DemDaily: State Special Elections!

April 30, 2019

In the ongoing battle for control of state legislatures, special elections offer an opportunity for political parties to inch closer to their goal of a majority in either State Senate or House chambers.

Ultimate control of state legislative chambers will be critical to the outcome of who controls the 2021 redistricting process in each state.

special election is one called to fill a vacancy that occurs when an elected official leaves office before completion of his or her full elected term.  Most commonly this happens due to a death or early retirement, a decision to run for another office, or an early resignation due to an appointment or allegation

There are currently 7,383 state legislative seats in 99 state legislative chambers throughout the country.

Democrat Pam Iovino flipped PA Senate District 37 April 2nd Special Election

Despite historic gains in 2018, when Democrats flipping from red to blue over 400 state legislative seats, Republicans still control 61 of the state chambers. Democrats hold the majority in 37 chambers, and one chamber, Alaska, shares power between the two parties.

On average, there are 77 state legislative special elections per year. In 2017, Democrats has a net gain of 11 seats, and in 2018 special elections, a net gain of eight seats.

In 2019, however, of 55 state legislative special elections that have been scheduled or held in 22 states, Republicans have so far flipped four seats from blue to red. Democrats have flipped one seat, Pennsylvania's State Senate District 37 (April 2nd), and in Louisiana, State House District 62, went from Republican to Independent.

The process for determining state legislative special elections varies from state to state, and, in some cases, the special elections line up with the already scheduled November general elections.

Remaining 2019 State Special Elections
April 30th
State Assembly District 64
Tip McQuireMark Stalker
May 7th
State House District 130
Antonio Felipe
Joshua Parrow
May 21st
State Senate District 33
Sarah Hammond
Doug Mastriano
May 21st
State Senate District 41
Susan Boser
Joe Pittman
May 21st
State House District 11
Samuel Doctor
Marci Mustello
June 4thCaliforniaState Senate District 1No Democrat. Top two primary voters RepublicanBrian Dahle, Kevin Kiley
June 4thCaliforniaState Senate District 33Lena GonzalezJack Guerrero
June 18thFloridaState House District 7Ryan TerrellJason Shoaf
June 18thFloridaState House District 38Kelly SmithRandy Maggard
November 5thNew JerseyState Senate District 1Bob Andrzejczak (Also Interm appointed State Senator)Mike Testa
November 5thMissouriState House District 99TBD: Filing May 13thTBD: Filing May 13th
November 5thMissouriState House District 158TBD: Filing May 13thTBD: Filing May 13th
November 5thWashingtonState Senate District 40TBD: Primary August 6th. (Liz Lovlett appointed Interim State Senator)TBD: Primary August 6th. (Alex Ybarra appointed Interim State Representative)
November 5thWashingtonState House District 13bTBD: Primary August 6thTBD: Primary August 6th
November 12thAlabama
State House District 74
Rayford Mack
TBD: Primary June 11th

There are four states with legislative elections in 2019, including Louisiana and Mississippi, where Republicans hold solid majorities in both chambers. In New Jersey, where Democrats control the State House and Senate, just the House is up this year.

In Virginia, however, Republicans hold a slim majority in the State Senate (21-19) and the State House (51-49), making it a central focus in 2019.

Check your 2019 Voter Registration & State Elections Laws!

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Ballotpedia, MultiState,

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