Tagstate senate

Karen Peterson resigns from Louisiana State Senate

Karen Peterson (D) resigned from the Louisiana State Senate on April 8 to focus on recovering from depression and a gambling addiction. She represented District 5 from 2010 to 2022. According to The New Orleans Advocate, a federal probe is being conducted into Peterson’s finances and gambling addiction. 

Prior to joining the state Senate in 2010, Peterson served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1999 to 2010. She most recently ran for election in 2021, challenging Troy Carter (D) in the special election for U.S. House Louisiana District 2. Carter was elected with 55.2% of the vote.

If there is a vacancy in the Louisiana State Senate, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election. An election is required if there are six months or more left in the unexpired term. The presiding officer in the house where the vacancy happened must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy occurred. The presiding officer must determine the dates for the election along with all filing deadlines. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.

As of April 11, there have been 52 state legislative vacancies in 28 states during 2022. Twenty-two (22) of those vacancies have been filled. Of the 52 vacancies, 34 are Democratic and 18 are Republican. Democrats have filled 15 vacancies, while Republicans have filled seven.  

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Trump endorses in Penn. Senate primary for second time; former administration official endorsements are split

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2022. Senator Pat Toomey (R) is not running for re-election. The candidates who performed best in recent polling and have received the most media attention are David McCormick and Mehmet Oz. The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz on April 9, 2022. Trump previously endorsed Sean Parnell in Sept. 2021. Parnell suspended his campaign in Nov. 2021 and endorsed McCormick in Jan. 2022. Between the suspension of Parnell’s campaign and Trump’s endorsement of Oz, several advisors and administration officials made endorsements in the race. Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Larry Kudlow, Stephen Miller, and Mike Pompeo endorsed McCormick. Ben Carson, Louis Freeh, Rick Perry, Wilbur Ross, and Ryan Zinke endorsed Oz.

McCormick was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm, from 2017 to Jan. 2022. Before joining Bridgewater in 2009, he served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security and as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. He graduated from West Point and served in the United States Army during the Gulf War. McCormick’s campaign has focused on economic issues and the relationship between the United States and China.

Oz is an author and former surgeon. He hosted The Dr. Oz Show from 2009 to Jan. 2022 and appeared as a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oz received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and his medical and business degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Oz’s campaign has portrayed him as a political outsider, with a campaign ad likening him to former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Trump, saying they each started in Hollywood before going to Washington to fight the establishment. Oz has used his background in medicine to highlight disagreements with how the Biden administration handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three race ratings outlets rate the race either Toss-up or Tilt Republican. President Joe Biden (D) won Pennsylvania 50% to 49% in the 2020 presidential election. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D) won re-election 56% to 43% in 2018. Toomey won re-election in 2016 49% to 47%.

Also running in the primary are Kathy Barnette, Jeff Bartos, George Bochetto, Sean Gale, and Carla Sands.



Tony Navarrete resigns from the Arizona state Senate

Senator Tony Navarrete (D) resigned from the Arizona state Senate on Aug. 10. He represented District 30 from 2019 to 2021. He also represented Arizona House District 30 from 2017 to 2019.

Phoenix police arrested Navarrete on Aug. 5, 2021, on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor. According to authorities, the alleged sexual conduct took place in 2019. Navarrete resigned on Aug. 10, stating, “I adamantly deny all allegations that have been made and will pursue all avenues in an effort to prove my innocence. In doing so, I will be focusing the vast majority of my time and energy on my defense.”

If there is a vacancy in the state Senate, the board of county supervisors must select a replacement. The appointee will serve the remainder of Navarrete’s term, which ends on Jan. 8, 2023.

As of Aug. 12, there have been 82 state legislative vacancies in 36 states this year. Fifty of those vacancies have been filled, with 32 vacancies remaining. Navarrete’s vacancy is one of 38 Democratic vacancies to have occurred in 2021. So far, Democrats have filled 23 vacancies, while Republicans have filled 27.  

