Author Archives: progressiveseverywhere

Lots of new special elections in Connecticut, Georgia, and more

Thanks to a wave of state lawmakers being appointed to higher office (and others fall to controversy), special elections are popping up across the country. There are only a few obviously competitive races, but they’re all worth noting.

February 12th:

Georgia House of Delegates, District 176 (GOP-held)
Texas House of Representatives, District 125 (GOP-held)

February 26th:

Connecticut House of Representatives Districts 39, 99 (Dem-held)
Connecticut State Senate Districts 3, 5, 6 (Dem-held)

March 5th:

Kentucky State Senate District 31 (Dem-held)

March 12th:

Orange County (CA) Board of Supervisors, District 3 (GOP-held)
Mississippi State Senate, Districts 71 (GOP-held) and 101 (Dem-held)

March 26th: 

South Carolina State Senate, District 6 (GOP-held) (GOP primary on Jan. 22nd)

Newly announced Special Election in Pennsylvania should be a showdown

For the most part, Pennsylvania Democrats had a very good 2018, as they hold on to the Governor’s mansion, re-elected Sen. Bob Casey, won several Congressional seats (thanks to Supreme Court redistricting), and broke the GOP’s supermajority in the State Senate. But other than Conor Lamb’s two victories, the party was unable to crack the GOP’s hold on Allegheny County and much of western PA, a shortcoming that kept legislative power in Republican hands.

This spring, Democrats will get their first shot at cracking that Republican rampart in a special election for the open State Senate seat out of District 37.

This weekend, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack announced that there would be a special election on April 2nd to replace Guy Reschenthaler, who was just sworn in as a US Congressman. Both parties have an abundance of potential candidates, and each will choose their nominees within the next week in private meetings. Not the best way to do democracy, but those are the rules.

This is a seat that was in Conor Lamb’s original congressional territory and voted for Trump 51-45, so it should be a very competitive (and expensive) race.

Other newly added special elections include the first-ever mayoral race in Pueblo, Colorado (runoff on January 22nd); a State Senate seat (previously held by Democrats) in Minnesota (primary on January 22nd); and the lone Republican-held Los Angeles City Council seat (June 4th).

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.