Added: Special elections in Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas

Much of the blog, at least at first in this quiet season, will be about sending out alerts when new elections are added to the master calendar. And right off the bat, we have three new special elections, each called over the past week or so.

Texas: Special elections were called for Districts 79 and 145 in the State House of Representatives. They’ll both take place on January 29th.

District 79, located in El Paso, will replace Democratic Rep. Joe Pickett, who is resigning due to health issues. According to the El Paso Times, two candidates have filed to run thus far: Art Fierro, chairman of the El Paso Community College board, and Dr. Michiel Noe, a city representative.

District 145, in Houston, must replace Democratic Rep. Carol Alvarado, who was just elected to the State Senate in another special election.

Tennessee: A special election was called for State Senate District 32. The primary will take place on January 24th, with the general election slated for March 12th.

The election will replace former Republican State Senator Mark Norris, who was appointed to U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. This is a very red district — Norris ran unopposed in the 2012 and 2016 general elections. There are four Republicans running in the special primary, including former Rep. Stephen McManus, while Eric Coleman is the only Democrat running.

Rhode Island: A special election was called Rhode Island House of Representatives District 68. The primary is set for February 5th, with the general on March 5th.

It’s basically a do-over for the district, as Democratic Representative-elect Laufton Ascencao had to step aside after being caught lying about a campaign mailer. Just 25, he tried to hide the fact that he didn’t complete a mailer to help local candidates by fabricating evidence. The incident and subsequent fall-out truly embody the old adage that it’s the cover-up, not the crime, especially when the crime wasn’t really a crime.

There are a number of candidates thinking about running in this election, but it should be safe for the Democrats; a Republican didn’t even run in November, as Ascencao’s only opponent was a libertarian.

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