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.

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