2011 Special Elections: Year in Review

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January 4, 2012

SLP elec2011 badge.jpg
2011 State Legislative Special Elections
Special Elections by Date
January 4, 2011January 11, 2011
January 18, 2011January 22, 2011
February 1, 2011February 15, 2011
February 19, 2011February 22, 2011
March 1, 2011March 8, 2011
March 15, 2011April 2, 2011
April 5, 2011April 12, 2011
April 30, 2011May 3, 2011
May 10, 2011May 17, 2011
June 21, 2011June 28, 2011
July 12, 2011July 19, 2011
August 9, 2011August 30, 2011
September 6, 2011September 13, 2011
September 20, 2011September 27, 2011
October 11, 2011November 8, 2011
November 29, 2011December 6, 2011
December 13, 2011December 20, 2011
By Tyler Millhouse

In 2011, 94 special elections were held in 23 states to fill state legislative vacancies. In total, Republicans gained the most seats in 2011, picking up five seats from Democrats and one seat from an independent. However, Democrats managed to mitigate these victories, capturing the seats of four Republicans. One independent, albeit a former Democrat, picked up one seat from her former party.

Democratic vacancies were slightly over-represented in 2011. Of the 94 seats for which special election were held, 48 (51%) belonged to Democrats, 45 to Republicans, and one to an independent. Democrats hold approximately 45% of legislative seats nationwide. Of the 23 states that held special elections, Georgia held the most at 11 and Connecticut trailed right behind with 10.

Ten incumbent state representatives ran for higher office in a 2011 special election. Two of these lost their seats after being defeated--both defeats occurred in states with resign-to-run laws.

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On Tuesday, Dustin Hightower (R) defeated fellow Republican Alan Martinez, bringing the 2011 special election season to a belated close. Hightower and Martinez were both candidates in a runoff for Georgia House District 68 triggered by a December 6 special election.[1]

Breakdown of 2011 special elections

Reason for Vacancy #
Political appointments 34
Election/candidacy to higher office    27
Legislator's passing 14
Legislator's retirement 14
Criminal prosecution 4
General election tie 1

2011 special elections pickups

Republican pickup winners:

  1. Fred Mills, Jr. (R) Louisiana State Senate District 22
  2. Jonathan Perry (R) Louisiana State Senate District 26
  3. Keiko Orrall (R) Massachusetts House District Twelfth Bristol
  4. Len Suzio (R) Connecticut State Senate District 13
  5. Noreen Kokoruda (R) Connecticut House of Representatives, District 101
  6. Peter Durant (R) Massachusetts State House, Sixth Worcester District

Democratic pickup winners:

  1. Jennifer Daler (D) New Hampshire State House, Hillsborough 4
  2. Peter Leishman (D) New Hampshire State House, Hillsborough 3
  3. Robert Perry (D) New Hampshire State House, Strafford 3
  4. Steve Doyle (D) Wisconsin State Assembly District 94

Independent pickup winners:

  1. Tracy McCreery (I) Missouri House of Representatives District 83

See also

Ballotpedia News

References