State Legislative Tracker: Utah candidate facing charges

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July 28, 2014

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes criminal charges filed against a Utah candidate and the impact on the upcoming elections.

Weekly highlight

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

  • Louisiana: The fight between the supporters and opponents of Common Core is heating up in Louisiana. In mid-June, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced that he would remove his state from the Common Core State Standards Initiative and suspend state contracts with businesses that were developing the Common Core tests.[1] Last week, two lawsuits were filed in the state, one by supporters and one by opponents of Common Core.[2] On July 21, 2014, seventeen members of the Louisiana State Legislature filed a lawsuit in Baton Rouge against the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to halt the implementation of Common Core in schools.[3] In response to the lawsuit, Jindal said, "Though we were not involved in the filing of this suit, we support these and other efforts by legislators to ensure the law is followed."[3] One day after the lawsuit, a group of Common Core supporters made up of parents, teachers and the Choice Foundation filed a lawsuit against Jindal over his efforts to block the standards. The group's lawsuit alleges that Jindal does not have constitutional authority to withdraw the state from the standards. The defendants in both lawsuits are dismissive of the claims being made.[4][5]
  • Massachusetts: Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo's career may be in jeopardy following the conviction of former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien on racketeering charges. O'Brien and two former deputies were found to have been involved in directing jobs to DeLeo and seven other legislators, who then issued employee recommendations as a formality, in order to benefit the department. The jobs, which paid $40,000 per year, were given out in 2007 and 2008. Prosecutors sought to directly connect DeLeo to the racket, but did not indict him. DeLeo's predecessor as Speaker, Sal DiMasi, stepped down from his post in January 2009 and was later convicted of political corruption; the prosecution in the O'Brien case suggested that DeLeo traded jobs received from the probation department for votes in his bid for the position.[6] Following the verdict, numerous legislators sought to avoid the press by denying comment or even fleeing the chambers.[7] DeLeo took a more optimistic tone, saying in a statement that the jury had effectively cleared him and other lawmakers of wrongdoing because it ruled that no bribery had occurred.[8] Legislators in Massachusetts are barred from accepting gratuities that pose a conflict of interest.[6]
  • Utah: A 2014 House candidate for District 56 is being charged with aggravated kidnapping and the distribution of a controlled substance after an incident in June.[9] According to the arrest warrant, police were called after Democratic candidate Mark Byrge, Sr. was reported with a gun. Witnesses reported two men -- Byrge and Dayton Wright -- fighting over an unpaid debt. Byrge allegedly hit Wright on the head with a walking cane. Charges also state that "Byrge pulled out a pistol, racked a round into the chamber, hit the victim in the face with the pistol, held it at the victim's head…and he struck victim several times about the head with the pistol repeatedly telling his victim he was going to die."[9] Wright was treated at a hospital for cuts on his face and head.[10] The cause of the dispute is being investigated. Byrge told police that he and Wright were arguing over an outstanding loan, but text messages exchanged between the two indicated that Byrge had sold Wright's girlfriend prescription pain drugs and was demanding payment. Furthermore, police sent a confidential informant to the Byrge's house July 14 to purchase oxycodone, according to a 4th District Court police affidavit. The informant was sold two pills by Byrge, who wore a handgun during the transaction.[9] Byrge was charged in the 4th District Court with three felonies: aggravated kidnapping (first-degree felony), obstructing justice (second-degree felony) and aggravated assault (third-degree felony). Byrge's wife, Tina, is also charge with obstructing justice after she deleted threatening text messages from Byrge's phone, put his gun in a safe and denied any knowledge of it.[9][11] He is being held in the Utah County Jail on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.[10] Additionally, Byrge has pleaded not guilty to a 2012 case of disorderly conduct and failure to appear. From 1991 to 2001, he was convicted or pleaded no contest to a number of infractions including misdemeanor assault, intoxication and interfering with an arrest. Utah law permits a person convicted of a crime to hold an elected office 10 years after conviction.[10] He will remain eligible to run in the November race if he is not convicted.[12] Byrge was unopposed in the Democratic convention and will face incumbent Kay Christofferson (R) in the general election. Byrge has not received any campaign support from the Democratic Party, according to Josh Hogan, chair of Utah County Democratic Party, and spokeswoman Anna Thompson.[11][12]
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Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of July 28, 2014
See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2014 session information.

Currently 3 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state, Ohio, is in Skeleton Session. Skeleton Session typically includes very short nonvoting sessions instead of regular sessions with a full chamber.[13]

The following states have adjourned their 2014 regular session:[14]

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, September 21, 2014
There are 7,383 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,424 (46.4%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,818 (51.7%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 40
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 58
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 1
2014 Session Information
Total Special Elections 32
Total Special Sessions 7

In recess

As of today, July 28, there are six state legislatures currently in recess:[15]

See also: State legislative elections, 2014

A total of 87 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 4, 2014.

