DemDaily: The Special Election Scoop
April 10, 2017
The first of five "special elections" took place last week in California's 34th Congressional District to replace Congressman Xavier Becerra, who vacated his seat to serve as California Attorney General.
A "Special Election" is one called to fill the unexpected vacancy of an elected office mid-term.23 candidates ran in Thursday's "jungle primary" - one in which both Democrats and Republicans run and, If no candidate receives more than 50% of vote, the top two advance to a run-off election.
In the solidly Democratic Congressional seat, which voted 83% for Clinton in the 2016 presidential, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (26.54%) and LA City Planning Commissioner Robert Ahn (18.70%) were the top two vote-getters, and will advance to the run-off election June 6th.
The remaining four 2017 special elections are traditionally Republican seats that have been vacated by Members of Congress to serve in the Trump Administration.
Despite the odds, Democrats are hoping the negatives of the Trump presidency - at only 40% approval (Gallup 4/7-4/9) - and the historic edge of mid-term gains favoring the Party outside the White House, will play in their favor.
Republicans are expecting a solid win in tomorrow's April 11th special in Kansas 4, which pits State Treasurer Ron Estes (R) against civil rights attorney and Army veteran James Thompson (D). Now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo (R) won the the 4th CD in 2016 with 60.7% of the vote. Any improvement on that number could be a good sign for Democrats.
Of the remaining three specials, Georgia's 6th District contest to fill HHS Secretary Tom Price's seat, is considered the most likely to flip to Democrats.Although no polling is available, former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff, 30, is leading the field in fundraising with $8.3 million - a record for this seat ($7.7 million though progressive donation hub ActBlue).
The sixth CD, which was held by Price since 2004, and not represented by a Democrat since 1979, would be a huge pickup for Democrats in the increasingly purple state. Other major contenders in the April 18th jungle primary include former Republican elected officials - Secretary of State Karen Handel, and State Senators Dan Moody and Judson Hill.
In South Carolina, three Democrats, including two military veterans, are running in the May 2nd primary for the opportunity to face the winner of an equally crowded Republican primary field which includes State House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope. The District, which delivered Trump a 57% victory in the presidential, is expected to stay Republican.
In Montana's May 25 election, musician Rob Quist (D) will face former Gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R), both of whom were nominated at their parties' respective conventions March 3rd and 5th.
|Special Election Date
|Presidential % in CD
Kansas 4th District
|Mike Pompeo, left to serve as Director of CIA
|General: April 11th
civil rights attorney and U.S. Army veteran
|Ron Estes, State Treasurer
US Congress: Georgia 6th District
|Tom Price, left to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services
|Primary (jungle): April 18th
Run-off: June 20
|frm State Senator Ron Slotin, frm congressional aide Jon Ossoff, Ragin Edwards, Richard Keatley, Rebecca Quigg
|frm Georgia Sec of State Karen Handel, State Sen Judson Hill, frm State Sen Dan Moody, Councilman Bob Gray, business- man Bruce Levell.
|Clinton 47% Trump 48%
South Carolina 5th District
|Mick Mulvaney, left to serve as Director, Office of Management & Budget
|Primary: May 2nd
Primary Runoff: May 16th
General: June 20th
Army veteran Alexis Frank, US Marine Corps veteran
Les Murphy, Goldman Sachs senior adviser Archie Parnell
|Camden attorney Tom Mullikin, State Rep Ralph Norman, education activist Sheri Few, attorney Kris Wampler, State House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope, Chad Connelly
Montana At Large seat
|Ryan Zinke, left to serve as Secretary of the Interior
|General: May 25
|Rob Quist, musician, former spokesman for the Montana Food Bank, and former member of the Montana Arts Council
|Greg Gianforte, former Montana Governor nominee