State Legislative Tracker: Legislators who ran for multiple offices force special elections

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November 26, 2012

Edited by Greg Janetka
This week's tracker features a look at special elections stemming out of the November 6 general election and a partisan count update.

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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:

State Senators

  • 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

State Representatives

  • 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:

  • 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.[7]
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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 non-partisan.

The totals represent a loss of six Republican legislators from the October 15 Tracker.


Representation in 50 State Legislatures
Party Number of Percentage
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%
Vacancies 33 0.44%

State Senates

The partisan composition of state senates refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in the state senate. Altogether, in the 50 state senates, there are 1,971 state senators.

As of November 26, 2012, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:

See also: Partisan composition of state houses

Cumulative numbers

As of November 26, 2012, 1,899 state senators are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state senators 871 44.2%
Republican state senators 1,028 52.1%
Non-partisan state senators 49 2.49%
Independent state senators 4 0.2%
Third Party state senators 2 0.10%
Vacancies 10 0.50%

Vacancies

There are 10 state senate vacancies in 8 states as of November 26, 2012.

State Vacancies
California 1
Iowa 1
Kentucky 2
Massachusetts 1
Mississippi 1
Montana 1
Nevada 2
Wisconsin 1

Independents

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:

State Independents/Third Party
Alabama 1 (Independent)
Kentucky 1 (Independent)
Maine 1 (Independent)
Rhode Island 1 (Independent)
Vermont 2 (Vermont Progressive Party)

State Houses

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:

  • Democratic Party 17 chambers
  • Republican Party 31 chambers
  • Purple.png 1 chamber (Oregon)

Cumulative numbers

As of November 26, 2012, 5,352 state representatives are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
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%
Vacancies 25 0.46%

Vacancies

There are 25 state house vacancies in 19 different states as of November 26, 2012. They are as follows:

State Vacancies
Alabama 1
Arkansas 1
Florida 1
Georgia 2
Hawaii 1
Iowa 1
Kentucky 1
Maine 2
Minnesota 1
Mississippi 1
New Hampshire 2
New York 1
North Carolina 1
Oklahoma 2
Pennsylvania 3
Texas 1
Vermont 1
Virginia 1
Wisconsin 1

Independents

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:


State Independents/Third Party
Arizona 1 (Independent)
Georgia 1 (Independent)
Louisiana 2 (Independent)
Maine 4 (3 non-voting Native American representatives, 1 Independent)
Missouri 4 (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)
Virginia 1 (Independent)
Wisconsin 1 (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.

Current sessions capture for the week of November 26, 2012

Regular sessions

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions and Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
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.[8]

Special sessions

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 non-partisan 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.

In recess

As of today, November 26, 6 state's sessions are currently in recess:

  • California - In recess from September 1, 2012 to November 29, 2012.[9]
  • Illinois - In recess from August 17, 2012 to November 27, 2012.[10]
  • Michigan - In recess November 9, 2012 to November 27, 2012.[9]
  • New York - In recess from June 22, 2012 to December 3, 2012.[9]
  • Pennsylvania - In recess until November 30, 2012.[9]
  • Wisconsin - In recess from March 17 to December 31, 2012.[9]


See also: State legislative special elections, 2012 and State legislative special elections, 2013

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.

Mississippi Senate District 19

Merle Flowers (R) resigned on May 24, 2012 in order to spend more time with his family.[11] Gov. Phil Bryant scheduled a special election for November 6, with the qualifying deadline on October 8.[12] Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan. Since no candidate received a majority, a runoff will take place on November 27 between Parker and Nelson.[13][14]

Independent General election candidates:
Independent November 27 runoff candidates:

Mississippi House of Representatives District 52

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.[15][16] Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan. Since no candidate received a majority, a runoff will take place between Kinkade and Bryan on November 27.[17]

Independent General election candidates:
Independent November 27 runoff candidates:

Looking ahead

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

See also

References

  1. Champion Newspapers, "Three declare plans to seek vacated State Senate seat," November 20, 2012
  2. Imperial Valley Press, "Special election will fill seat vacated by Vargas," November 14, 2012
  3. San Francisco Chronicle, "Special election needed to fill state senate seat," November 9, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 WITF, "Awaiting special elections announcement for two House seats," November 25, 2012
  5. The Travelers Rest Tribune, "Upstate businessman to run for recently vacated S.C. House District 17 seat," November 14, 2012
  6. Taylors-Wade Hampton Patch, "Businessman Announces Bid For Vacated S.C. House Seat," November 15, 2012
  7. The Republic, "Alvarado, Garcia, Bray vying to replace deceased Gallegos in Texas Senate special election," November 12, 2012
  8. StateNet, "Daily Session Summary," accessed November 26, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 StateScape, Session schedules, accessed November 26, 2012
  10. Illinois General Assembly, "Session schedule," accessed November 26, 2012
  11. The Commercial Appeal "DeSoto County legislator Merle Flowers resigning," May 24, 2012
  12. Clarion Ledger, "Mississippi governor sets special election for District 19 state Senate seat," July 16, 2012
  13. The Republic, "Candidates for Miss. House and Senate special elections will run under old district lines," October 9, 2012
  14. San Francisco Chronicle, "Runoff ahead in Mississippi Senate District 19," November 7, 2012
  15. Mississippi House of Representatives, "Tommy L. Woods," accessed October 3, 2012
  16. Mississippi Governor's Office, "GOV. BRYANT SETS DATE FOR DESOTO COUNTY HOUSE ELECTION," August 7, 2012
  17. San Francisco Chronicle, "Runoff in Miss. House special election," November 7, 2012