State Legislative Tracker: A look at special elections on November 6
On top of the normally scheduled 6,015 legislative seats up for election on November 6, there are six special legislative elections on the ballot, as well as three special legislative primaries. A seventh special election was scheduled for District 41 of the Texas House of Representatives, but when Democrat Bobby Guerra was the only candidate to file the Texas Secretary of State's office declared him the winner and called off the election.
Here is a preview of the special elections and primaries happening November 6:
- Kentucky Senate District 19: Tim Shaughnessy (D) resigned his seat in the Kentucky State Senate on June 29, 2012. In resigning early he cited a number of reasons including the fact that there were no plans for a special session and no important issues in his committees. Democrat Morgan McGarvey is running unopposed for the seat.
- Mississippi Senate District 19: Special elections in Mississippi are officially nonpartisan and all candidates run on one ballot. Known party affiliations are designated after candidate names below. If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff will take place on November 27. After eight years in the Mississippi State Senate, Merle Flowers (R) resigned on May 24, 2012 in order to spend more time with his family. Four candidates filed for the seat - Mike Smith (D), David Parker (R), David Blackwell (R), and Pat Nelson (R).
- Mississippi House District 52: Having served since 1988, Tommy L. Woods (R) resigned his seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives on July 30, 2012. Three candidates filed for the seat - Jeremy Bryan (R), Bill Kinkade (R), Van Wicker (R).
- New Jersey Assembly District 4: Gabriela Mosquera's (D) 2010 election was ruled invalid by the New Jersey Supreme Court on the grounds that she had not resided long enough in the 4th District. However, by the time this ruling came, Mosquera was eligible for the seat. As such, local Democrats appointed her as interim representative to serve until the November 6 general election. Mosquera will face Republican Shelley Lovett as she attempts to retain her seat.
- New Jersey Assembly District 16: After a battle with cancer, Peter Biondi (R) passed away on November 10, 2011. Local party officials selected Donna Simon (R) to serve in the interim. Simon will face Democrat Marie Corfield as she seeks to retain her seat.
- New Jersey Assembly District 26: Alex DeCroce (R) passed away on January 9, 2012 from a heart attack and local party officials selected his wife BettyLou DeCroce (R) to serve in the interim. She will face Republican Joseph Raich in the special election.
- Wisconsin Senate District 33: Rich Zipperer (R) resigned his seat effective August 5, 2012 in order to become Gov. Scott Walker's deputy chief of staff and senior legal counsel. Chris Kapenga (R) and Paul Farrow (R) will meet up in the special primary. Since no Democrat filed for the seat, the winner of the Republican primary is all but guaranteed to take the seat.
- California Senate District 4: Doug LaMalfa (R) announced on August 31, 2012 that he would resign his District 4 seat in the California State Senate after the legislature concluded its 2012 session. LaMalfa, who is running for U.S. House of Representatives, decided to resign early so that a special primary could be consolidated with the 2012 general election. Four candidates are running in the blanket primary - Mickey Harrington (D), Jim Nielsen (R), Dan Levine (I), and Jann Reed (I). The top two vote getters will meet in the special election on January 8, 2013.
- Georgia Senate District 30: Bill Hamrick (R) resigned his District 30 seat in the Georgia State Senate following his appointment as a Superior Court judge on the Coweta Judicial Circuit in September 2012. Four candidates will meet in the Republican primary - Glenn Richardson, Bill Hembree, Jim Naughton, and Mike Dugan. The winner of the primary will face Libertarian James Camp in the special election on January 8, 2013. No Democrats filed for the seat.
This week 4 out of 50 state legislatures - Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania - are meeting in regular session, while Massachusetts is meeting in informal session, which it will continue to do throughout the rest of the year. As of May 16, all states had convened their 2012 sessions.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
- Click here to see a chart of each state's 2012 session information.
Although most states have concluded 2012 business, some states have already begun 2013 action. Drafting for 2013 has begun in Montana, Nevada and North Dakota, while prefiling of legislation is going on in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Virginia.
| Snapshot of State Legislatures: |
Monday, October 29, 2012
|There are 7,383 Total State Legislators|
|Total Democratic state legislators||3,301 (44.7%)|
|Total Republican state legislators||3,946 (53.4%)|
|There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers|
|Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers||37|
|Total Republican Party-controlled chambers||58|
|Total tied or nonpartisan chambers||4|
|2012 Session Information|
|Total Special Elections||32|
|Total Special Sessions||20|
In 2011, special sessions were a widespread occurrence in state legislatures. This was largely due to states' having to complete the redistricting process for legislative and congressional districts. Overall in 2011, there were 45 special sessions in 28 states.
