Election News

House Special Election Calendar

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a special election proclamation for the vacancy in TX-34. As a result, we now have election dates for each open U.S. House seat.

Democrats currently hold a 221-209 edge over Republicans. There are five vacancies.

These special elections will all use the existing district boundaries (prior to redistricting). Table is ordered by the date of the first election in each district.

District Party* Primary General Notes
CA-22 R April 5 June 7 All party primary; if one candidate gets a majority, they are elected. Otherwise top two advance to general.
MN-01 R May 24 August 9 Voters select nominees in individual party primaries.
AK-AL R June 11 August 16 Top four finishers in the all-party primary advance. General election decided by ranked choice voting.
TX-34 D N/A June 14 All-party general election. Top two runoff, probably in August, if no candidate gets a majority of the vote.
NE-01 R N/A June 28 Nominees selected directly by the parties.

* Party previously holding the seat

Sarah Palin, Santa Claus Among 51 Looking to Fill Vacant Alaska House Seat

Don Young (R) had been Alaska's lone U.S. House representative for over 49 years when he died on March 18. There is clearly a lot of pent-up demand, as 51 candidates have filed to take his place. A nonpartisan primary will take place entirely by mail. Ballots will be sent out in May and must be postmarked by June 11. 

The top four finishers in the primary will advance to the August 16 special general election, which will use ranked choice voting to determine a winner. Both the all-mail primary and the structure of the election are firsts for Alaska. August 16 is the same date as the statewide primary, where voters will separately choose four nominees for the full two-year term to be contested in November's general election.

The party distribution of the 51 candidates: 17 Republican (R), 13 nonpartisan (N), 10 undeclared (U), 6 Democratic (D), 3 Libertarian (L), 1 Alaska Independence (AK), 1 American Independent (AI).

Some notable entrants:

Nick Begich III (R) From a prominent Alaska political family. His grandfather, Nick Begich Sr. (D) was elected as the state's U.S. Representative in 1968. A plane he was on vanished in October, 1972. Still on the ballot, Begich defeated Don Young that November. Young would go on to win the special election in March, 1973. Begich III is the nephew of former Sen. Mark Begich (D) and current State Sen. Tom Begich (D).
John Coghill (R) Former State Senator
Chris Constant (D) Member of the Anchorage Assembly
Al Gross (N) Orthopedic surgeon. Running as an independent, he was the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, losing to incumbent Dan Sullivan (R).
Emil Notti (D) Lost to Don Young in the 1973 special election. Now 89, he's giving it another try.
Sarah Palin (R) Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. Palin entered the race on April 1, the final date for filing.
Josh Revak (R) State Senator and co-chair of Young's 2022 reelection campaign
Tara Sweeney (R) Co-chair of Young's 2022 reelection campaign
Adam Wool (D) State Representative

Santa Claus is also running. He is a councilman in - obviously - North Pole, Alaska. Claus was once the special assistant deputy police commissioner in New York City.

Louisiana Shapes Added to House Map; Redistricting Update

Louisiana: Barring any changes from expected litigation, congressional redistricting in Louisiana is complete. On March 30, the Republican-controlled Legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The new district shapes have been added to the 2022 House Interactive Map.

The new map largely maintained the status quo of the last decade, which translates to five seats for Republicans and one for Democrats. None of these are competitive from a party control perspective. Democrats, led by Edwards, had wanted the new map to include a second majority-minority district given that Blacks now comprise about 33% of the state's population. 

New York: On Thursday, a judge threw out the state's enacted congressional map, calling it a partisan gerrymander in violation of the State Constitution. The decision will be appealed. As a stay of the court order is expected while the higher court adjudicates, the district shapes will remain on the interactive map for the time being.

Ohio: It looks like the Legislature's second enacted congressional map will stand for the midterm elections, despite it being only slightly fairer than the one the Supreme Court tossed out in January. The court has yet to rule on the new map, and has now set a timeline for hearing the case that takes any decision past the state's May 3 primary. These shapes were previously added to the House Interactive Map. 

