State Legislative Tracker: Massachusetts Senate passes minimum wage increase

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November 25, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes a look at one state's efforts to raise its minimum wage and an update on redistricting.

Weekly highlight

Last week, no state ended its legislative session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Arkansas: A former Democratic member of the Arkansas State Senate will be returning thousands of dollars in illegally spent campaign donations. Paul Bookout resigned from his seat representing District 21 on August 20, 2013, after a report by the Arkansas Ethics Commission concluded that the former President Pro Tempore used his re-election campaign funds on personal purchases. According to the report, Bookout violated four Arkansas campaign finance laws when he transferred $18,000 from his campaign fund into his personal bank account. Bookout reportedly spent $5,043 on women’s clothing and accessories, $8,402 on home theater equipment and installation and $1,305 on golf equipment. In a recent interview with media sources, Bookout’s attorney, Bill Stanley, confirmed that the former lawmaker would be returning an undisclosed amount of money to donors who made contributions to his campaign. Bookout had previously stated that he would reimburse his campaign $49,000 and re-pay donors in excess of the commission’s findings. According to a letter written by Commissioner Attorney Todd Elder, Bookout described his bookkeeping as "too casual." A special prosecutor has been appointed to the case to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. A special election to fill Bookout’s seat is set for January 14, 2014.[1][2][3]
  • Colorado: The argument of whether the ownership of guns results in more safety or more death still rages in Colorado. On November 18, members of Colorado Ceasefire, a pro-gun control organization, gathered at the State Capitol to "send a message to those opposed to gun control measures." Many of those who gathered were surviving family members of victims in the Aurora Theater shooting, wishing to see more gun laws implemented. A survey released November 19 reports that Colorado voters opposed the idea of new stricter gun control, but support specific gun control laws. While 85 percent of residents in Colorado support requiring background checks for gun buyers, 55 percent are against "stricter new gun-control laws." However, Senate President John Morse (D) and state Senator Angela Giron (D) were recalled in special elections earlier this year after supporting "modest new gun laws." Recall efforts against Senator Evie Hudak (D) have also been affected by her support of the gun control legislation. The gun control bills that have been approved this past year were "painted as extreme measures that would curtail basic rights," but President of Colorado Ceasefire, Eileen McCarron, stated that "Not one law abiding citizen will lose their gun due to these [new] laws." The new gun restrictions include requiring background checks for any gun ownership transfer, and gun buyers, rather than taxpayers, are responsible for the five dollar background check fee. The sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than fifteen bullets, like the ones used in the Aurora and Sandy Hook killings last year, has been banned with the new regulations. Permit licenses for concealed carry now must be done in person rather than online, and judges are allowed to remove guns from the possession of those suspected of domestic violence.[4][5][6][7][8][9]
  • Massachusetts: The Massachusetts State Senate has passed a bill ultimately increasing the state's minimum wage to $11 per hour. Senate Bill 1925, emerging from the Ways and Means Committee and passed by a vote of 32-7 last Tuesday, would increase the minimum wage from $8 to $9 on July 1, 2014; to $10 in 2015; then to $11 in 2016. Further increases would be indexed to inflation each year following 2016. Under an amendment, employees paid in tips would see their minimum wage increased to one-half of the minimum wage. The minimum wage would also be guaranteed to be at least 50 cents higher than the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25. Supporters, including Sens. Daniel Wolf (D) and Mark Montigny (D), say the change is necessary because lower and middle-class workers are not paid enough to maintain economic independence. Wolf said that he does not believe that companies will leave the state in response to an increase. The Senate vote was largely along party lines; joining four Democrats in opposition were the chamber's three Republicans (the fourth Republican, Donald F. Humason, Jr., was sworn in to the chamber the day after the vote). Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R) said that he agrees with raising the minimum wage, but that raising it too high as well as failing to reform the state's health and unemployment would have negative effects. Amendments to change the increase to $9, lower the minimum wage for minors and remove the requirement to tie future increases to inflation all failed. The bill had originally called for an increase on January 1, but with the end of the legislative session approaching, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will not take up the bill until next year. House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D) expressed skepticism, saying an increase would have to be tied to a restructuring of state unemployment insurance before his chamber could consider the bill. Senate President Therese Murray said the wage increase came first, but that she would address unemployment insurance in January. Raise Up Massachusetts, a group spearheaded by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D) and Edward Markey (D), said last Monday that it had obtained enough signatures to have a similar increase put on the 2014 ballot.[10][11][12][13][14][15]
  • Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed a $2.3 billion transportation package that go towards repairing the state's transportation infrastructure. The senate passed the bill with a vote of 43-7, and the house with a vote of 113-85. The bill failed to pass twice in the House before it was finally approved Thursday night. Sharon Ward, executive director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, said that the package is "critical for the state's economy... creating jobs in the short term and improving economic performance down the road." The $2.3 billion in additional funding for transportation will come in the form of increases in gasoline taxes and registration, licensing and other motorist fees. By 2017, Pennsylvania motorists will pay an additional 28 cents more for each gallon of gasoline because of the new legislation. The additional funds raised annually would allow the state to increase its current transportation budget by 40%. Eric Bugaile, executive director of the House Transportation Committee, estimates that the transportation package will cost the average Pennsylvania motorist $2.50 a week when the added fees are factored in. Parts of the bill will go into effect January 1, with other changes being phased in over the next five years. Gov. Tom Corbett (R), a major supporter of the bill, is expected to sign the legislation immediately.[16][17][18][19]
[edit]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of November 25, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently four out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session.

