Candidates interested in running in a special election for a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate had until December 9, 2020, to file. The primary is scheduled for February 9, 2021, and the special election will be held on April 6.
In the District 22 special election, Dylan Billings and Molly Ooten are running in the Democratic primary. Former state legislator Rob Johnson, Darrick Matthews, Jake Merrick, and Keri Shipley are running in the Republican primary.
The special election became necessary after Stephanie Bice (R) was elected to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District on November 3, 2020. Her resignation is effective on December 31, 2020. Bice was elected to the state Senate in 2014. She won re-election in 2018 with 68.3% of the vote.
Oklahoma 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 39-9 margin and the state House by an 82-19 margin.
As of December 2020, four state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in three states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward (R) resigned Dec. 7 to become the director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. Ward was appointed to his new position by Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Nov. 17.
“It’s got to be the hardest job in state government,” Ward said in a phone interview. “They have a lot of issues going on. My number one issue is criminal justice reform.”
Ward’s successor in state Senate District 14 will be determined by a special election, which Ivey has set for July 13, 2021.
Ward served in the state Senate since 2010 and previously served in the state House from 2002 to 2010. He was most recently re-elected to another four-year term in 2018, defeating Democrat Jerry McDonald. This year, Ward unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court. Incumbent Greg Shaw defeated him in the Republican primary on March 3.
The Alabama State Senate is the upper chamber of the Alabama state legislature. With Ward’s resignation, the state Senate’s current partisan breakdown is 26 Republicans, seven Democrats, and two vacancies.
A special Democratic primary runoff election was held for Georgia State Senate District 39 on December 1, 2020. A special primary election was held on November 3.
The special election was called when incumbent candidate Nikema Williams (D) withdrew from the race after being chosen by the Democratic Party of Georgia to replace incumbent candidate John Lewis (D) on the general election ballot for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District race after Lewis’ death on July 17.
Because Williams was unopposed in the regular general election, no special general election was needed to replace her. The race was determined in the primary runoff. When no candidates in the November 3 primary received a majority of the votes, top-two vote-getters Sonya Halpern and Linda Pritchett advanced to the primary runoff. Halpern won the runoff after receiving 80.8% of the vote.
As of December 2020, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Georgia has held 63 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2019.
Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the New York State Senate after enough remaining races were called over the weekend to bring them to a two-thirds majority in the chamber. Democrats already held a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly. In New York, two-thirds of members in both chambers must vote to override a veto, which is 100 of the 150 members in the New York State Assembly and 42 of the 63 members in the New York State Senate.
The status of a veto-proof majority has changed in four states as a result of the 2020 elections. These results are subject to change as more votes are counted and elections are certified.
– In Connecticut, Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
– In Delaware, Democrats maintained a veto-proof majority in the state House and gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
– In Nevada, Democrats lost a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly.
– In New York, Democrats maintained a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly and gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
The veto override power can play a role in conflicts between state legislatures and governors. Conflict can occur when legislatures vote to override gubernatorial vetoes or in court cases related to vetoes and the override power. Although it has the potential to create conflict, the veto override power is rarely used. According to political scientists Peverill Squire and Gary Moncrief in 2010, only about five percent of vetoes are overridden.
Prior to April 2018, factions in the New York State Senate included the mainline Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and an offshoot of the Democratic Party called the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). Republicans controlled the chamber from 2012 to 2018 through an alliance with the IDC and Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder. In April 2018, the eight members of the IDC rejoined the mainline Democratic conference, but Felder stayed with the Republicans, giving them an effective 32-31 majority in the chamber. In the November 2018 elections, Democrats expanded their majority to 40-23, giving them full control of the state Senate for the second time since 1964.
Forty-four states held regularly-scheduled state legislative elections on Nov 3. At the time of the election, there were 22 state legislatures where one party had a veto-proof majority in both chambers; 16 held by Republicans and six held by Democrats. Twenty of those states held legislative elections in 2020.
Daniel Burgess (R) defeated Kathy Lewis (D) in the special general election for Florida State Senate District 20 on November 3. Burgess secured 54.9% of the vote to Lewis’s 45.1%.
The special election was called after Tom Lee (R) announced his retirement, effective Nov. 3. Lee served from 2016 to 2020.
Ballotpedia identified the Florida State Senate as a battleground chamber in the 2020 election. Democrats needed to gain four seats to overcome the 23-17 Republican majority. As of November 6, Democrats had not gained any seats, with one race remaining to be called in the chamber.
Florida 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 November, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Florida held 24 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2019.
Republicans are projected to flip control of New Hampshire’s state Senate and House to gain trifecta control of the state. A state government trifecta occurs when one political party holds the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house in a state’s government.
Heading into the election, New Hampshire had been under a divided government since 2019, when Democrats flipped the state Senate and House. Before 2019, New Hampshire had been governed by a Republican trifecta since 2017, when Gov. Chris Sununu (R) was elected.
New Hampshire is the second state Republicans flipped from divided power to trifecta control. They gained trifecta control in Montana after Greg Gianforte (R) defeated Mike Cooney (D) in the governor’s race. If Republicans pick up a net of two trifectas, the country would have 23 Republican-held trifectas, 15 Democratic-held trifectas, and 12 divided governments.
Eighty-six state legislative chambers held elections in 2020. Ballotpedia identified seven states as potential trifecta pickups.
Special election runoffs are being held on October 13 for two seats in the Mississippi State Senate and two seats in the Mississippi House of Representatives. General elections took place in each district on September 22, with the top two candidates advancing to the runoff. Candidates in Mississippi state legislative special elections run without party labels on the ballot.
* In Senate District 15, Joyce Meek Yates and Bart Williams are running in the general election runoff. The seat became vacant after Gary Jackson (R) resigned on June 30. Johnson cited health concerns in his announcement that he would be retiring. He had represented District 15 since 2004.
* In Senate District 39, Jason Barrett and Bill Sones are running in the general election runoff. The seat became vacant on July 15 after Sally Doty (R) was appointed as the executive director of the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff. Doty had represented District 39 since 2012.
* In House District 37, David Chism and Lynn Wright are running in the general election runoff. The seat became vacant after the resignation of Gary Chism (R) on June 30. Chism suffered a stroke in 2017 and said that serving in the state House had become more difficult since then. He also cited his wife’s health concerns as a reason for his resignation. Chism had represented District 37 since 2000.
* In House District 66, Bob Lee Jr. and De’Keither Stamps are running in the general election runoff. The seat became vacant on July 2 after Jarvis Dortch (D) resigned to accept a position as executive director of the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He had represented District 66 since 2016.
Mississippi legislators are elected to four-year terms, and elections are held in odd-numbered years. All seats in the state Senate and state House are up for election again on November 7, 2023.
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 34-16 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 73-45 margin with one independent member and three vacancies.
As of October, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.