Five vacancies filled in Tuesday's special elections
By Tyler Millhouse
Three states-- Georgia, Minnesota, and California -- held special elections on February 15, 2011 to fill 5 vacant state legislative seats. Another state, South Carolina, held a special election primary. Three seats were previously held by Republicans, and two by Democrats. Each party retained control of its seats on Tuesday.
- In Georgia's 136th House District, Robert Dickey (R) defeated Judye Sellier (R) and Sharon Howard (D) -- who had withdrawn prior to the race -- in Tuesday's special election. Since Dickey garnered more than 50% of the vote, a runoff was averted. Dickey will fill the seat of the late Tony Sellier (R), husband of Judye Sellier, who died November 30 of congestive heart failure.
- In Georgia's 178th House District, Chad Nimmer (R) defeated four other candidates in the special election. Despite the large field of contenders, Nimmer still earned more than 50% of the vote, avoiding a runoff election. Nimmer will replace Mark Williams (R) who was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.
- In District 5B of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Carly Melin (DFL) defeated Paul Jacobson (R) on Tuesday. She will replace Anthony Sertich (D), who resigned to serve as head of the Iron Range Resource Board.
- In California's 28th Senate District, Ted Lieu (D) defeated a field of seven other contenders, receiving more than 50% of the vote and avoiding a runoff. Lieu will replace the late Senator Jenny Oropeza (D) who died on October 20, 2010. Her name remained on the ballot and she was re-elected in November 2010, creating a vacancy.
- In California's 17th Senate District, Sharon Runner (R) defeated Darren Parker (D) to replace her husband George Runner (R). George Runner resigned to take a position on the Board of Equalization which will assist in the implementation of Proposition 14.
- In South Carolina's 64th House District, Kevin Johnson (D) and Walter Sanders (R) were selected in the special election primary. They will face one another on April 5, 2011.
- State legislative special elections, 2011
- California state legislative special elections, 2011
- Georgia state legislative special elections, 2011
- Minnesota state legislative special elections, 2011
- Macon.com, "Dickey is apparent winner in House 136 race," February 16, 2011
- Florida Times-Union, "Pierce County's Chad Nimmer wins special Georgia House race" February 16, 2011
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Range DFLer wins special election to fill state House seat," February 15, 2011
- LA Times, "Winners avoid runoffs in two special elections for California Senate," February 16, 2011"
- Midlandsconnect.com, "Johnson, Sanders advance to District 64 general election; Greene distant 4th," February 15, 2011