Remaining States

Four states, with 46 total districts, have yet to complete congressional redistricting.

State (Districts) Comments
Florida (28) As expected, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed the plan sent to him by the Republican-controlled Legislature. DeSantis is convening a special session of The Legislature from April 19 to 22 for the sole purpose of coming up with a new map. The intraparty battle centers largely around the treatment of District 5, a Black Opportunity district that stretches across much of the northern part of the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis wants this district made more compact, effectively eliminating the only Democratic-held district north of the Orlando area. The vetoed plan somewhat acceded to this by consolidating the district around Jacksonville. However, it didn't go as far as DeSantis wanted.
Maryland (8) On March 25, a judge invalidated Maryland's previously enacted map, calling it a Democratic gerrymander in violation of the state Constitution. On March 30, the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a revised plan to meet a tight deadline set by the Court. It was transmitted to GOP Gov. Larry Hogan on March 31. According to FiveThirtyEight, the new map is much fairer based on their efficiency gap metric. It remains to be seen which (or either) of the two maps is enacted. The Court needs to rule on the new map, while at the same time the State will appeal the prior ruling. The bill (SB1012) passed with the revised map includes a provision that specifies the original map will be used if the State wins on appeal.
Missouri (8) A deadlock in the Republican-controlled Missouri Senate was finally broken, and that chamber passed a map on March 24. However, the state House, which passed its own plan back in January, rejected the plan. Missouri is the only state remaining where no plan has been enacted or passed by legislators. It is a bit unclear what will happen next. The state's deadline for the August 2 primary was March 29; candidates filed based on the 2010 boundaries. However, a lawsuit has been filed, as congressional districts are required to have equal populations based on the most recent Census.
New Hampshire (2) Gov. Chris Sununu (R) will veto the congressional map sent to him by the Republican-controlled Legislature. On March 22, he submitted his own plan to the leaders of both legislative chambers. Sununu favors a plan that keeps both districts competitive, while the map approved by the legislature makes each of the state's two districts more partisan. It made District 1 more favorable for a GOP pick-up; the party has not won a U.S. House seat since 2014.

Live Results: South Carolina State Senate Special Election

South Carolina State Senate District 31

Republicans hold a 29-16 edge over Democrats in the 46-member South Carolina State Senate. Terms are for four years; the next regular elections are in 2024. These will be contested using redistricted boundaries.

District 31 is located in and around Florence, close to the coast in the northeastern part of the state. Republican Hugh Leatherman, who had been in the State Senate since 1981, died last November 12. Leatherman was unopposed in the three elections (2012, 2016, 2020) since the last redistricting.

There are two candidates on the ballot. Republican Mike Reichenbach narrowly won his party's January 25 primary. The Democratic nominee is Suzanne La Rochelle; she faced no primary opposition.

Polls close at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming

  • April 5
    • California U.S. House District 22 Special Primary
    • California State Assembly Districts 11, 62, and 80 Special Primaries
    • Georgia State House District 45 Special Election
      • Runoff May 3 (if necessary)
    • Milwaukee Mayor Special Election
    • Pennsylvania State House Districts 19, 24, and 116 Special Elections
  • April 7
    • New York State Assembly District 20 Special Election
  • April 19
    • California State Assembly District 17 Special Election
  • May 3
    • Indiana Primary
    • Ohio Primary
    • Michigan State House Districts 15, 36, 43, and 74 Special Elections
  • May 10
    • Nebraska Primary
    • West Virginia Primary
    • Newark, NJ Mayoral Election

Current and Upcoming U.S. House Vacancies

There are currently 222 Democrats and 210 Republicans in the U.S. House, with three vacancies in previously GOP-held seats. To view, select 'Current House' above the 2022 House Interactive Map.

The number of vacancies will increase to five in the near future, as one member from each party has announced his resignation. 

An update on each of these districts follows. Special elections will take place using the existing district boundaries; some of them coincide with a regular statewide primary. The 2022 midterm elections (starting with the primaries), will take place using redistricted boundaries. 

