The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Your Special House Election Calendar


There are four special elections for the House of Representatives coming up.

The first is a week from tomorrow in Florida’s 19th congressional district, a heavily Democratic seat that was occupied by Robert Wexler. I took a look at Democratic candidate Ted Deutch and his fair-weather support for Israel here; the Republican candidate is Ed Lynch.

On May 11, Georgia holds a special election in the 9th congressional district to fill out the remainder of Nathan Deal’s term. This is a heavily Republican district, with a mere 11 GOP candidates and a lone Democrat who has raised a little over $10,000. All candidates will run on a single ballot on this date; if any candidate receives a majority (50 percent plus 1) of the vote, that candidate is elected. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will participate in a June 8 runoff.

On May 18, Pennsylvania holds a special election to fill out the remainder of John Murtha’s term in the 12th district, as well as a primary for November’s election for a full term. I examined the Democratic candidate, controversy-plagued Murtha aide Mark Critz, here; the Republican candidate is Tim Burns.

May 22 is the deadline to turn in mailed ballots in Hawaii’s special election in its 1st district. I took a look at Honolulu city councilman Charles Djou and his two Democratic rivals here.

And then there’s New York’s 29th district, until recently represented by the temperamental tickler, Democrat Eric Massa. Now it appears that New York’s finances and politics are so epically botched that the state may not have a special election to replace him, and may simply let that district go without representation for three-quarters of a year. Here’s one local Democrat’s assessment:

One Democrat who’s not running for the congressional seat, Cattaraugus County Legislature Minority Leader Mark Ward of Great Valley, said he’s got mixed emotions about the special election.

“It’s going to cost us over $90,000, and over $1 million across the district,” Mr. Ward said. “The fact is soon after a special election, Congress would break for the summer. You’d have a rookie coming in – probably from the minority party – with Democratic majority in both the House and Senate. I’m not sure it’s worth that expenditure – not when there’s another election in November. If we didn’t have to pay the money, I’d say sure.”

Ah, the modern Democratic philosophy: Representation is important . . . unless, you know, it’s expensive.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mitt Romney , Rudy Giuliani , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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