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State Legislative Tracker: Candidate filing deadlines have passed in all states
Candidates for the New York State Legislature had until last Thursday to file to be on the September 13 primary ballot. With the passing of that deadline, major party candidates have now filed in all states and it is worth while looking at requirements and deadlines across the country, which are not created equal. This year 44 states will hold state legislative elections. While each state holds a primary, the amount of time between the signature filing deadline and the primary differs widely from 60 days in North Dakota all the way to 158 days in Connecticut. What this essentially means is that candidates in Connecticut have 98 days more days to campaign than those in North Dakota.
- 10 states have between 60-69 days. These account for 1,468 seats.
- 8 states with 70-79 days. These account for 1,082 seats.
- 15 states with 80-89 days. These account for 1,927 seats.
- 11 states with 90 or more days. These account for 1,502 seats.
Another major factor is what it takes to get on to the ballot. First, there are filing fees. Some states, such as Tennessee and Vermont, do not require filing fees, while in others it shoots way up. In Arkansas, for example, individual parties set the filing fees - Democrats must pay $4,500 (Senate) and $3,000 (House) while Republicans must pay $7,500 (Senate) and $3,000 (House). Another factor is the number of signatures necessary. Again, some states, including Montana and Nebraska, do not require any signatures, only fees. At the other end of the spectrum is Illinois, where major party candidates must obtain 1,000 (Senate) and 500 (House) signatures. New party and independent candidates must obtain 3,000 (Senate) and 1,500 (House) signatures.
The one thing all states have in common is candidates willing to jump through all of the required hoops in the hope of making it through to the general election and then on to the state house.
This week 2 out of 50 state legislatures - Ohio and Massachusetts - are meeting in regular session. As of May 16, all states had convened their 2012 sessions. No states are projected to adjourn this week.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
All states have convened their regular 2012 legislative sessions.
The following states have ended their regular session:
- February 16: New Mexico
- March 6: Oregon
- March 8: Utah, Washington
- March 9: Arkansas, Florida, Wyoming
- March 10: Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia
- March 16: Wisconsin
- March 19: South Dakota
- March 29: Georgia, Idaho
- April 9: Maryland
- April 12: Kentucky
- April 16: Alaska
- April 18: Nebraska
- May 1: Tennessee
- May 3: Arizona, Mississippi, Hawaii
- May 5: Vermont
- May 9: Colorado, Iowa, Connecticut
- May 10: Minnesota
- May 16: Alabama
- May 20: Kansas
- May 25: Oklahoma
- May 30: Missouri
- May 31: Maine
- June 4: Louisiana
- June 7: South Carolina
- June 13: Rhode Island
- June 21: New York
- June 27: New Hampshire
- June 30: Delaware
- July 3: North Carolina
- Click here to see a chart of each state's 2012 session information.
| Snapshot of State Legislatures: |
Monday, July 16, 2012
|There are 7,383 Total State Legislators|
|Total Democratic state legislators||3,308 (44.8%)|
|Total Republican state legislators||3,962 (53.7%)|
|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||27|
|Total Special Sessions||15|
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 15 special sessions in 13 states. There are no special sessions currently ongoing.
After meeting with legislative leaders last Wednesday, Governor Mark Dayton (D) announced there will be a special session to address flood relief. Tentatively scheduled for late August, a date has not yet been scheduled as state and local officials are waiting to hear how much the federal government will cover.
The special session may also address previous disasters, such as the Verso Paper Mill, which was destroyed by a fire in May, and the 2010 tornado that damaged public facilities in Wadena. Dayton has made it clear from the beginning, however, that he only wants the session to address disaster relief, something the legislature has historically come together on. That hasn't stopped some from trying to interject divisive, partisan issues into the session.
As of today, July 16, 7 state's sessions are currently in recess:
- California - In recess from July 8, 2012 to August 5, 2012.
- Illinois - In recess until January 7, 2013.
- New Jersey - In recess from July 3, 2012 to September 13, 2012.
- New York - In recess from June 22, 2012 to January 7, 2013.
- Michigan - In recess from June 17 to July 17, 2012.
- Pennsylvania - In recess from July 3, 2012 to September 23, 2012.
- Wisconsin - In recess from March 17 to December 31, 2012.
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 have passed:
- Illinois – December 5, 2011
- Ohio - December 7, 2011
- West Virginia - January 28
- Kentucky – January 31
- Indiana – February 10
- Nebraska - February 15 (incumbents), March 1 (non-incumbents)
- Pennsylvania - February 16
- North Carolina - February 29
- Arkansas - March 1
- Oregon - March 6
- California, Idaho, Texas - March 9
- Montana - March 12
- Maine - March 15
- Iowa, Nevada, Utah - March 16
- New Mexico - March 20
- Missouri, South Dakota - March 27
- South Carolina - March 30
- Colorado - April 2
- Tennessee - April 5
- North Dakota, Oklahoma - April 13
- Michigan - May 15
- Washington - May 18
- Georgia - May 25
- Arizona - May 30
- Alaska, Wisconsin, Wyoming - June 1
- Hawaii, Minnesota, Massachusetts - June 5
- Florida - June 8
- Kansas - June 11
- Connecticut - June 12
- Vermont - June 14
- New Hampshire - June 15
- Rhode Island - June 27
- Delaware - July 10
- New York - July 12
- See also: 2012 election dates
There are no state legislative primaries taking place this week.