Current Vacancies

For more detail on the races to fill these seats, read this analysis from Split Ticket.

California District 22

Republican Devin Nunes resigned in January to lead Trump Media & Technology Group. A special primary will be held next Tuesday, April 5. 

In California, all candidates appear on a single primary ballot. In regular elections, the top two advance to the general election. This is also the case in special elections, unless one candidate gets a majority of the primary vote. In that case, they are elected. If a special general election is needed, that will take place on June 7, the same date as the statewide primary. There are four Republicans and two Democrats on the primary ballot.

There's a good chance that the winner of the special election will only serve in Congress until the end of the year. California is losing a district, and the current District 22 is essentially being eliminated, its current borders largely folded into the new Districts 5, 20 and 21.

  • Republican Tom McClintock (current CA-4) and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (current CA-23) are running in Districts 5 and 20. While both face some opposition in the June 7 top two primary, none of those are participants in the special election. 
  • Democrat Jim Costa (current CA-16) is running in District 21. His three June 7 primary challengers - two Republicans and one Democrat - are all participants in the special election. Costa and one of the Republicans are likely to advance in a district that has been made safer for Democrats in redistricting.
  • The other three entrants in the special election did not file for any seats in the regular 2022 election.

Minnesota District 1

Republican Jim Hagedorn died in February. Party primaries will be held May 24, with the general election on August 9. That is the date of the statewide primary.

A large field - 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats - will be seeking their respective party nominations.

District 1 was largely unchanged in redistricting: Donald Trump had a margin of victory of about 10% over Joe Biden in both configurations.

Alaska At-Large

Republican Don Young, the dean of the U.S. House, died earlier this month. Young was serving in his 25th term, having been first elected in a 1973 special election. 

A primary election will be held on June 11. It will be the first conducted under a new system approved by voters in 2020. All candidates from all parties will appear on a single ballot. The top four finishers will advance to the August 16 general election, which will be conducted using ranked choice voting.

August 16 is also the date for the statewide primary.

Upcoming Vacancies

Nebraska District 1

After being convicted of multiple felonies last week, nine-term incumbent Republican Jeff Fortenberry announced his resignation over the weekend. It will be effective at the end of the month

Fortenberry was indicted last October. In November, he drew a credible Democratic challenger, state Senator Patty Pansing Brooks. In January, state Senator Mike Flood entered the race as an intraparty challenger for the Republican nomination. Although there are other candidates in the primaries, these two are seen as likely nominees.

The May 10 statewide primary will occur before the special election. A date has not yet been set, but it will be before the end of June. Nominees for the special election will be selected directly by each party. It would not be surprising to see Pansing Brooks and Flood chosen here as well.

Although Republicans will be favored to hold the seat, redistricting did make the district slightly more competitive. Donald Trump had a margin of victory over Joe Biden of 15% under the old boundaries; that falls to 11% under the new boundaries.

Texas District 34

Last March, Democrat Filemon Vela became the first Democrat this cycle to announce a retirement. Last week, Vela said he would leave Congress before the end of his term to join a lobbying firm.

As Texas has already conducted its statewide primary, this sets up an odd situation for a special election, whenever that is held. Vela's retirement coupled with redistricting had pushed Democrat Vicente Gonzalez (current TX-15) to run in the new TX-34. The new TX-34 is safer for a Democrat than the new TX-15.

Vela won the Democratic nomination and will be the favorite in TX-34 this fall. However, as the current TX-15 Representative, he won't be running in the special election. Under the old lines, this is a competitive seat - Joe Biden won by just 4% over Donald Trump in 2020. Republicans are expected to make a strong push to win the special election as a way to highlight the party's increasing strength in South Texas. Their nominee for the November election is Mayra Flores. She has already announced her candidacy for a special election.

March 28 Congressional Redistricting Update

As Maryland returns to the list after a court ruling, five states have yet to complete congressional redistricting. The Legislature in Florida, Louisiana, and New Hampshire have each passed redistricting bills. However, they have each run into a roadblock from the governor's office.

