State Legislative Tracker: Legislators who ran for multiple offices force special elections
A number state legislators whose seats were for election on November 6, 2012, chose to run for another office. While many of these incumbents who ran for other offices did so due to term limits or with their current term expiring, others did so in the middle of their term and a handful ran for re-election to both their current office as well as a new office. Owing to this, a number of special elections will have to take place next year in order to fill these seats. Ballotpedia counted the following totals for state legislators who ran for a different office in 2012:
- 4 state senators ran for U.S. Senate
- 28 state senators ran for U.S. House
- 19 state senators ran for state executive positions
- 11 state senators ran for state House
- 2 state senators ran for other positions
- 3 state representatives ran for U.S. Senate
- 47 state representatives ran for U.S. House
- 23 state representatives ran for state executive positions
- 226 state representatives ran for state Senate
- 2 state representatives ran for other positions.
Currently one special election stemming from these circumstances has been scheduled, while at least six more will be necessary but have not yet been scheduled. These are as follows:
- California State Senate District 32: Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) was elected to the 35th Congressional District of California on November 6, 2012. Once she is sworn into the new position a special election will be held to fill the vacancy.
- California State Senate District 40: Juan Vargas (D) was elected to the 51st Congressional District of California on November 6, 2012. Once he is sworn into the new position a special election will be held to fill the vacancy.
- Michigan State Senate District 27: John Gleason (D) was elected as Genesee County Clerk on November 6, 2012, and is expected to resign from his seat in the Michigan State Senate around January 1, 2013. After that happens, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will have to call a special election.
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 42: Matthew Smith (D) was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate on November 6, 2012, and will resign from his seat in the House after the end of the legislative session on November 30, 2012. After that happens, the House Majority Leader will have to call a special election.
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 95: Eugene DePasquale (D) was elected as Pennsylvania Auditor on November 6, 2012, and will resign from his seat in the House when he is sworn-in in January 2013. After that happens, the Speaker of the House will have to call a special election.
- South Carolina House of Representatives District 17: Tom Corbin (R) resigned his District 17 seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives on November 12, 2012, after he won election to both the House and the state Senate on November 6. The special election has been scheduled for March 12, 2013.
- Texas State Senate District 6: Mario Gallegos (D) died of liver failure in October 2012. However, he was running for re-election and his name remained on the ballot. He was re-elected on November 6, 2012, triggering a special election to fill the seat. A date has yet to be set.
As of today, November 26, 2012, the following figures represent the cumulative partisan breakdown of the 50 state senates and 49 state houses. In the 50 states, Republicans currently control 53.5% of all seats while Democrats hold 44.7%. All told, Republicans control 59 chambers while Democrats are the majority in 36 chambers. Three chambers are tied, while one is nonpartisan.
The totals represent a loss of six Republican legislators from the October 15 Tracker.
|Representation in 50 State Legislatures|
|Democratic state legislators||3,301||44.7%|
|Republican state legislators||3,950||53.3%|
|Independent state legislators||71||0.96%|
|Third party (and non-voting) legislators||12||0.16%|
As of November 26, 2012, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
As of November 26, 2012, 1,899 state senators are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.
|Democratic state senators||871||44.2%|
|Republican state senators||1,028||52.1%|
|Nonpartisan state senators||49||2.49%|
|Independent state senators||4||0.2%|
|Third Party state senators||2||0.10%|
There are 10 state senate vacancies in 8 states as of November 26, 2012.
There are 6 state senators in 5 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Representative as of November 26, 2012. They are as follows:
|Rhode Island||1 (Independent)|
|Vermont||2 (Vermont Progressive Party)|
The partisan composition of state houses refers to which party holds the majority of seats in the state house or the lower level of each state legislature. Altogether, in the 49 state houses, there are 5,413 state representatives.
As of November 26, 2012, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:
- 17 chambers
- 31 chambers
- 1 chamber (Oregon)
As of November 26, 2012, 5,352 state representatives are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.
|Democratic state representatives||2,430||44.9%|
|Republican state representatives||2,922||54%|
|Independent state representatives||18||0.33%|
|Third party (and non-voting) representatives||10||0.18%|
There are 25 state house vacancies in 19 different states as of November 26, 2012. They are as follows:
There are 28 state representatives in 13 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Representative as of November 26, 2012. They are as follows:
|Maine||4 (3 non-voting Native American representatives, 1 Independent)|
|New Hampshire||2 (Independent)|
|New Mexico||1 (Independent)|
|New York||1 (Independence Party of New York)|
|South Dakota||1 (Independent)|
|Tennessee||1 (Carter County Republican)|
|Vermont||8 (5 Vermont Progressive Party, 3 Independent)|
This week 3 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting - New Jersey and Ohio are meeting in regular session, while Massachusetts is meeting in informal session, which it will continue to do throughout the rest of the year.
