Happy Special Election Week from Political Capital.
There are three special votes this week — first-round elections for vacant seats in U.S. House districts in Massachusetts and Louisiana and a special general election in New Jersey, where voters will pick a new senator.
What makes the week more unusual is that just one of the three elections is on Tuesday, the traditional day of the week for elections.
That’s tomorrow’s primary in Massachusetts’ 5th District, a Democratic stronghold near Boston where the winner of the seven-candidate Democratic contest will be a shoo-in to win the Dec. 10 general election. Democrat Ed Markey vacated the seat in July following his election to the Senate.
The next day, New Jersey voters will pick a new senator in a Wednesday balloting. Their choice probably will be Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, who leads in polls over Republican Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor who is aligned with the positions of Tea Party activists. Republican Sen. Jeff Chiesa has served on an interim basis since June, when Democrat Frank Lautenberg died during his fifth Senate term.
And on Oct. 19, a Saturday, voters in northeastern Louisiana’s 5th District will whittle a field of 14 candidates vying to succeed Republican Rodney Alexander, who resigned last month to join Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration. No candidate is likely to win the majority required for an outright victory. The top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation, would compete in a Nov. 16 runoff election. Republicans are favored to retain control of the district.