Are these elections really that "special" anymore?
Between now and Christmas, four different states will hold special elections for federal office: a Senate race in New Jersey, plus House elections in Alabama, Louisiana and Massachusetts.
Not special enough for you? Three special elections are scheduled over a four-day stretch in mid-October.
Here's a look at the upcoming "special" election calendar:
New Jersey Senate
Reason for vacancy: The passing of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Democrat The field: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democratic nominee, and conservative activist Steve Lonegan, the GOP nominee. Primary election: Booker and Lonegan won their party nominations on Aug. 13. General election: Oct. 16
Alabama's 1st District
Reason for vacancy: Former Rep. Jo Bonner, a Republican, resigned from Congress earlier this month to take a position with the University of Alabama. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Republican The field: The GOP field for this race is crowded, but the top tier of candidates includes former state Sen. Bradley Byrne, state Rep. Chad Fincher, GOP operative Wells Griffith and conservative columnist Quin Hillyer. Primary election: Sept. 24. If necessary, a primary runoff is scheduled for Nov. 5. General election: If there is no runoff, Nov. 5. In the event of a primary runoff, the general election will be Dec. 17.
Massachusetts' 5th District
Reason for vacancy: The seat's former occupant, now-Sen. Edward J. Markey, won the special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry in the Senate. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Democrat The field: Democrats started running for this seat months before Markey won the special election for Senate. Democrats in the race include state Sens. Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark and Karen Spilka, state Rep. Carl Sciortino and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. Primary election: Oct. 15 General election: Dec. 10
Louisiana's 5th District
Reason for vacancy: Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander will leave Congress to take a position in Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's Cabinet. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Republican The field: State Sen. Neil Riser is consolidating support from congressional Republicans. This should be a strong GOP seat, but local Democrats are lining up to compete as well. Primary election: Oct. 19 Runoff election: Nov. 16