The 87 chambers with elections in 2014 are in 46 states. They are:

The Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Carolina senates also typically hold elections in even years. However, senators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2016.

1,097 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2014, and 4,958 of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 6,055 of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 4, 2014.

Primary Information

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines and primary dates are as follows:

Note: Ballot access is a complicated issue. The dates in the table below are primarily for candidates filing for access to the primary. For more detailed information about each state's qualification requirements -- including all relevant ballot access dates for the primary and general election -- click to our detailed pages in the state column.

2014 State Legislative Primary Information
State Filing Deadline Primary Date Days from Deadline to Primary
Alabama Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 116
Alaska Red padlock.png 6/2/2014[16] Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 78
Arizona Red padlock.png 5/28/2014[17] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 90
Arkansas Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[18][19] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
California Red padlock.png 3/7/2014[20][21][22] Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 88
Colorado Red padlock.png 3/31/2014[23][24] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 85
Connecticut Red padlock.png 6/10/2014[25] Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 90
Delaware Red padlock.png 7/8/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 63
Florida Red padlock.png 6/20/2014[26][27] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 67
Georgia Red padlock.png 3/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 74
Hawaii Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[28][29] Red padlock.png 8/9/2014 67
Idaho Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
Illinois Red padlock.png 12/2/2013 Red padlock.png 3/18/2014 106
Indiana Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 88
Iowa Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 81
Kansas Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 65
Kentucky Red padlock.png 1/28/2014[30][31] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 112
Maine Red padlock.png 3/17/2014[32] Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 85
Maryland Red padlock.png 2/25/2014[33] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 119
Massachusetts Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[34] Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 98
Michigan Red padlock.png 4/22/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 105
Minnesota Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 70
Missouri Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 133
Montana Red padlock.png 3/10/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 85
Nebraska Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[30] Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 85
Nevada Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 88
New Hampshire Red padlock.png 6/13/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 88
New Mexico Red padlock.png 2/4/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 119
New York Red padlock.png 7/10/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 61
North Carolina Red padlock.png 2/28/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 67
North Dakota Red padlock.png 4/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 64
Ohio Red padlock.png 2/5/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 90
Oklahoma Red padlock.png 4/11/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 74
Oregon Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Pennsylvania Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Rhode Island Red padlock.png 6/25/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 76
South Carolina Red padlock.png 3/30/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 72
South Dakota Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 70
Tennessee Red padlock.png 4/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/7/2014 126
Texas Red padlock.png 12/9/2013 Red padlock.png 3/4/2014 85
Utah Red padlock.png 3/20/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 96
Vermont Red padlock.png 6/12/2014 Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 75
Washington Red padlock.png 5/17/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 80
West Virginia Red padlock.png 1/25/2014 Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 108
Wisconsin Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 71
Wyoming Red padlock.png 5/30/2014 Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 81


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See also: State legislative special elections, 2014

There are no special elections scheduled this week. The next special election will take place in Texas on August 5.

Texas State Senate District 4

See also: Texas state legislative special elections, 2014

Gordy Bunch (R), Brandon Creighton (R), Michael Galloway (R) and Steve Toth (R) faced off in the special election, which took place on May 10.[35][36] Because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters - Creighton and Toth - advanced to a runoff election on August 5, which Creighton won.[37][38]

The seat was vacant following Tommy Williams's (R) retirement on October 26, 2013.

A special election for the position of Texas State Senate District 4 was called for May 10. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 10, 2014.[39]

Texas State Senate, District 4, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrandon Creighton 67.4% 15,232
     Republican Steve Toth 32.6% 7,373
Total Votes 22,605
August 5 Runoff candidates:
Republican Party Brandon Creighton
Republican Party Steve Toth

Recent election results

July 22, 2014

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Connecticut House of Representatives District 122

See also: Connecticut state legislative special elections, 2014

Ben McGorty (R) defeated Arlene Liscinsky (D) in the special election.[40][41]

The seat was vacant following Lawrence Miller's (R) death.[40]

A special election for the position of Connecticut House of Representatives District 122 has been called for July 22. Candidates were nominated by their party rather than chosen through a primary.[40]

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 122, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen McGorty 75.3% 1,403
     Democratic Arlene Liscinsky 24.7% 459
Total Votes 1,862

Note: Results provided here are unofficial returns.[42]

July 22 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Arlene Liscinsky
Republican Party Ben McGorty Green check mark transparent.png