As of April 8, all states states have convened their 2013 legislative sessions.[20]

The following states have ended their regular session:[21]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, July 13, 2014
There are 7,387 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,448 (46.7%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,814 (51.6%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 40
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 2
2013 Session Information
Total Special Elections 78
Total Special Sessions 23

In recess

As of today, November 25, there are 2 state legislatures currently in recess:[22]

Redistricting Roundup.jpg

State news

Redistricting Facts
Maps submitted for vote: 142 out of 142 (100%)** All maps voted on
States that have completed Congressional Maps 43/43 (Maps ordered redrawn:
States that have completed State Legislative Maps 49/50 (Maps unfinished: ME)
**With 50 states, there are 142 possible maps. 50 State Senate, 49 State House (No House in Nebraska), and 43 Congressional (7 states have 1 seat)
See also: Status of redistricting maps after the 2010 census

While the great majority of states have completed their redistricting following the 2010 census, the issue still remains for a handful of states. Maine is not required to have its maps completed before 2014. Although the Texas State Legislature passed a plan, it is currently under dispute. Judges have approved its use for the 2014 elections, however.

Alaska

See also: Redistricting in Alaska

Last week, the Alaska Superior Court threw out to challenges to the latest redistricting map proposed by the Alaska Redistricting Board and said that 2014 elections may proceed with those maps. In his decision, Michael McConahy wrote that the board did not have to come up with the best possible map, but rather one that was reasonable and complied with the state constitution. He also denied that any gerrymandering had taken place. State Democratic Party officials and two other individuals who brought lawsuits against the plan still have not announced whether or not they will appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court.[23]

Montana

See also: Redistricting in Montana

More than two dozen residents have filed suit against the state to block the redistricting plan they say was changed to benefit benefit a state senator. They are objecting to the holdover senator assigned to their district by the redistricting panel. The panel assigned Brad Hamlett (D) to represent Senate District 15 until 2016, even though he lives outside its boundaries.[24]

See also: State legislative elections, 2013

A total of 3 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 5, 2013.

The 3 chambers with elections in 2013 are in 2 states. They are:

Louisiana and Mississippi also typically hold elections in odd years. However, legislators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2015.

40 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2013, and 180 of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 220 of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 5, 2013.

Signature filing deadlines

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2013 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines were as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • April 1, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 4, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 100 voters in the legislative district. Candidates are required to disclose any criminal convictions.[25]

  • Virginia:
  • March 28, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 11, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 125 qualified voters in the legislative district. Major party candidates are required to submit a primary filing fee equal to 2% of the annual salary for the office sought in effect in the year in which the candidate files. In 2013, the primary filing fee was $352.80.[26]

Primaries

The state primaries were as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • June 4, 2013
  • Virginia:
  • June 11, 2013

Results

New Jersey had a quiet election, with all competing incumbents winning their primaries.

There were only three hotly contested races, all in the Senate, but none resulted in the ousting of an incumbent:[27]

Republican PartyDistrict 13: Incumbent Joe Kyrillos, Jr. defeated challenger Leigh-Ann Bellew.
Democratic PartyDistrict 20: Incumbent Raymond Lesniak defeated challenger Donna Obe.
Democratic PartyDistrict 34: Incumbent Nia H. Gill defeated challengers Mark C. Alexander and Vernon Pullins, Jr..