So far, primaries have taken place in 24 states:
- 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
A total of 75 state legislative incumbents have been defeated in a primary - 53 Republicans and 22 Democrats.
States with upcoming primaries:
- Currently, 18 states permit the recall of state officials. Between 1913 and 2008, there were just 20 state legislative recall elections in five states. Of the 20 state legislative recall elections, 13 out of 20 resulted in the state legislator being recalled. In 2011, there were 11 state legislative recalls in three states, four of which resulted in the legislator being recalled. In 2012, there have been four state legislative recalls - three have failed while one succeeded.
2011 saw a wave of recall attempts in Michigan. While most of those efforts dried up, at least two campaigns continued on (the recall of Paul Scott was successful on November 8, 2011). Organizers of the campaigns to recall Bruce Caswell (R) and Phil Pavlov (R) set their sights on the August 2012 ballot, but in April organizers of the Pavlov recall announced they did not have enough signatures and were abandoning their efforts. The Caswell campaign remains active.
Following several attempts to get recall language approved against Sen. Randy Richardville, organizers succeeded on June 12, 2012. The approved petition language against Richardville states that one reason for the recall is Richardville's support for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Recalls against four Republican state senators took place on June 5. Going into the recalls the Senate was tied, meaning if the Democrats could win one of the recalls they would take control of the chamber.
Incumbents Scott Fitzgerald (R) and Terry Moulton (R) won easy victories. Republican Jerry Petrowski easily won Pam Galloway's (R) former seat. Unofficial results showed John Lehman (D) defeated Van Wanggaard (R) by 779 votes and he declared victory. With the official canvass showing Lehman winning by 834 votes, Wanggaard called for a recount on June 15.
The recount began on June 20 and concluded July 2. Final tallies released show Lehman won by 819 votes - 36,358 to 35,539. Wanggaard was looking at possible legal challenges but ultimately conceded the race on July 10.
Wanggaard stated, "Despite pleas from around the state to challenge the election, it is not in the best interests of Racine, or Wisconsin, at this time. Now is the time to focus on gaining the state senate back in November, winning Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat and electing Gov. (Mitt) Romney as president."
Democrats will officially take control of the Senate tomorrow. Republicans note, however, that with sixteen of the chamber's seats up for election in November, the victory could be short lived.
So far in 2012 there have been 27 special elections in 11 states.
There is one special election scheduled to take place this week.
Glenn McConnell (R) succeeded to the office of Lieutenant Governor after Ken Ard resigned the post amid a campaign spending scandal. A special election to fill his seat has been called for July 17. A special Republican primary was held on May 29.
General election candidates:
Upcoming special elections include:
- July 17: South Carolina Senate District 41
- July 24: South Carolina House District 68
- August 7: Pennsylvania Senate District 40
- November 6: New Jersey Assembly District 16
- November 6: New Jersey Assembly District 26
- November 6: New Jersey Assembly District 68
- 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
- Duluth News Tribune, "Minnesota officials pledge cooperation to deliver disaster relief," July 12, 2012 (dead link)
- Jamestown Sun, "Minnesota officials eye late-August disaster legislative session," July 11, 2012 (dead link)
- StateScape, Session schedules, accessed July 29, 2012
- American Press, "Leaders call Kleckley recall push a 'grass-roots effort'," June 15, 2012
- The Times Herald, "State Sen. Phil Pavlov recall fails," April 13, 2012
- My FOX Detroit, "Recall language targeting Richardville approved," June 12, 2012
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Recall votes set for May 8 and June 5," March 14, 2012
- Channel 3000, "Wisconsin Democrats counting on recall elections to win state Senate control," May 26, 2012
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wanggaard calls for recount in Senate recall race," June 15, 2012
- The Journal Times, "Wanggaard requests recount, to begin Wednesday," June 15, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, "Recount: Dem wins Wisconsin Senate recall," July 2, 2012
- ABC 7 Chicago, "Wis. GOP lawmaker won't challenge his recall loss," July 10, 2012
- Telegraph Herald, "Wisconsin Democrats to take control of Senate Tuesday," July 16, 2012
- Washington Post, "SC's lieutenant governor resigns amend criminal probe of campaign spending for personal items," Friday March 9, 2012
- Midlands Connect, "Glenn McConnell to serve as SC Lieutenant Governor," March 9, 2012