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.
|A 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.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.
State Assembly District 64
|Tip McQuire||Mark Stalker|
State House District 130
State Senate District 33
State Senate District 41
State House District 11
|June 4th||California||State Senate District 1||No Democrat. Top two primary voters Republican||Brian Dahle, Kevin Kiley|
|June 4th||California||State Senate District 33||Lena Gonzalez||Jack Guerrero|
|June 18th||Florida||State House District 7||Ryan Terrell||Jason Shoaf|
|June 18th||Florida||State House District 38||Kelly Smith||Randy Maggard|
|November 5th||New Jersey||State Senate District 1||Bob Andrzejczak (Also Interm appointed State Senator)||Mike Testa|
|November 5th||Missouri||State House District 99||TBD: Filing May 13th||TBD: Filing May 13th|
|November 5th||Missouri||State House District 158||TBD: Filing May 13th||TBD: Filing May 13th|
|November 5th||Washington||State Senate District 40||TBD: Primary August 6th. (Liz Lovlett appointed Interim State Senator)||TBD: Primary August 6th. (Alex Ybarra appointed Interim State Representative)|
|November 5th||Washington||State House District 13b||TBD: Primary August 6th||TBD: Primary August 6th|
State House District 74
|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.
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Sources: Ballotpedia, MultiState, Vote.org