, the South Carolina State Senate has 16 Democrats, 29 Republicans, and one vacancy. A majority in the chamber requires 24 seats. South Carolina has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

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Hubert Delany wins Connecticut House special election

A special general election was held for the District 144 seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives on Jan. 25. Hubert Delany (D) won the special election with 1,661 votes and defeated Danny Melchionne (R), who received 1,323 votes. 

Candidates running for special elections in Connecticut are nominated through party conventions. The filing deadline for write-in candidates passed on Jan. 11.

The special election was called after Caroline Simmons (D) left office to become mayor of Stamford, Connecticut, on Dec. 1. Simmons served from 2015 to 2021. 

As of January 2022, 31 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. Connecticut has held 45 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2021.

Entering the special election, the Connecticut House of Representatives had 95 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and three vacancies. A majority in the chamber requires 76 seats. Connecticut has a Democratic trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

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Jan. 7 marks the filing deadline for three Michigan House seats

Candidates interested in running in the special elections for Michigan House of Representatives Districts 36, 43, and 74 have until Jan. 7 to file. The primary election is scheduled for March 1, and the general election is scheduled for May 3. 

The special election for District 36 was called after Douglas Wozniak (R) was elected to District 8 of the Michigan State Senate. District 43 became vacant after the death of Andrea Schroeder (R), and District 74 became vacant after Mark Huizenga (R) was elected to District 28 of the Michigan State Senate.

Michigan held two state legislative special elections in 2021. The special elections for Senate Districts 8 and 28 were held on Nov. 2.

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