Legislative Specials: Republican Gains

Republicans had a good day in legislative special elections yesterday. Here's a recap of some of the action. Republicans picked up a Michigan Senate ...
by | November 4, 2009

Republicans had a good day in legislative special elections yesterday. Here's a recap of some of the action.

Republicans picked up a Michigan Senate seat that had previously been held by a Democrat, as the Battle Creek Enquirer reports:

A Republican will take the District 19 state Senate seat as voters favored Mike Nofs at the polls Tuesday.

In an unofficial 20,237-11,380 decision, with all precincts reporting, Nofs pulled out a win over Democrat Martin Griffin. Independent Steve Mobley received 1,143 votes and Libertarian Greg Merle got 400 votes.

The District 19 seat has been vacant since January, when Democrat Mark Schauer resigned to represent Michigan's 7th Congressional District.

Republicans also picked up a Democratic-held House seat in a conservative area of Eastern Washington, as the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports:

WALLA WALLA -- After more than two decades in Democratic Party hands, the 16th Legislative District position 2 seat became GOP territory Tuesday.

Republican Party candidate Terry Nealey was the apparent winner of the off-season election with 58 percent of the vote against 42 percent for Democratic Party candidate Laura Grant.

Democrats held a House seat in Alabama in a closer than expected race, as the Press-Register reports:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Democrat Elaine Beech won a special election for the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, according to unofficial returns, but the vote was closer than some expected.

Beech garnered 53 percent, or 3,262 votes, in the race for House District 65, while her Republican opponent, Jerry Reed, received 47 percent, or 2,892 votes, county probate officials said. Provisional ballots are not included in the totals.

Beech said Tuesday night that she was expecting a larger margin of victory. The district traditionally leans Democratic, and the last Democrat to run for the seat, Marc Keahey, won a 2006 election with 60 percent of the vote.

Democrats also held a House seat in Missouri, as the Associated Press reports:

According to results on the Web site for the Missouri secretary of state's office, Democrat Stacey Newman beat Republican Daniel O'Sullivan Jr. in Tuesday's election, with all precincts reporting.

Newman replaces Democrat Steve Brown of Clayton. Brown and Democratic state Sen. Jeff Smith of St. Louis resigned Aug. 25 after admitting to obstruction of justice connected to Smith's unsuccessful 2004 run for Congress.

Mark Sanford's campaign help didn't doom a Republican in South Carolina, who won easily, as the Herald reports:

Voters in northern York County gave Ralph Norman a political comeback on Tuesday, choosing the Republican real estate developer over Democrat Kathy Cantrell in a state House special election.

According to unofficial results, Norman earned 72 percent of the vote to recapture the District 48 seat he held for a term before an unsuccessful 2006 run against U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C. He defeated Cantrell in all 28 precincts, including absentee.

Tuesday's victory came as little surprise in a reliably conservative district that has sent Republicans to Columbia for 20 years. Becky Meacham-Richardson and Carl Gullick preceded Norman.

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