Forty states have adjourned for the year, while four states - Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas - were not scheduled to hold regular sessions in 2012. The first 2013 session is scheduled to begin on December 3 in California.
- Click here to see a chart of each state's 2012 session information.
Although most states have concluded 2012 business, some states have already begun 2013 action. Drafting for 2013 has begun in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming, while prefiling of legislation is going on in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas.
| Snapshot of State Legislatures: |
Monday, November 26, 2012
|There are 7,383 Total State Legislators|
|Total Democratic state legislators||3,301 (44.7%)|
|Total Republican state legislators||3,950 (53.5%)|
|There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers|
|Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers||36|
|Total Republican Party-controlled chambers||59|
|Total tied or nonpartisan chambers||4|
|2012 Session Information|
|Total Special Elections||39|
|Total Special Sessions||20|
In 2011, special sessions were a widespread occurrence in state legislatures. This was largely due to states' having to complete the redistricting process for legislative and congressional districts. Overall in 2011, there were 45 special sessions in 28 states.
During 2012, there have been 20 special sessions in 16 states. There are no special sessions currently scheduled.
As of today, November 26, 6 state's sessions are currently in recess:
- California - In recess from September 1, 2012 to November 29, 2012.
- Illinois - In recess from August 17, 2012 to November 27, 2012.
- Michigan - In recess November 9, 2012 to November 27, 2012.
- New York - In recess from June 22, 2012 to December 3, 2012.
- Pennsylvania - In recess until November 30, 2012.
- Wisconsin - In recess from March 17 to December 31, 2012.
So far in 2012 there have been 39 special elections in 16 states.
There are two special election runoffs scheduled to take place in Mississippi this week.
Merle Flowers (R) resigned on May 24, 2012 in order to spend more time with his family. Gov. Phil Bryant scheduled a special election for November 6, with the qualifying deadline on October 8. Special elections in Mississippi are nonpartisan. Since no candidate received a majority, a runoff will take place on November 27 between Parker and Nelson.
Tommy L. Woods (R) resigned his seat in the House on July 30, 2012. Gov. Phil Bryant scheduled a special election for November 6, with the qualifying deadline on October 8. Special elections in Mississippi are nonpartisan. Since no candidate received a majority, a runoff will take place between Kinkade and Bryan on November 27.
Upcoming special elections include:
- November 27: Mississippi State Senate District 19 and House District 52 (Runoffs)
- December 4: Wisconsin State Senate District 33
- December 11: Alabama House of Representatives Districts 30, 34
- December 11: Iowa State Senate District 22
- December 18: Kentucky State Senate District 16
- December 18: Virginia House of Delegates District 89
- January 8, 2013: California State Senate District 4
- January 8, 2013: Georgia State Senate District 30
- March 12, 2013: South Carolina House of Representatives District 17
- April 6, 2013: Louisiana House of Representatives District 65
- State legislative elections, 2012
- State legislative election results, 2012
- 2012 state legislative calendar
- Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections
- State legislative special elections, 2012
- State legislative recalls
- Champion Newspapers, "Three declare plans to seek vacated State Senate seat," November 20, 2012
- Imperial Valley Press, "Special election will fill seat vacated by Vargas," November 14, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Special election needed to fill state senate seat," November 9, 2012
- WITF, "Awaiting special elections announcement for two House seats," November 25, 2012
- The Travelers Rest Tribune, "Upstate businessman to run for recently vacated S.C. House District 17 seat," November 14, 2012 (dead link)
- Taylors-Wade Hampton Patch, "Businessman Announces Bid For Vacated S.C. House Seat," November 15, 2012
- The Republic, "Alvarado, Garcia, Bray vying to replace deceased Gallegos in Texas Senate special election," November 12, 2012
- StateNet, "Daily Session Summary," accessed November 26, 2012
- StateScape, Session schedules, accessed November 26, 2012
- Illinois General Assembly, "Session schedule," accessed November 26, 2012
- The Commercial Appeal, "DeSoto County legislator Merle Flowers resigning," May 24, 2012
- Clarion Ledger, "Mississippi governor sets special election for District 19 state Senate seat," July 16, 2012
- The Republic, "Candidates for Miss. House and Senate special elections will run under old district lines," October 9, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Runoff ahead in Mississippi Senate District 19," November 7, 2012
- Mississippi House of Representatives, "Tommy L. Woods," accessed October 3, 2012
- Mississippi Governor's Office, "GOV. BRYANT SETS DATE FOR DESOTO COUNTY HOUSE ELECTION," August 7, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Runoff in Miss. House special election," November 7, 2012