DemDaily: Update on the House. Special Elections

April 27, 2021

Troy Carter at podium

State Senate Majority Leader Troy Carter was backed by Richmond and US House Whip Jim Clyburn for 2nd CD seat (Yahoo)

Last Saturday, Troy Carter won Louisiana's Second Congressional District special election, securing Democrats' hold on the New Orleans-based seat.

Carter beat fellow State Senator and runoff opponent Karen Carter Peterson (D) 55.2% to 44.8% to succeed Congressman Cedric Richmond, who resigned in January to join the Biden administration as Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Carter garnered 48,511 votes to Peterson's 39,295 in the April 24th runoff, which brought only 16.6% of voters to the polls.

The election leaves five remaining Congressional special elections in 2021, including the just-announced special in Ohio's 15th Congressional District.

The partisan breakdown of the 117th Congress of the US House of Representatives stands at 222 Democrats to 213 Republicans, including five current or pending vacancies. 

Next Up
Texas 6th Congressional District
Incumbent: Ronald Wright (R)
Special Election: May 1, 2021, Saturday
District: Based in Arlington, Texas, it includes Ellis and Navarro counties to the south and southeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as the southeast corner of Tarrant County.

Jana Lynne Sanchez endorsement photo

Sanchez leading Dem in Texas 6th CD Special Election

The Candidates: In the competitive contest there are 23 candidates, including 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, vying to replace the late GOP Congressman Ronald Wright.

Leading Democrats include the 2018 Democratic nominee for the seat, Jana Lynne Sanchez, small business owner and former State House candidate Lydia Bean, and Shawn Lassiter, an education nonprofit leader from Fort Worth.

GOP activist and widow of Congressman Ron Wright, Susan Wright, leads the field of Republican contenders, along with State Representative and 2018 congressional candidate Jake Ellzey, former Trump HHS official Brian Harrison, and former Trump SBA official Sery Kim. Trump has endorsed Susan Wright.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the open general election, then the top two vote-getters go to a runoff.

New Mexico's First Congressional District
Incumbent: Debra Haaland (D)
Special Election: June 1, 2021, Tuesday
District: Central New Mexico, including most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County, and parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties. It encompasses almost three-fourths of Albuquerque and includes the Pueblo of Laguna and Sandia Pueblo outside Albuquerque.

Melanie Stansbury looking to the right

Democratic nominee Melanie Stansbury (campaign photo)

The Candidates: In lieu of a primary election, the party nominees were chosen by each party's state central committee.

On March 31st, the New Mexico Democratic Party's state central committee selected State Representative Melanie Stansbury in an upset victory over State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez by six votes.

Prior to unseating a seven-term Republican incumbent to win her State House seat in 2018, Stansbury served as a researcher and advisor on land and water issues at the tribal, state and federal level. Stansbury, who has a background in community development and natural resources and has worked for federal, state, tribal, local and nonprofit organizations, is currently a senior adviser for the Utton Center at the University of New Mexico.

In the State Republican Party's March 27th central membership vote, State Senator Mark Moores secured the nomination with 40%, followed by Eddy Aragon with 28% and Elisa Martinez with 17%. Moore has previously served as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Walter Bradley and Executive Director of the New Mexico Dental Association.

The Libertarian Party chose Chris Manning, a veteran and businessman from Farmington, as its nominee.

Ohio's 11th Congressional District
Incumbent: Marcia Fudge (D)
Filing Deadline: May 5, 2021
Nina Turner and Shontel Brown

Ohio 11 frontrunners Nina Turner and Shontel Brown (Jewish Insider)

Special Election Primary: August 3, 2021, Tuesday

District: Cuyahoga County and Summit County in Northeast Ohio, including most of the majority-black precincts between Cleveland and Akron.

The Candidates: Democrats include former State Senator Nina Turner, Cuyahoga County Councillor Shontel Brown, and former State Senator and Cleveland City Councillor Jeff Johnson.

Turner leads the pack in fundraising, with over $2.2 million raised and $1.1 million cash on-hand at the end of March, compared to $680,000 raised and $582,000 cash on hand for Brown, her closest competitor.

Also running are former State Representatives John Barnes Jr. and Bryan Flannery Jr., former State Senator Shirley Smith, and U.S. Navy veteran Tariq Shabazz.

Only one Republican, Businesswoman Laverne Gore, who lost to Fudge in 2020 by 60 points, has filed.

Ohio's 15th Congressional District
Incumbent: Steve Stivers (R)
Filing Deadline: May 17, 2021
Special Election Primary: August 3, 2021, Tuesday
District: Southern portions of Columbus as well as communities west and south of the city. It also includes the college towns of Athens and Wilmington."

Tina Maharath at podium

Tina Maharath, first Asian-American woman elected to the Ohio Senate a potential contender (Facebook)

The Candidates: On Monday, Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced an August 3rd special election primary to replace retiring Congressman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who is leaving to take a job as CEO of Ohio's Chamber of Commerce. Stivers' last day in Congress will be May 16th. Stivers has held the historically Republican, Columbus-based district since 2011.

Potential Democratic contenders include State Senator Tina Maharath, State Representatives Allison Russo and Adam Miller, Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano, and Upper Arlington City Councilmember John J. Kulewicz.

State Senator Bob Peterson, and State Representative Brian Stewart, both of whom represent parts of the district, have declared for the Republican nomination, and others, including State Representative Jeff LaRe, and State Senators Tim Schaffer and Stephanie Kunze have expressed interest.

Florida's 20th Congressional District
Incumbent: Alcee Hastings (D)
District:  The 20th district includes most of the majority-black precincts in and around Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The Candidates: A special election date has not been set yet for the seat vacated by the April 6, 2021 death of Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was first elected to Congress in 1992.

Dale Holness a top Dem contender in Florida's 20th CD (campaign photo)

In the solidly blue district, nine Democratic candidates have already announced, including Broward County commissioner and former mayor of Broward County Dale Holness, Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives Bobby DuBose, and Broward County Commissioner and former Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief.

Others include State Senator Perry Thurston Jr., former State Representative Priscilla Taylor, 2018 and 2020 congressional candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, author Elvin Dowling, businessman Matt Boswell, and attorney Marlon Onias.

Gregory "Greg" Musselwhite, a welding inspector and 2020 nominee for this district, is the only Republican to declare to date.

Democrat Rita Hart has given up the battle for southeastern Iowa's 2020 Second Congressional District, where six votes separated her from Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

Although Miller-Meeks was provisionally sworn in January 3rd, Hart had contested the election results to the US House Administration Committee with the anticipation that, following an investigation, it would go to a vote before the full House.

On March 31st, however, Hart dropped her petition in the House, saying, "Despite our best efforts to have every vote counted, the reality is that the toxic campaign of political disinformation to attack this constitutional review of the closest congressional contest in 100 years has effectively silenced the voices of Iowans."

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Ballotpedia,, CBSNews, WFMJ, Axios, Washington Post, Louisiana SOS, Albuquerque Journal, Vote Smart

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