Virginia experienced two upsets in an otherwise quiet day of primaries for the House of Delegates. Voter turnout was expected to fall below 5 percent based on projections at polling locations.[28]

Virginia's legislative primaries yielded a pair of defeats for incumbent legislators. The defeated incumbents were supporters of a recently passed transportation bill that increases sales and gas taxes to improve roadways.[29][30] The successful challengers lodged primary challenges in part to protest the bill's passage, which they called the biggest tax increase in the state's history.[31]

Republican Party Mark J. Berg defeated Beverly Sherwood in District 29.
Republican Party Dave A. LaRock defeated Joe T. May in District 33.

Five incumbents were able to fend off primary challenges in the June 11 primaries:

Republican Party C. Todd Gilbert defeated Mark W. Prince in District 15.
Republican Party Bill Howell defeated Craig E. Ennis in District 28.
Republican Party Bobby Orrock defeated Dustin R. Curtis in District 54.
Democratic Party Roz Dance defeated Evandra D. Thompson in District 63.
Democratic Party Algie Howell defeated Richard James in District 90.

General election

New Jersey

Democratic activists expressed concern that Governor Chris Christie's "coattails" would lead to a Republican state legislature and allow him to successfully promote a conservative agenda ahead of a presidential run in 2016. The Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security super PAC won a legal battle allowing it to spend unlimited amounts on state legislative campaigns in New Jersey. It was founded to prevent Christie's popularity from creating Republican majorities in New Jersey's 2013 elections. The super PAC's president is Susan McCue, who was dubbed by POLITICO as one of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "closest confidantes," is the organization's president.[32]

New Jersey State Senate
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 24 24
     Republican Party 16 16
Total 40 40
New Jersey General Assembly
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 48 48
     Republican Party 32 32
Total 80 80

Democrats were able to stop any strong gains by Republican candidates in the 2013 election. There were no changes to the partisan balance of the State Senate. Republicans in General Assembly were able to pick up two seats from the Democratic majority. In the Senate, every incumbent who ran in 2013 won re-election. Two Democratic incumbents from the General Assembly were defeated on November 5, 2013.

The following are a few races that turned up extremely close under unofficial election results.

Senate District 14
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Linda R. Greenstein Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Peter A. Inverso
Libertarian Party Don Dezarn

Note: Unofficial results put Greenstein ahead of Inverso by a margin of 30,999 to 29,759 votes. Dezarn obtained 1,001 according to unofficial results.[33]

Senate District 38
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:
  • Bob Gordon Approveda - Incumbent Gordon first assumed office in 2008.
Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Bob Gordon Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Fernando A. Alonso

Note: Unofficial results put Gordon ahead of Alonso by a margin of 26,168 to 24,579 votes.[33]

Assembly District 38
Democratic Party June 4 Democratic primary:

Note: Assemblywoman Connie Terranova Wagner (D) withdrew from election on June 11, citing family reasons.[34]

Republican Party June 4 Republican primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Timothy J. Eustace
Democratic Party Joseph Lagana Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Joan Fragala
Republican Party Joseph J. Scarpa Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Scarpa ahead of Eustace by a margin of 24,716 to 24,545 votes. Lagana obtained 24,838 according to unofficial results.[33]

Virginia

In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, the Democrats were looking to make inroads into the Republican majorities built up during the 2009 and 2011 state legislative elections. Democratic candidates needed to win a net of 19 seats from Republican officeholders or the Republican candidates seeking to succeed them. In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, all 100 seats were up for election.


Virginia House of Delegates
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 32 33
     Republican Party 65 67
     Independent 1 0
     Vacancy 2 0
Total 100 100


Republican majorities ultimately held strong, with Democrats gaining one seat and Republicans bolstering their majority by an additional two seats. Two seats were previously vacant and one seat, previously held by independent Lacey Putney, was won by a Republican candidate. The following are some interesting elections and races that turned up extremely close under unofficial election results.

District 2
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Michael Futrell Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Mark Dudenhefer

Note: Unofficial results put Futrell ahead of Dudenhefer by a margin of 8,183 to 7,960 votes.[35]

District 31
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jeremy McPike
Republican Party Scott Lingamfelter Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Lingamfelter ahead of McPike by a margin of 11,506 to 11,272 votes.[35]

District 86
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:
  • Tom Rust Approveda - Incumbent Rust first assumed office in 2002.