In Missouri, Republican infighting in the state Senate was finally overcome late last week, with a compromise map emerging. That gets the process going again. With a Tuesday deadline for candidate filing, it is possible the state House acts quickly to get the bill to the governor's desk.

State (Districts) Comments
Florida (28) The state is gaining a district. No recent activity. The GOP-controlled Legislature has passed an unusual plan that includes both 'primary' and 'secondary' maps. The major difference is in the treatment of District 5, a Black Opportunity district that stretches across much of the northern part of the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis wants this district made more compact, effectively eliminating the only Democratic-held district north of the Orlando area. The primary map somewhat accedes to this by consolidating the district around Jacksonville. However, it doesn't go as far as DeSantis wants; he has threatened a veto. The secondary map maintains the general shape of District 5 - although makes it slightly less 'blue'. It is intended as a replacement should the primary map be invalidated by the courts as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Louisiana (6) On March 9, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed the congressional map approved by the Republican-led Legislature. That map largely maintained the status quo. Democrats, led by Edwards, favor the addition of a second majority-minority district given that Blacks now comprise about 33% of the state's population. If the Legislature attempts to override, a 2/3 vote in each chamber is required.
Maryland (8) On March 25, a judge invalidated Maryland's previously enacted map, calling it a Democratic gerrymander in violation of the state Constitution. Overall, the map maintained the 7-1 Democratic edge. However, it shifted the partisan composition of the sole GOP-held seat significantly to the left, potentially putting it into play. 
Missouri (8) A deadlock in the Republican-controlled Missouri Senate was finally broken, and that chamber passed a map on March 24. The map maintains the current 6-2 GOP edge. It solidifies the GOP hold on District 2, the only somewhat competitive district in the state in recent cycles. Some conservatives in the Senate had pushed for a more aggressive map that would have 'cracked' Kansas City, giving the GOP a 7-1 edge. The Senate map also included an emergency clause that enables the new map to be effective as soon as it is signed into law - and thus usable for the August 2 primary. The state House is expected to take up the Senate bill during the week of March 28. 
New Hampshire (2) Gov. Chris Sununu (R) will veto the congressional map sent to him by the Republican-controlled Legislature. On March 22, he submitted his own plan to the leaders of both legislative chambers. Sununu favors a plan that keeps both districts competitive, while the map approved by the legislature makes each of the state's two districts more partisan. It made District 1 more favorable for a GOP pick-up; the party has not won a U.S. House seat since 2014.

Live Results: Louisiana State House All-Party Primary

Louisiana State House District 101

Republicans hold a large majority in the 105 seat Louisiana State House. There are 68 Republicans, 33 Democrats and three independents. 

Members serve four-year terms. The next regularly scheduled elections will be in November, 2023. These will be contested using redistricted boundaries.

District 101 is located in East Baton Rouge Parish. Democrat Ted James resigned in January after being appointed regional administrator at The Small Business Administration.

James was unopposed in 2019. No Republican has contested the seat over the past decade; that will not change in this special election.

There are two Democrats and one independent on the ballot. James has endorsed Democrat Vanessa LaFleur.

In Louisiana, all candidates compete on a single primary ballot. If one candidate gets a majority of the vote, they are elected. If not, the top two finishers meet in a runoff. If necessary, the runoff for this race will be on Saturday, April 30.

Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming

  • March 29
    • South Carolina State Senate District 31 Special Election
  • April 5
    • California U.S. House District 22 Special Primary
    • California State Assembly Districts 11, 62, and 80 Special Primaries
    • Georgia State House District 45 Special Election
      • Runoff May 3 (if necessary)
    • Milwaukee Mayor Special Election
    • Pennsylvania State House Districts 19, 24, and 116 Special Elections
  • April 7
    • New York State Assembly District 20 Special Election
  • April 19
    • California State Assembly District 17 Special Election
  • May 3
    • Indiana Primary
    • Ohio Primary (date may change due to litigation)
    • Michigan State House Districts 15, 36, 43, and 74 Special Elections

Maryland Congressional Map Invalidated by Court

A judge in the Maryland Court of Appeals has invalidated the state's recently-enacted congressional map, labeling it a Democratic gerrymander in violation of the state's Constitution. The court gave the General Assembly until March 30 to draw a new map and scheduled a hearing for April 1.

