Tagstate houses

Twenty candidates file for Montana’s two U.S. House districts

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Montana was March 14. This year, 20 candidates are running in Montana’s two U.S. House districts, including nine Republicans, six Democrats, four Libertarians, and one independent. That’s an average of 10 candidates per district.

The state gained a congressional district following the 2020 census. In 2020, nine candidates ran for Montana’s lone House district. In 2018, eight candidates ran.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • Incumbent Matt Rosendale (R) is seeking re-election in the 2nd Congressional District. He faces three Republican primary challengers.
  • The 1st District race is open.
  • The state’s only congressional district in 2020 was open. Incumbent Greg Gianforte (R) ran for re-election in 2018 and won.
  • This year, more than one candidate filed for both major party primaries in both districts.
  • The 2nd District has the largest candidate field at 11—four Republicans, three Democrats, three Libertarians, and one independent.

Montana’s U.S. House primaries are on June 7, alongside primaries in six other states. Thirteen states hold their primaries before that date.

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New Hampshire enacts new state house map

New Hampshire enacted new state house districts on March 23, 2022, when Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a proposal approved by both legislative chambers into law. The maps will take effect for New Hampshire’s 2022 state legislative elections.

The New Hampshire House passed a map on Jan. 5 in a 186-168 vote, which the Senate then approved on Feb. 16 in a 14-10 vote. The House Redistricting Committee initially advanced the proposal on Nov. 16, 2021.

As of March 25, 41 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, and one state has adopted maps for one legislative chamber. The state supreme court in one state has overturned previously enacted maps, the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked previously enacted maps in one state, and five states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,742 of 1,972 state Senate seats (88.3%) and 4,594 of 5,411 state House seats (84.9%).

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Belsito (D) defeats Snow (R) in Massachusetts House special election

A special general election was held for the Massachusetts House of Representatives 4th Essex District on Nov. 30. Jamie Zahlaway Belsito (D) won the special election with 2,504 votes, or 55.4% of the total, defeating Robert Snow (R).

Belsito is the first Democrat to win election to the district since 1858.

Special Democratic and Republican primary elections were held on Nov. 2. The filing deadline passed on Sept. 28.

The special election was called after Bradford Hill (R) resigned from office on Sept. 15 to be appointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Hill represented the 4th Essex District from 1999 to 2021.

As of December, 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. Massachusetts has held 45 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

Entering the special election, the Massachusetts House of Representatives had 129 Democrats, 29 Republicans, and one independent. A majority in the chamber requires 81 seats. Massachusetts has a divided government where neither party holds a trifecta. The Republican Party controls the office of governor, while the Democratic Party controls both chambers of the state legislature.

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Three candidates file for Maine House special election

Political parties had until Nov. 29 to nominate candidates to run in the special election for District 27 of the Maine House of Representatives. The unaffiliated candidate filing deadline also passed on the same day. James Boyle (D) and Timothy Thorsen (R) were both nominated by their respective political parties to run in the Jan. 11 special election. Suzanne Phillips also filed to run as an unenrolled candidate. The filing deadline for write-in candidates is Dec. 6.

Boyle previously served in the Maine state Senate from 2012 to 2014. He was defeated in his re-election bid in 2014. Thorsen is a retired Marine Corps colonel and works as a project management professional for a manufacturing and construction company in Sanford, Maine. Phillips currently serves as a Gorham Town Council member.

The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022. The seat became vacant after Kyle Bailey (D) resigned on Oct. 15 to pursue another job opportunity. He was elected to the state House in 2020 with 59% of the vote.

Democrats currently have an 80-65 majority in the Maine House with five third-party members and one vacancy. Maine 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 November, 10 state legislative special elections have been scheduled to take place in 2022. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Maine held 15 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Welby wins Pennsylvania House 113 in Nov. 2 special election

A special general was held for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 113 on Nov. 2. Thom Welby (D) won the special election with 9,191 votes, defeating Dominick Manetti (R) and Bonnie Flaherty (L). 

The candidate filing deadline passed on Sept. 13.

The special election was called after Martin Flynn (D) won a special election for state Senate District 22 on May 18. Flynn represented District 113 from 2012 to 2021. 