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jennifer B. Boysko
Republican Party Tom Rust Green check mark transparent.png

Note: Unofficial results put Rust ahead of Boysko by a margin of 10,383 to 10,327 votes.[35]

District 93
Democratic Party June 11 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 11 GOP primary:

November 5 General election candidates:

Democratic Party T. Monty Mason Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Michael Watson

Note: Unofficial results put Mason ahead of Watson by a margin of 12,138 to 11,102 votes.[35]

SLP badge.png
See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

There are two special elections scheduled this week in Mississippi.

Mississippi House of Representatives District 5

Rep. Kelvin Buck (D) was elected Mayor of Holly Springs, MS. A special election has been called for November 5, with a runoff if necessary on November 26. Candidates had until October 7 to file certified nomination papers. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[36][37][38]

November 26 Runoff candidates:
Independent Andre R. DeBerry
Independent John Gary Faulkner

Mississippi House of Representatives District 110

Rep. Billy Broomfield (D) was elected Mayor of Moss Point, MS. A special election was called for November 5, with a runoff if necessary on November 26. Candidates had until October 7 to file certified nomination papers. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[39][40][41]

November 26 Runoff candidates:
Independent Jeramey Anderson
Independent Aneice R. Liddell

Recent election results

November 19, 2013

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgRunoffArrow.jpgCalifornia State Assembly District 45
Rep. Bob Blumenfield (D) resigned on July 1 after winning election to the Los Angeles City Council. A blanket primary took place on September 17 and because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff took place on November 19.[42][43][44][45][46]

November 19 Runoff candidates:
Democratic Party Matt Dababaneh Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Susan Shelley

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgIowa State Senate District 13
Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) resigned on October 2 after allegations of violating ethics rules. A special election has been called for November 19. Democrats caucused to select their nominee on October 21, while Republicans selected theirs on October 17.[47][48][49][50][51]

November 19 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Mark Davitt
Republican Party Julian B. Garrett Green check mark transparent.png

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgWisconsin State Assembly District 21
Rep. Mark Honadel (R) resigned on September 16, 2013, to take a job in the private sector. A special election has been called for November 19, with a primary on October 22 if necessary. Candidates had until September 24 to file certified nomination papers.[52][53][54][55]

November 19 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Elizabeth Coppola
Republican Party Jessie Rodriguez Green check mark transparent.png

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgWisconsin State Assembly District 69
Rep. Scott Suder (R) resigned on September 2, 2013, to take a job as an administrator with the state Public Service Commission. A special election has been called for November 19, with a primary on October 22 if necessary. Candidates had until September 24 to file certified nomination papers.[56][57][58][59]

November 19 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Kenneth A. Slezak
Republican Party Bob Kulp Green check mark transparent.png
Independent Tim Swiggum (Putting People Ahead of Politics)
November 21, 2013

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgTennessee House of Representatives District 91
Rep. Lois DeBerry (D) passed away on July 28, 2013, from pancreatic cancer. A special election was called for November 21, with a primary on October 8 if necessary. Candidates had until August 29 to file certified nomination papers.[60][61][62][63][64]

November 21 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Raumesh Akbari Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Jim Tomasik

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • December 3: Alabama House of Representatives District 74
  • December 3: California State Assembly District 54
  • December 3: Georgia State Senate District 14 (Runoff)
  • December 3: Georgia House of Representatives District 104 (Runoff)
  • December 3: Georgia House of Representatives District 127 (Runoff)
  • December 10: Kentucky State Senate District 13
  • December 10: Kentucky House of Representatives District 7
  • December 17: New Hampshire House of Representatives Sixth Strafford District