Links/References

  1. Huffington Post, "Bobby Jindal Announces Huge Common Core Shift In Louisiana," June 19, 2014
  2. Dailycaller.com, "Louisiana Sees Flurry Of Common Core Lawsuits," July 22, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nola.com, "Louisiana legislators file lawsuit to block Common Core," July 21, 2014
  4. Huffington Post, "Bobby Jindal Sued By His Allies Over Common Core," July 22, 2014
  5. Nola.com, "Louisiana Common Core proponents file suit, saying Gov. Bobby Jindal's actions are illegal," July 22, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 CommonWealth, "DeLeo: Jury cleared me of inappropriate conduct," July 24, 2014
  7. Boston Herald, "Pols scurry off Hill after court shocker," July 25, 2014
  8. State House News Service, "Interpretations of probation trial verdict vary on Beacon Hill," July 24, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Desert News, "Utah legislative candidate accused of kidnapping, selling pain medications," July 22, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Cache Valley Daily, "Utah legislative candidate charge with assault," July 23, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Herald Extra, "Utah Legislature candidate charged with kidnapping," July 23, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Westport News, "Utah legislative candidate charge with assault," July 23, 2014
  13. Cleveland.com, "Ohio's 2014 legislative calendar will be crammed with election-year politicking and backroom pleading: Thomas Suddes," December 15, 2013
  14. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  15. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed July 28, 2014
  16. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  18. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013
  19. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  20. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  21. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  22. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  23. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  24. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  27. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named hi
  29. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  31. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  32. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  33. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  34. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  35. Texas Secretary of State, "Official candidate list," accessed March 14, 2014
  36. yourhoustonnews.com, "ELECTION 2014: Senate District 4 race headed for runoff," May 10, 2014
  37. Texas Secretary of State, "Runoff Election Declaration," accessed June 2, 2014
  38. Texas Tribune, "Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race," August 5, 2014
  39. kxan.com, "Special state Senate election date set," November 7, 2013
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Connecticut Post, "Slate set for special state House election," June 15, 2014
  41. CTPost.com, "McGorty wins 122nd District seat," July 22, 2014
  42. Shelton Herald, "UPDATED: State rep special election results by polling place," July 23, 2014

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • August 5: Texas State Senate District 4 (Runoff)
  • August 19: Virginia State Senate District 38
  • August 19: Virginia House of Delegates District 48
  • August 19: Virginia House of Delegates District 90
  • November 4: Louisiana House of Representatives District 97

See also

References

  1. Huffington Post, "Bobby Jindal Announces Huge Common Core Shift In Louisiana," June 19, 2014
  2. Dailycaller.com, "Louisiana Sees Flurry Of Common Core Lawsuits," July 22, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nola.com, "Louisiana legislators file lawsuit to block Common Core," July 21, 2014
  4. Huffington Post, "Bobby Jindal Sued By His Allies Over Common Core," July 22, 2014
  5. Nola.com, "Louisiana Common Core proponents file suit, saying Gov. Bobby Jindal's actions are illegal," July 22, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 CommonWealth, "DeLeo: Jury cleared me of inappropriate conduct," July 24, 2014
  7. Boston Herald, "Pols scurry off Hill after court shocker," July 25, 2014
  8. State House News Service, "Interpretations of probation trial verdict vary on Beacon Hill," July 24, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Desert News, "Utah legislative candidate accused of kidnapping, selling pain medications," July 22, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Cache Valley Daily, "Utah legislative candidate charge with assault," July 23, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Herald Extra, "Utah Legislature candidate charged with kidnapping," July 23, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Westport News, "Utah legislative candidate charge with assault," July 23, 2014
  13. Cleveland.com, "Ohio's 2014 legislative calendar will be crammed with election-year politicking and backroom pleading: Thomas Suddes," December 15, 2013
  14. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  15. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed July 28, 2014
  16. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  18. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013
  19. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  20. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  21. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  22. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  23. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  24. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  27. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named hi
  29. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  31. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  32. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  33. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  34. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  35. Texas Secretary of State, "Official candidate list," accessed March 14, 2014
  36. yourhoustonnews.com, "ELECTION 2014: Senate District 4 race headed for runoff," May 10, 2014
  37. Texas Secretary of State, "Runoff Election Declaration," accessed June 2, 2014
  38. Texas Tribune, "Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race," August 5, 2014
  39. kxan.com, "Special state Senate election date set," November 7, 2013
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Connecticut Post, "Slate set for special state House election," June 15, 2014
  41. CTPost.com, "McGorty wins 122nd District seat," July 22, 2014
  42. Shelton Herald, "UPDATED: State rep special election results by polling place," July 23, 2014