With the special election today in Kansas, we are reminded that there are a few elections in 2017. Today's election will decide who replaces Rep. Mike Pompeo who moved to the Trump administration to serve as the Director of the CIA. This election is billed as the first test to see if Americans are happy with the direction of the country under President Trump, as well as a test to see if Democrats can challenge traditionally safe areas for Republicans.
Next Tuesday, Georgia will hold a special election for GA-6. Next month, South Carolina will hold a primary, and Montana will vote to replace their lone Member of Congress on May 25. California will also hold a special election on June 6 to fill the seat for CA-34.
There are also regularly scheduled elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Both states will elect a new governor and hold elections for their state legislatures in November.
Special Elections for U.S. House
• Election: April 11
In KS-4, voters will replace Rep. Mike Pompeo (R), who resigned to serve as the Director of the CIA under President Trump. A special election is scheduled for April 11 with Republican Ron Estes, Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold running. This is the first special election scheduled for House members who left to serve in Trump's cabinet and has caused some confusion over polling locations since it coincides with Holy Week.
Last week, this race was changed from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” by Roll Call. The NRCC purchased additional airtime, and President Trump recorded a robocall and tweeted in support of the campaign.
In GA-6, which covers part of the metro Atlanta area, voters will replace Rep. Tom Price (R), who resigned to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Trump. A “jungle primary” will be held on April 18 with 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents running. A run-off election is scheduled for June 20 and is expected to be held given the crowded race.
Out of all of the special House races, this election is the tightest and most-watched in the country. Recent polling shows Democrat Jon Ossoff ahead of Republican Karen Handel despite strong Republican history in the district. However, a poll released by the Congressional Leadership Fund shows that Ossoff's unfavorables are now at 47%. National media has focused on this race as a oreferendum on President Trump, and Democrats have poured around $4 million into Ossoff's campaign.
In SC-5, voters will replace Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R), who resigned to serve as the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under President Trump. A primary election is scheduled on May 2 with the general on June 20 with three Democrats, seven Republicans and five third-party candidates running.
This race is considered safe for Republicans, which makes the May 2 primary a focus.
• Election: May 26
In MT-AL, the sole congressional district in Montana, voters will replace Rep. Ryan Zinke (R), who resigned to serve as the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior under President Trump. A general election will be held on May 25 with a Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian candidate running.
Like Georgia, there's an effort to nationalize the race. The Congressional Leadership Fund has pledged to spend more than $700,000 to oppose Democrat Rob Quist. However, state party officials warn about the dangers of using Montana as a bell-wether for 2018 mid-terms:
“There are some people on the national level who are saying this is the referendum of what’ll happen with Trump, because our state went for Trump. But the reality is it’s local. Our state is unique: We elected Steve Bullock and Trump by a wide margin,” said Jim Larson, chairman of the state Democratic Party.
In the state legislature, there was a hot debate in the state legislature to decide if the May 25 elections should be conducted entirely by mail-in ballots, which failed on March 31. A lawsuit was also filed to declare Montana's special election ballot-access law unconstitutional.
• Election: June 6
In CA-34, voters will go to the polls to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra (D), who resigned after he was appointed the Attorney General for California. A jungle primary was held on April 4, and a run-off is scheduled for June 6.
Gubernatorial & State Elections
In November, the Garden State will vote for a new governor since Gov. Chris Christie (R) is term-limited after serving for the past eight years. A primary is scheduled for June 6. Four Republicans, eight Democrats, and one Green Party candidate have filed. Phil Murphy, an executive with Goldman Sachs, has an early lead in the Democratic primary, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is ahead of her Republican challengers.
This year, Gov. Terry McAulilffe is term-limited after serving one term. With a primary set for June 13, two Democrats and three Republican candidates have filed. Current polls show that Tom Perriello is tied with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic primary, and Ed Gillespie leads Republicans by 38 points compared to Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart at 11 points and Sen. Frank W. Wagner with 10%. These early polls have surprised pundits, whom expected Republicans to have the contested race.
Virginia will also hold an election for the House of Delegates in November.