One seat in Wisconsin switches parties as four special elections held on May 3

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May 4, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

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Two states -- Wisconsin and California -- held special elections on Tuesday to fill four state legislative vacancies. In Wisconsin, the vacancies arose as a result of three appointments by Governor Scott Walker to his administration. In California, the vacancy was triggered by an assemblyman's election to the State Senate in the January 4 special election.

All of the seats were previously held by Republicans. So far, 46 state legislative special elections have been held in 2011.

The four special elections from Tuesday are as follows:

Partisan impact

Steve Doyle's District 94 victory is the only race which will affect its state's partisan balance. All other winners replaced members of their own party. Doyle's election may also spell trouble for Dan Kapanke (R) whose District 32 senate seat includes House District 94. Kapanke is currently the subject of a recall campaign. A total of nine Wisconsin senators -- 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats -- have had sufficient signatures filed against them to trigger a recall. Those signatures are in the process of being reviewed by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Wisconsin State House Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 36
     Republican Party 63
Total 99

California State Assembly Partisan Balance

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 52
     Republican Party 28
Total 80

UPDATE: Earlier references in the story to the "upset" victory for Doyle have been removed.

See also


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