There are no primaries in the presidential race today, with Wisconsin looming as the next critical contest for both parties on April 5th. However, there is a state legislative special election in southeastern Georgia – in State House District #162 in the Savannah area. Three Democrats (businessman Josey Sheppard, pastor and community leader Carl Gilliard, and civil rights activist Alicia Blakely) are vying to be the successor to the late Rep. Bob Bryant (D), who held this seat for five terms before he passed away in February.
With practically everyone in politics focused on Washington, D.C. tonight for President Obama’s final State of the Union address, I doubt the two state legislative special elections taking place in the Midwest today will get much attention on the Internet. Except here, that is.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett formally filed nomination papers this week, in advance of Tuesday’s deadline, seeking re-election to a fourth term in that position. Mr. Barrett narrowly won his first term in 2004 with 54% of the vote, but his two subsequent re-elections have been landslides, receiving 70% or more in both 2008 and 2012. Given that Milwaukee’s Mayors are known for their longevity (the city has had only 8 Mayors over the last 100 years), will this year’s election be worth following?
According to the Facebook page of the Portsmouth (R.I.) Times, John Pagliarini (R) leads Jim Seveney (D) by 70 votes in Tuesday’s Rhode Island SD #11 special election, with all precincts reporting. The post states that there are 270 absentee and provisional ballots which are expected to be counted on Wednesday.
(see link here: https://www.facebook.com/PortsmouthTimes/)
As noted in my original discussion of this election earlier today here, I expected this race would be very close and that Mr. Pagliarini had decent chances.
Much has been written about those state legislatures where Republicans have overwhelming and historic majorities, especially in places where Democrats were in control only a decade ago. However there are some states where Democrats are dominant, perhaps nowhere more so than in the Rhode Island State Senate. Democrats control 32 of the 38 seats in that body, and they are probably favored to pick up another seat on Tuesday in what is the first state legislative special election of 2016.
Here is an updated version of my chart which details all of the State Legislative special elections held on November 3rd. The results are obviously unofficial until they are certified, and each state generally has their own guidelines as to when they will swear in new members:
There are two interesting special primary elections tomorrow; one in AL HD #5 in northern Alabama, and the other in MN HD #3A in northeastern Minnesota. I have had these two contests on my calendar for several weeks now, and have been studying and analyzing these districts and these races. I was especially eager to apply my methodology of geographically analyzing the addresses of campaign contributors to see how that impacts voting results, as I have done previously in special elections in Georgia, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
As noted here a few days ago, there was a rare Wednesday special election, this one held in Tennessee State House District #14 in the Knoxville area. Jason Zachary defeated Knox County School Board member Karen Carson, 58%-42%, in the Republican primary, and since no Democrats filed, Zachary will certainly be elected on September 29th. The GOP currently holds a 73-26 party advantage in the Tennessee State House, to go along with their 28-5 margin in the Tennessee State Senate. The election was viewed as a referendum on Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” proposal, which would expand health insurance to low-income state residents. Zachary opposes the measure, while Carson was for it.
Today features a rare Wednesday special election primary, this one in Tennessee’s 14th House District in the Knoxville area. The vacancy was created when State Rep. Ryan Haynes, who was first elected to this seat in 2008 when he was only 23 years old, resigned upon being elected as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
It is a solidly GOP district, which is why only two Republican candidates filed to run: Karen Carson and Zachary Taylor. Consequently, whomever wins today will effectively take this seat. Both campaigns have reported significant fund-raising totals – Carson has raised over $43,000 and Taylor over $30,000, as of the weekend.
This has been a busy week for specials, and I regret not having more time to analyze this contest, as the contribution data would likely have proven another good test for my fund-raising methodology. For more background on the candidates and issues surrounding this primary, I recommend Tom Humphrey’s blog post here.
The Forsyth County Elections Division is periodically posting the number of folks who have voted today in this special election by precinct on their website. (Updates are planned after 3:30 and 5:30, with polls closing at 7.)
Here is my current estimate of voter turnout by precinct, using those numbers from Forsyth County and an analysis of the latest “Voter Absentee File” available on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website here:
|Walk up |
voters as of
[Note that turnout is high in Cumming precinct since there is also a special election for Post 1 of Cumming City Council taking place today.]