Politics

Here’s What You Should Know About 3 Special Elections Other Than Arizona 8

House control question hovers as 2018 approaches

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a press conference with House GOP leadership in the Capitol on Wednesday. Some pundits say Arizona could follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps for an upset election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All eyes are on Arizona tonight but at least three more upcoming special elections will take place ahead of the 2018 midterms.

If you missed it, here’s the skinny on the Arizona 8th District contest between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni to fill Trent Franks seat, which he vacated in December over allegations of sexual impropriety.

Keep reading to learn more about other upcoming elections:

Ohio 12

The election to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi, who resigned to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, is set for August 7.

There are six Democratic candidates and 10 Republicans who have raised money for the race. The Democrats in order of cash on hand as of March 30 are Daniel O’Connor, John Russell, Zach Scott, Ed Albertson, Jackie Patton and Crystal Lynn Lett. For the Republicans, it’s state Sen. Troy Balderson, Air Force veteran Tim Kane, Melanie Ann Leneghan, Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien, state Sen. Kevin Bacon, Brandon Grisez, and Jonathan Philip Halverstadt.

The special election primaries are scheduled for May 8. This is the same date as the regular Congressional primaries.

[Every 2018 Election, From Start to Finish]

Voters in Ohio’s 12th district will vote for a candidate in the special election to finish out Tiberi’s term. They will also vote on who will run in November’s general election to start a new two-year term as Representative in January.

Like Arizona, this usually solidly Republican district is a predicted battleground after other special elections turned usually conservative areas blue. That means there will be two primaries for the same district on the ballot: one to run in the Aug. 7 special election and fill out the remainder of Tiberi’s term through 2018, and another to run in the November general election for a two-year term starting in January.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales changed its rating on the seat from Solid Republican to Likely Republican

Pennsylvania 15

GOP Rep. Charlie Dent announced his resignation last Tuesday opening up a seat in Pennsylvania’s 15th District — sorta. 

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman:

The state Supreme Court threw out the congressional map as an illegal partisan gerrymander, and ended up redrawing the district lines in time for November’s midterms. Dent’s 15th District is the new 7th District under the new map. But any special election for his seat would take place under the old 15th District boundaries, a Pennsylvania State Department spokesperson confirmed.
Nominees would also be chosen by party leaders rather than by dedicated special election primary.

It is not clear when the special election to fill Dent’s seat will take place. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has 10 days after Dent officially steps down to call a special election, which must occur at least 60 days after the governor's announcement.

Dent had previously announced he would not run for re-election, so an open seat race is already underway for his competitive Lehigh Valley seat. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 7th District Tilt Democratic and the 15th District Solid Republican

Dent plans to move into cable news commentary.

Watch: Primary Primer - Your Guide to the 2018 Midterms

Texas 27

Lone Star State officials want to replace GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold as soon as possible. The Texas Republican resigned earlier this month after media reports revealed Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment allegations.

It appears Gov. Greg Abbott would have the authority to call for an “expedited special election,” and that a court would approve, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday.

Farenthold’s district was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey last year. Abbott cited the disaster when calling for an emergency special election, noting those recovering from the storm needed a representative in Congress.

Races were already underway to fill Farenthold’s seat for the full term starting next year. Democrats Raul “Roy” Barrera and Eric Holguin are in a runoff, as are Republicans Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud.

Inside Election with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.

UPDATE 05/25/18: Abbott has called a June 30 special election to fill Farenthold’s seat.

Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

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