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 20 special sessions in 16 states. There are no special sessions currently scheduled.
Louisiana state Rep. Jerome Richard's (I) efforts to get the legislature to call a special session failed on Friday when he could not get enough state senators to agree to the session. Legislators supporting the effort wanted to hold the session to address Governor Bobby Jindal's (R) cuts to health care programs and a state prison. In order to hold a special session in Louisiana, a certain number of representatives and senators are required to agree to the session. Richard had enough representatives on board but fell short by three senators.
As of today, October 29, 4 state's sessions are currently in recess:
A total of 86 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 6, 2012.
1,301 (65.97%) of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for election in November 2012, and 4,714 (87.12%) of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for election. Altogether, 6,015 (81.47%) of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats will be up for election during the presidential election year.
- 43 of the 50 state senates are holding elections.
- 43 of the 49 state houses are holding elections.
The 6,015 seats up for election is 110 fewer than the 6,125 that were contested in 2010.
As of July 12, all signature filing deadlines had passed.
- See also: 2012 election dates
A total of 198 state legislative incumbents were defeated in a primary - 124 Republicans and 74 Democrats.
Primaries took place in 44 states in 2012. For a review of what happened, click on the state below:
- Ohio - March 6
- Illinois – March 20
- Pennsylvania - April 24
- Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia - May 8
- Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon - May 15
- Arkansas, Kentucky - May 22
- Texas – May 29
- California, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota - June 5
- Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina - June 12
- Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah - June 26
- Georgia - July 31
- Tennessee - August 2
- Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Washington - August 7
- Hawaii - August 11
- Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin - August 14
- Wyoming - August 21
- Alaska, Arizona, Vermont - August 28
- Massachusetts - September 6
- Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island - September 11
- New York - September 13
Redistricting on the ballot
- See also: Redistricting measures on the ballot
This year voters in five states will go to the polls to cast their vote on proposed changes to their state's redistricting process. The measures are as follows:
So far in 2012 there have been 32 special elections in 13 states.
There are no special elections scheduled to take place this week.
Upcoming special elections include:
- November 6: Kentucky Senate District 19
- November 6: Mississippi State Senate District 19 and House District 52
- November 6: New Jersey Assembly Districts 16, 26, 68
- December 4: Wisconsin State Senate District 33
- December 11: Alabama House of Representatives Districts 30, 34
- December 11: Iowa State Senate District 22
- December 18: Virginia House of Delegates District 89
- January 8, 2013: California State Senate District 4
- January 8, 2013: Georgia State Senate District 30
- State legislative elections, 2012
- 2012 state legislative calendar
- Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections
- State legislative special elections, 2012
- State legislative recalls
- The Monitor, "Guerra to finish Gonzales' term in HD 41," September 7, 2012
- WDRB, "Kentucky State Senator Tim Shaughnessy resigns," June 29, 2012
- The Republic, "Candidates for Miss. House and Senate special elections will run under old district lines," October 9, 2012
- The Commercial Appeal, "DeSoto County legislator Merle Flowers resigning," May 24, 2012
- Mississippi House of Representatives, "Tommy L. Woods," accessed October 3, 2012
- Philly.com, "Lovett and Mosquera face off again for Assembly seat," October 18, 2012
- NJ Assembly Republicans, "Led by DeCroce & Simon, women members of NJ Legislature surge," March 5, 2012
- WisPolitics, "Zipperer resigning Senate seat to join Walker's staff," July 18, 2012
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans Farrow, Kapenga to run for vacant state Senate seat," October 9, 2012
- California Newswire, "Special Election Proclamation by The Governor of The State of California," September 6, 2012
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "5 qualify for special election in Georgia’s Senate District 30," September 14, 2012
- StateNet, "Daily Session Summary," accessed October 29, 2012
- The Town Talk, "Louisiana Senate blocks bid for special session," October 27, 2012
- StateScape, Session schedules, accessed October 29, 2012
- Illinois General Assembly, "Session schedule," accessed October 29, 2012