The number of congressional special elections at its second highest level in three decades – Ballotpedia News
Welcome to Tuesday, August 2, Brew.
By: Douglas Kronaizl
Here is what awaits you to start your day:
- The number of extraordinary Congressional elections reaches its second highest level in three decades
- It’s election day in six states
- Lawmakers introduce more public sector union bills this year
The number of extraordinary congressional elections at its second highest level in three decades
Sixteen special elections were called to fill vacancies in the 117th Congress, two for the Senate and 14 for the House. Republicans held nine of those seats and Democrats held seven.
This is the second highest number of extraordinary congressional elections in the past three decades.continuing a trend of increasing frequency of these elections.
The highest number of Congressional special elections between 1991 and 2022 was 17 in the 115th Congress (2017-2018).
The current cycle is tied with the 113th Congress (2013-2014) as having the second Congressional special elections at 16.
In more recent cycles, the number of extraordinary congressional elections has tended to increase during the sessions of Congress immediately following a presidential election.
Looking only at congressional special elections in the current cycle, Republicans have secured a net one-seat gain so far with Mayra Flores (R) winning in Texas’ 34th congressional district. Filemon Vela (D) previously represented this district. Party control has not changed in the last nine special elections that have taken place.
Four special House elections will be held between now and the general election: one in Alaska, one in Minnesota and two in New York for the state’s 19th and 23rd districts.
The two Senate special elections will be held at the same time as the November general elections in California and Oklahoma.
The table below shows the results of special elections in each Congress over the past decade.
Democrats recorded their biggest net gain in the 115th Congress (2017-2018), winning four seats.
The current Congress is the only one in the past decade where Republicans have won a seat in the House based on the special elections held so far.
The US Constitution requires that all vacancies in the US House be filled through special elections. This differs from vacancies in the Senate, which are not provided for in the Constitution. Thirty-seven states fill Senate vacancies through gubernatorial appointment and 13 through special elections.
It’s election day in six states
Today, August 2, is Election Day in six states – Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Washington – in what is the busiest remaining primary date on the 2022 calendar.
Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, and Washington hold US Senate primaries, and all states except Ohio hold US House primaries.
Arizona, Kansas and Michigan also hold primaries for most of their state executive offices, including the governor. Missouri and Washington are holding primaries for state auditor and secretary of state, respectively.
All six states also hold state legislative primaries. That includes Ohio, which held primaries for other offices last May but had to postpone its state legislative primaries due to a dispute over state redistricting maps.
Let’s take a look at three of the 10 Battleground races we’ll be tracking tonight:
Arizona Republican Governor’s Primary:
Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is time-limited. Five candidates will appear on the Republican gubernatorial primary ballot, including former news anchor Kari Lake and former Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson, both of whom led endorsements and polls.
Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Lake and former Vice President Mike Pence (R) endorsed Taylor Robson.
In a July 6 poll, Lake received support from 40% of respondents and Taylor Robson had 35%. The remaining 25% of respondents were either undecided or in favor of another candidate.
Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary:
U.S. Representative Peter Meijer and John Gibbs, former deputy assistant secretary in the Trump administration, are running for the Republican nomination in Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.
Meijer is one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Gibbs in the primary.
Regarding his impeachment vote, Meijer said, “I take the oath I took to the Constitution, an oath I took before God, seriously and I voted accordingly.”
Gibbs said, “By voting to impeach…Peter Meijer chose to be flattered by the media and the DC establishment instead of doing the right thing and representing those who voted for him.”
Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Democratic Primary:
U.S. Representatives Andy Levin and Haley Stevens will take part in one of the cycle’s final incumbent versus incumbent primaries in Michigan’s 11th congressional district, where issues of progressivism and U.S.-Israel relations have played a central role.
Levin’s endorsers include U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC. Stevens’ endorsers include the former US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton (D) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The winner of the primary will likely win the general election with three independent forecasters rating this contest as Solid Where Safe Democratic.
If you have primaries coming up, use Ballotpedia’s sample ballot search to see what’s on your ballot and bring your choices to the polls with our My Vote app!
Lawmakers introduce more public sector union bills this year
State legislators introduced 51% more bills dealing with public sector labor policy this year than in previous years.
Democratic lawmakers drove the increase, introducing 91 public sector union bills this year, up 86% from the party average in the previous three years.
Between 2019 and 2021, lawmakers introduced an average of 99 public sector union bills between January and July, compared to 141 such bills introduced so far this year.
These bills range from laws prohibiting public employers from spending public money on union political or lobbying activities to those creating tax credits for union dues.
Republicans have also introduced an increased number of public sector union bills to 46 this year, up 18% from party averages.
Of the 141 public sector union bills introduced so far this year, 10 have been signed into law: Democrats introduced six, Republicans introduced three, and a Democratic-led committee introduced one.
That’s down from 2021, when 12 such bills were signed into law in July, but up from 2020 and 2019, which had three and seven bills signed into law, respectively.
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