Local & Special Elections Update – February 24, 2015

The last Tuesday in February is here with voting we’re following in three states (Illinois, Connecticut, and South Carolina).  Here’s what’s happening:

Chicago Mayor and Aldermen – The biggest election so far this year takes place in the city of Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel is running for a second term.  Most polls show him comfortably winning today, with the main question being whether he will get the greater than 50% he needs to avoid a round of runoff voting on April 7.  Jesus “Chuy” Garcia seems likely to finish second.  Also, all 50 of Chicago’s Aldermen (City Council) are being voted on today as well.

There is some amazing coverage and analysis of Chicago’s elections at these two sites: www.aldertrack.com and http://illinoiselectiondata.com/.  I recommend them both very highly.

Continue reading Local & Special Elections Update – February 24, 2015

Louisiana Special Election Results – Saturday, February 21

Saturday’s voting in three special elections for vacancies in the Louisiana State House went pretty much as expected.

HD #26 (Alexandria) – Former Alexandria Mayoral candidate Jeff Hall cruised easily to victory, getting 84% of the almost 4,000 votes cast.  Daniel Williams was 2nd with 11% and Alice Hammond got 5%.  Unofficial voter turnout was about 16%.

HD #49 (Lafayette) – Attorney and champion marksman Blake Miguez absolutely demolished John Bering, with 93% of the vote.  Although only about 2,900 people in the district voted (approx. 11% turnout), that is a very impressive showing, and one which will get noticed.  Miguez is only 33, so if he finds politics to his liking, I’m guessing he will get talked about for statewide office fairly soon.

HD #66 (Baton Rouge) – I thought this race would be close, and it certainly was.  The three GOP candidates took 90% of the votes, as independent Susan Nelson finished 4th with 11%.  Buddy Amoroso bested Darrell Ourso by just 35 votes, and those two will now square off in the general election on March 28.

Local & Special Elections Update – February 20, 2015

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo finally set the date for the special election in New York’s 11th Congressional District.  This is the vacancy created by the resignation of former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) back in January after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud.  This should be a competitive district, but Democrats are having trouble finding a candidate here.

There are four special elections on Saturday for vacant state House seats in Louisiana.

HD #8; Bossier Parish (north and east of Shreveport) – Republican State Rep. Jeff Thompson was elected in November to a District judgeship.  Only one candidate filed for this vacancy, Mike Johnson (R), so he wins.

HD #26; Rapides Parish (Alexandria) – Democratic State Rep. Herbert Dixon resigned for health reasons and three Democrats are running to replace him: Jeff Hall, Alice Hammond and Daniel Williams.  Hall picked up 34 percent of the vote last year in Alexandria’s mayoral race, when he challenged two-term incumbent Jacques Roy.  I think he has the edge here against the other two candidates, who ran for separate seats on the Alexandria City Council in 2012.  Hall has raised the most money by far as well.  I’m guessing he wins and gets greater than the 50% he needs to avoid the March 28 general election.

HD #49; Iberia & Vermillion Parishes (Lafayette) – Democrat-turned-Republican State Rep. Simone Champagne resigned at the end of 2014 to become Chief Administrative officer for the city of Youngsville, Louisiana.  Two Republican candidates will appear on Saturday’s ballot.  Army veteran John Bering and attorney Blake Miguez.  Miguez is also a champion shooter and has appeared on the TV show Top Shot.  In this race, Miguez has raised and spent way more than Bering, and picked up tons of endorsements, too.  I don’t see any other outcome than an easy win here for him.  And again, I think he will do it by more than enough to avoid the March 28 general election.

HD #66; East Baton Rouge Parish (Baton Rouge) – Republican State Rep. Hunter Greene resigned this seat after winning election to be a family court judge.  Three Republicans (Buddy Amoroso, Rick Bond, and Darrell Ourso) and one independent (Susan Nelson) are on the ballot.  This race has attracted the most money of all of Saturday’s contests, and although Amoroso seems to have garnered more contributions and endorsements than anyone else, I don’t think he will have enough of an advantage to get to 50% in the primary.  I’ll predict that Ourso will finish second, with another round of voting in five weeks.

Local & Special Elections Update – February 10, 2015

Voting is taking place today in:

Iowa State House District #23, in the southwestern corner of the state.  This seat was previously held by Republican Mark Costello, who won election back in January to the State Senate seat formerly held by now-U.S. Senator Joni Ernst.  This is a very Republican district, and will be even more so in a low-turnout special election.  GOP nominee and farmer David Sieck is certain to defeat Democrat Steve Adams.

Florida State House District #64, near Tampa.  Incumbent James Grant won re-election back in November, but various judicial rulings related to a write-in candidate caused the Florida House to invalidate those results.  However, Grant is the only Republican candidate on the ballot and seems certain to win both today and in the special election voting in April.

Arkansas State Senate District #16, in the northwestern part of the state.  The seat in this rural district is open because Michael Lamoureux became chief of staff to newly-elected Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.  Today’s voting is a runoff in the GOP primary between former State Representative Stan Berry and insurance agent Greg Standridge.  Standridge almost won the Republican nod outright back in January with 48 percent of the vote, as compared to Berry’s 41 percent.  Again, the winner here will surely be the next State Senator from this district.

 There are also school board elections today in Oklahoma, but there are very few contested seats, and none in the major cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Georgia Special Election Runoffs – HD #50 & HD #120

It appears that all votes have been counted here except for provisional ballots in these two races.

In HD #50, Brad Raffensperger defeated Kelly Stewart by about 150 votes, despite finishing 2nd by about 50 votes four weeks ago.  Total votes cast in the runoff was 17% greater than in the initial round of voting.  Raffensperger is the first candidate to win a Special Election Runoff in Georgia after finishing 2nd in the Special Election since Tom Kirby did it three years ago in HD #107.

Continue reading Georgia Special Election Runoffs – HD #50 & HD #120

Local & Special Elections Update – February 3, 2015

Voting is today in runoffs for special elections in two Georgia State House Districts, HD #50 in Fulton County (near Atlanta) and HD #120, covering several counties in northeast Georgia.

Here are the results from the special election voting on January 6:

Continue reading Local & Special Elections Update – February 3, 2015

Albuquerque School Board Elections

The Bernalillo County Elections Division website is noting that all voting centers have reported their numbers for today’s Albuquerque Public School (APS) Board elections.

In District 1, APS Board President Analee Maestas easily won re-election to a second term, gaining 72% against two challengers.

In District 2, incumbent Kathy Korte lost her re-election bid to Peggy Muller-Aragon, 63%-37%.

In District 4, Marty Esquivel did not seek re-election.  Retired APS teacher Barbara Petersen easily defeated four other candidates.

Georgia Special Election Runoffs – HD #50 & HD #120

In preparation for tomorrow’s runoff elections in two Georgia state representative districts, I summarized voter turnout in all state legislative special elections in that state since 2010.  The results of that analysis appear at the bottom of this post.

Here are a few interesting findings:

Although conventional wisdom suggests that voter turnout for runoff elections is lower than for the original election, the data for Georgia during this period says otherwise.  In almost half the instances (8 out of 17), the total votes cast in the runoff was actually greater than that in the special election held 4 weeks earlier.  If one removes those instances where either the special or runoff election coincided with a statewide general or Presidential primary Election Day, voter turnout actually went up for the runoff 7 out of 10 times.

Continue reading Georgia Special Election Runoffs – HD #50 & HD #120