As of Nov. 5, Pennsylvania has held six state legislative special elections in 2021. Special elections for Senate Districts 22 and 48 and House Districts 59 and 60 were held on May 18. A special election was also held for House District 164 on Nov. 2. Pennsylvania held five state legislative special elections in 2020. 

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Special election primary to be held in New Hampshire House district

A special election primary is being held on Oct. 19 for the Rockingham 6 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Thomas Cardon, Jodi Nelson, and Neil Wetherbee are running for the Republican nomination. Mary Eisner is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is taking place on Dec. 7, and the winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant on Aug. 5 after Anne Copp (R) moved out of the district. Copp had represented the district since Jan. 2021.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 207-187 majority in the New Hampshire House with six vacancies. New Hampshire 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 October, 64 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. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Democrats outraise Republicans by 154% in Virginia state legislative races

New campaign finance filings for Virginia state legislative races show Democrats leading Republicans in fundraising. Between January 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, Democratic candidates outraised Republican candidates by 154 percent.

Heading into the general elections, 103 Democratic candidates raised $28.74 million compared to $11.31 million raised by 103 Republicans.

In the Democratic party, the top fundraisers in the most recent reporting period were:

In the Republican party, the top fundraisers in the most recent reporting period were:

The candidates who raised the most money were incumbent Jerrauld Jones (D) in House District 89 ($2,330,659), incumbent S. Rasoul (D) in House District 11 ($2,069,106), and incumbent Eileen Filler-Corn (D) in House District 41 ($1,353,025).

State legislative general elections are held on November 2, 2021. In some cases, party nominees may have been chosen earlier.

Democrats have a 21-19 majority in the Virginia State Senate and a 55-45 majority in the Virginia State House.

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how much and how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political parties may contribute to campaigns. All campaign financial transactions must be made through the candidate’s committee. Campaign committees are required to file regular campaign finance disclosure reports with the Virginia Department of Elections.

This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.



Special elections to be held in Texas House districts

Special elections are being held on Sept. 28 for District 10 and District 118 of the Texas House of Representatives. The winner of these special elections will serve until January 2023.

  • In District 10, Republicans Brian Harrison and John Wray are running in a general election runoff. Harrison and Wray advanced from the general election on Aug. 31, earning 40.5% and 35.8% of the vote, respectively. The seat became vacant after Jake Ellzey (R) won a special election to Texas’ 6th Congressional District on July 27. Ellzey had represented the district since January 2021.
  • In District 118, Katie Farias (D), Desi Martinez (D), Frank Ramirez (D), John Lujan (R), and Adam Salyer (R) are running in the general election. A runoff will be called if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. The seat became vacant on Aug. 19 after Leo Pacheco (D) resigned to teach public administration at San Antonio College. Pacheco had represented the district since 2019.

Heading into the special elections, Republicans have an 82-66 majority in the Texas House with two vacancies. Texas 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 September, 60 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 20 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Texas held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election to be held in Iowa state House district on Sept. 14

A special election is being held on Sept. 14 to fill a vacant seat in District 37 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Andrea Phillips (D) and Mike Bousselot (R) are running in the special election. Both candidates were selected to run in the special election by their respective political parties in conventions. The winner of the special election will serve until January 2023.

This Polk County-based House seat became vacant on July 29 after John Landon (R) died. He had served in the state House since 2013. He won re-election in 2020 by defeating Phillips with 53.1% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 58-41 majority in the Iowa state House with one vacancy. Iowa 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 September 2021, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 20 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Iowa held 22 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Christine Goodwin assumes office as Oregon state Representative

Christine Goodwin (R) assumed office as the representative for District 2 in the Oregon State House on Aug. 25. Commissioners from Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties appointed Goodwin to the seat on Aug. 12. The seat became vacant in July when former state Rep. Gary Leif (R) died of cancer. Goodwin will serve the remainder of Leif’s term, which was set to expire in January 2023.

At the time she was appointed, Goodwin worked as an administrator of the private optometry practice owned by her and her husband. Goodwin served as interim Douglas County Commissioner in 2018 and is a former member of the South Umpqua School Board.

Oregon is one of seven states that fill state legislative vacancies through board of county commissioners appointments. 

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