The state may appeal the ruling.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan welcomed the ruling. In December, Hogan vetoed the map sent to him by the Assembly. His veto was overridden and litigation ensued.

The invalidated map (shown below with consensus ratings) maintained seven safely Democratic seats, while shifting the only GOP-held seat significantly to the left.

The Maryland primary is scheduled for July 19, having recently been pushed back from late June.

Pending resolution, Maryland's district shapes have been removed from the 2022 House Interactive Map.

 

Live Results: New York and South Carolina Legislative Special Elections

This week we're following one special general election to fill a vacancy in the New York State Assembly. There is also a GOP primary for a State House vacancy in South Carolina.

New York State Assembly District 43

Democrats hold a large majority in the New York State Assembly. The party controls 105 seats. There are 42 Republicans, one Independence Party member and two vacancies. The District 20 vacancy will be filled by special election on April 7.

Members serve two-year terms. The next regularly scheduled elections will be in November. These will be contested using redistricted boundaries.

District 43 is located in Brooklyn. Democrat Diana Richardson resigned in early February after being appointed deputy borough president. This is a deep blue district; Richardson was reelected by an 89% to 11% margin in 2020. 

There are three candidates on the ballot. The Republican nominee is Mesidor Azor. Given the lean of the district, the main competition is likely between the other two candidates. Those are Democrat Brian Cunningham and Jelanie Deshong of the Working Families Party. Both have received endorsements from local political leaders.

Richardson, the prior incumbent, originally won office in a 2015 special election running only on the Working Families ballot line. However, there was no separate Democratic entrant in that election.

Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

South Carolina State House District 18 (Primary)

Republicans hold 79 of 124 seats in the South Carolina State House. Democrats control 43. There are two vacancies. The District 97 vacancy will be filled in a May 17 special election.

Members serve two-year terms. The next regularly scheduled elections will be in November. These will be contested using redistricted boundaries.

District 18 is located in the northwestern part of the state. Republican Tommy Stringer resigned in January, citing health considerations. He had been in the state House since 2006. Stringer was elected to his final term in 2020, winning 74% to 26%.

Several candidates are competing for the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote, a top-two runoff will be held on April 5.

As no Democrats filed to run for this seat, the ultimate winner of the Republican primary will be the only name on the ballot for the May 24 general special election. 

Polls close at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming

  • March 26
    • Louisiana State House District 101 Special Primary
  • March 29
    • South Carolina State Senate District 31 Special Election
  • April 5
    • California U.S. House District 22 Special Primary
    • California State Assembly Districts 11, 62, and 80 Special Primaries
    • Georgia State House District 45 Special Election
    • Milwaukee Mayor Special Election
    • Pennsylvania State House Districts 19, 24, and 116 Special Elections
  • April 7
    • New York State Assembly District 20 Special Election
  • April 19
    • California State Assembly District 17 Special Election
  • May 3
    • Indiana Primary
    • Ohio Primary (date may change due to litigation)
    • Michigan State House Districts 15, 36, 43, and 74 Special Elections

Alaska Republican Don Young, Dean of the House, is Dead

Alaska Republican Don Young, the dean of the U.S. House, has died. He was 88. Seated in 1973, after winning a special election, he was serving in his 25th term. 

Democrats now hold 222 seats vs. 210 for Republicans. There are three vacancies. In addition to the at-large Alaska district, CA-22 and MN-01, also last held by Republicans, are vacant.  

The most senior House members are now Hal Rogers (R, KY-05) and Chris Smith (R, NJ-04). They were both elected in 1980.