See also

References

  1. thenewstribune.com, "Arkansas lawmaker steps down from Senate seat," August 20, 2013
  2. "Baxter Bulletin," "Attorney: Ex-senator Bookout to return donations," accessed November 19, 2013
  3. “Arkansas Bulletin”, “Update: Report details spending by Paul Bookout”, Accessed November 21, 2013
  4. Colorado Ceasefire, Mission Statement, accessed November 22, 2013
  5. The Denver Post, "Poll: Coloradans mixed on stricter gun control, split on Hickenlooper," November 19, 2013
  6. Aurora Sentinel, "Perry: Why Colorado Hates Gun Control And Loves The Idea of Controlling Guns," November 20, 2013
  7. The Huffington Post, "Colorado Voters Oppose 'Control', But Support Specific Gun Control Laws: Quinnipiac," November 20, 2013
  8. The Gazette, "Gun-law supporters rally at Colorado Capitol to say 'we aren't backing down,'" November 19, 2013
  9. The Colorado Independent, "Shooting victims line up to protect new Colorado gun laws," November 19, 2013
  10. State House News Service, "Senate sends $11-per-hour minimum wage bill to House," November 20, 2013
  11. Telegram & Gazette, "Mass. Senate passes minimum wage hike," November 20, 2013
  12. The Republican, "Massachusetts Senate overwhelmingly approves minimum wage increase to $11 an hour," November 19-20, 2013
  13. The Republican, "Westfield Republican Donald Humason sworn in to the Massachusetts State Senate," Novmeber 20, 2013
  14. Boston Globe, "DeLeo wary of minimum wage hike for Mass." November 20, 2013
  15. The Republican, "Raise Up Massachusetts says it has enough signatures to move forward ballot questions raising minimum wage, ensuring paid sick time," November 18, 2013
  16. www.triblive.com, "Pa. transportation bill passes Senate, will get one more House vote," accessed November 21, 2013
  17. www.reuters.com, "Pennsylvania governor scores rare win with transportation bill," accessed November 21, 2013
  18. www.businessweek.com, "Pa. Senate approves $2.3B transportation bill," accessed November 21, 2013
  19. www.mcall.com, "House passes $2.4 billion transportation bill," accessed November 21, 2013
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  21. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed November 25, 2013
  22. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed November 18, 2013
  23. adn.com, "Judge discards challenges to Alaska redistricting plan," November 19, 2013
  24. missoulian.com, "Lawyer: Redistricting move in central Montana benefited 1 senator," November 8, 2013
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  27. NJ.com, "Polls close in 2013 N.J. primary elections as votes are tallied," June 4, 2013
  28. Washington Post, "Voter turnout sparse for down-ticket races in Virginia," June 11, 2013
  29. CBS DC, "Virginia Primary Results Roll In," June 11, 2013
  30. Fredericksburg.com, "Howell’s transportation PAC helping candidates," June 7, 2013
  31. WRIC, "Virginia Primary Round Up," June 11, 2013
  32. POLITICO, "Democrats eye super PACs for state races," September 22, 2013
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Associated Press, "New Jersey - Summary Vote Results," November 6, 2013
  34. nj.com, "N.J. Assemblywoman in crucial district drops bid for re-election," June 11, 2013
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Virginia Board of Elections, "Unofficial Results - General Election," accessed November 5, 2013
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  37. sos.ms.gov, "Official candidate list," accessed October 8, 2013
  38. tribtown.com, "Runoffs for 2 Mississippi House seats; Deaton wins Vicksburg-based House post," November 6, 2013
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  40. sos.ms.gov, "Official candidate list," accessed October 8, 2013
  41. blog.gulflive.com, "Jeramey Anderson, 21, in runoff with former mayor Aneice Liddell for House 110 seat," November 5, 2013
  42. scpr.org, "Special elections set for Asssembly, Senate seats are costly, draw few voters," July 4, 2013
  43. sos.ca.gov, "AD 45 Special Primary Election - Official Certified List of Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
  44. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sep17
  45. losangeles.cbslocal.com, "Assembly Special Election Goes Down To Wire Between Democrat Matt Dababneh, GOP’s Susan Shelley," November 19, 2013
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  49. desmoinesregister.com, "Davitt to represent Democrats in Iowa Senate District 13 race," October 21, 2013
  50. Iowa Secretary of State - Official Candidate List
  51. kwwl.com, "Republican wins election for state Senate seat," November 19, 2013
  52. wrn.com, "Special election called for 21st Assembly District," September 18, 2013
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  54. wuwm.com, "Fields Finalized For Special Elections," October 23, 2013
  55. nationalreview.com, "Hispanic Republican Woman Elected to Wisconsin Legislature Special Elections Show Surprising GOP Strength," November 20, 2013
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  57. "Official candidate list," accessed September 25, 2013
  58. wuwm.com, "Fields Finalized For Special Elections," October 23, 2013
  59. nationalreview.com, "Hispanic Republican Woman Elected to Wisconsin Legislature Special Elections Show Surprising GOP Strength," November 20, 2013
  60. memphisdailynews.com, "Political Season Heats Up With District 91 Deadline," August 28, 2013
  61. memphisdailynews.com, "11 File For State House District 91 Special Election," August 30, 2013
  62. shelbyvote.com, "Certified Candidate List," accessed September 6, 2013
  63. memphisdailynews.com, "Akbari Wins Democratic State House Primary," October 9, 2013
  64. memphisdailynews.com, "'No' Pre-K Votes and Akbari Take Early Voting," November 22, 2013