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Arizona State Senate

Arizona State Senate District 30

State legislative vacancies, 2021



Special election to be held in Connecticut Senate district

A special election is being held on Aug. 17 for District 36 of the Connecticut State Senate. Alexis Gevanter (D), Ryan Fazio (R), and John Blankley (I) are running in the general election. Candidates running for special elections in Connecticut are nominated through party conventions. The winner of the special election will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant after Alex Kasser (D) resigned effective June 22, citing her ongoing divorce proceedings as the reason for her resignation. Kasser had represented the district since 2019. She won re-election in 2020 with 51.4% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 23-12 majority in the Connecticut Senate with one vacancy. Connecticut 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 August, 50 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 18 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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State legislative special elections, 2021

Connecticut State Senate

Connecticut State Senate District 36



Douglas Peters resigns from Maryland Senate on July 30

Maryland Sen. Douglas Peters (D) resigned from his position in the Maryland Senate on July 30. Peters, who represented District 23, first assumed office in 2007, and was subsequently re-elected three times. 

Peters had announced his resignation at the beginning of July, following his appointment to the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R). In a statement, Peters called it “an honor of a lifetime to serve my neighbors at the city, county, and state level,” and that he looked forward “to serving on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.”

Peters’ departure from the state Senate leaves a vacancy in his district that will be filled by appointment. The appointee will serve until the district is up for election at next year’s midterms. The state Senate’s partisan composition is 31 Democrats, 15 Republicans, and one vacancy. While both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly are under Democratic control, the governor of Maryland is Republican, preventing a Democratic trifecta.

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Minor party filing deadline to pass on Aug. 4 in special election for two Michigan state Senate seats

The minor-party filing deadline for the Michigan State Senate Districts 8 and 28 special elections is on Aug. 4.

The major party primary is scheduled for Aug. 3, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2. 

In District 8, seven Republicans and two Democrats will compete in the Aug. 3 primaries. For District 28, there are two Democrats and three Republicans competing.

The District 8 special election was called after Peter Lucido (R) was elected Macomb County Prosecutor. The District 28 special election was called after Peter MacGregor (R) was elected Kent County Treasurer. 

As of August 2, the Michigan State Senate is composed of 16 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Michigan has had a divided government since 2019. A divided government occurs when different parties control the state senate, state house, and governorship. There are currently 12 states with divided governments.

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Special primary elections to be held on August 3 in Michigan State Senate Districts 8 and 28

The special primary elections for Michigan State Senate District 8 and 28 are on Aug. 3. The major party candidate filing deadline passed on April 20, and the filing deadline for minor party and independent candidates is Aug. 4. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

District 8

In the Democratic primary, John Bill and Martin Genter are competing to advance to the general election. In the Republican primary, Mary Berlingieri, Bill Carver, Kristi Dean, Grant Golasa, Pamela Hornberger, Terence Mekoski, and Douglas Wozniak are competing to advance to the general election.

Andrew Kamal is running as an independent in the general election.

The special election for District 8 was called after Peter Lucido (R) left office after being elected Macomb County Prosecutor on Nov. 3, 2020. The seat has been vacant since Lucido resigned on Dec. 31. Lucido had served since 2019. 

District 28

Keith Courtade and Gidget Groendyk are competing in the Democratic primary to advance to the general election. In the Republican primary, Tommy Brann, Kevin Green, and Mark Huizenga are competing to advance to the general election.

The special election for District 28 was called after Peter MacGregor (R) left office after being elected Kent County Treasurer on Nov. 3, 2020. The seat has been vacant since MacGregor resigned on Dec. 31. MacGregor had served since 2015.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 20-16 majority in the Michigan State Senate. Michigan has a divided government, and no political party holds astate government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. 

As of July 2021, 46 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 18 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Since 2010, Michigan has held 16 state legislative special elections. 

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New Jersey state Sen. Chris Brown resigns to take new role in Murphy administration

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) appointed state Sen. Chris Brown (R) to a position in the Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services on July 19. The position required Brown to leave the state Senate. Brown started his new job on July 20.

Brown first won election to the Senate to represent District 2 on Nov. 7, 2017, defeating incumbent Colin Bell (D) 53.52% to 46.48%. Brown had announced in February that he would not seek re-election.

Vacancies in the New Jersey Legislature are filled by interim appointment by the county leadership of the party that last controlled the district. 

The New Jersey Senate is the upper chamber of the state legislature. Currently, there are 25 Democrats, 14 Republicans, and one vacancy in the Senate.

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Special elections in two Mississippi Senate districts set for Nov. 2

Election officials have scheduled the special elections for the District 32 and District 38 seats in the Mississippi State Senate for Nov. 2. The seats became vacant after Sampson Jackson (D) and Tammy Witherspoon (D) resigned on June 30. There are no primaries, and a general runoff election will be held on Nov. 23 if no candidate receives a majority of the vote. The filing deadline is on Sept. 13.