Special Elections and Membership
Changes in the 103d Congress,
Thomas H. Neale
Analyst in American National Government
April 7, 1994
IIIBIIIIIIIIIIIIIIll IIIIIIIIIIIIIII II
SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND MEMBERSHIP CHANGES
IN THE 103D CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION
This report provides information on membership changes in the first
session of the 103d Congress through special elections for vacancies in the
House of Representatives and appointments and special elections for vacancies
in the Senate .
There were two Senate vacancies during the first session of the 103d
Congress . The first was created by the resignation of Sen. Al Gore (D-TN), and
was filled by appointment of Harlan Mathews (D) . A special election will be
held in 1994 for the balance of his term, which expires in 1996 . The second was
created by the resignation of Sen . Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) . It was filled initially
by appointment of Bob Krueger (D), and subsequently by Kay Bailey Hutchison
(R), who won a special election for the balance of the term which expires in
There were five vacancies in the House of Representatives during the first
session of the 103d Congress, all of which were filled by special election . Rep .
Leon Panetta (D-CAl7th) resigned and was replaced by Sam Farr (D); Rep . Mike
Espy (D-MS2d) resigned and was replaced by Bennie Thompson (D); Rep . Paul
Henry (R-M13d) died and was replaced by Vern Ehlers (R); Rep . Willis Gradison
(R-OH2d) resigned and was replaced by Rob Portman (R); and Rep. Les Aspin
(D-WIlst) resigned and was replaced by Peter Barca (D).
Procedures Governing Vacancies
House of Representatives
Special Elections and Membership Changes in the 103d Congress,
House of Representatives
SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND MEMBERSHIP CHANGES IN THE 103D
CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION
During the course of a Congress, seats in the House of Representatives
that fall vacant are filled through special elections. A vacancy in a Senate seat
is usually filled temporarily by appointment, followed by a special election . This
report identifies these vacancies and resultant membership changes in the first
session of the 103d Congress . All House vacancies filled by special election,
changes in membership of the Senate and changes of party affiliation by
Members of either House during the 103d Congress are recorded.
PROCEDURES GOVERNING VACANCIES
Vacancies in Congress occur due to the death, resignation, or declination
(refusal to serve) of a Senator or Representative, or as the result of expulsionary
or exclusionary action taken by either House .
Procedures governing vacancies in the Senate were initially established by
Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution, as later amended by paragraph 2 of the
17th Amendment. The latter states :
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in
the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of
election to fill such vacancies : Provided that the legislature of any
State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary
appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the
legislature may direct .
Prevailing practice is for State Governors to fill Senate vacancies by
appointment, with the appointee serving until a special election has been held .
In the event the seat becomes vacant between the time of a general election and
the expiration of the term, the appointee usually serves the balance of the term,
until the next regularly scheduled general election . This practice originated
with the constitutional provision which applied prior to direct election of
Senators, under which Governors were directed to make temporary
appointments when the State legislature was in recess . The Governor's direct
authority to make interim appointments is specified in the various State laws .
(Only Arizona does not allow the Governor to make interim appointments,
requiring, instead, a special election to fill any Senate vacancy .)
In the event of a Senator's death, his or her staff continue to be
compensated for a period not exceeding 90 days, performing duties under the
direction of the Secretary of the Senate (2 U .S.C. 92e) .
House of Representatives
The Constitution provides for cases in which House seats become vacant
in Article I, Section 2, clause 4 :
When Vacancies happen in the Representation from any State,
the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to
fill such Vacancies .
The responsibility for scheduling such special elections has been vested by the
U.S. Code (2 U .S.C. 8) with the State legislatures :
The time for holding elections in any State, District, or
Territory for a Representative to fill a vacancy, whether such
vacancy is caused by the death, resignation, or incapacity of a
person elected, may be prescribed by the laws of the several
States and Territories respectively .
House vacancies are invariably filled by special elections if they occur
during the first session of a Congress . Procedures governing vacancies occurring
during the second session of a Congress differ from State to State, and are
largely dependent on the amount of time intervening between the vacancy and
the next general election .
If a House seat becomes vacant within six months of the expiration of the
previous incumbent's term, many States, in the interest of economy and
convenience, provide for a special election to be held on the regularly scheduled
general election day, at the same time a regular election for the seat is held.
Winners of special elections in these cases are sometimes not sworn in as
members of the House, Congress having often adjourned sine die before election
day. They are, however, accorded the status of incumbent Representatives for
the purposes of seniority, office selection, and staffing . Other States, under
these circumstances, do not provide for a special election, and the seat remains
vacant until the new Congress convenes the following January .
Staff of a deceased or resigned Representative are compensated until a
successor is elected to fill the vacancy, performing duties under the direction of
the Clerk of the House (2 U .S.C. 92 b,c) .
SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND MEMBERSHIP CHANGES IN THE 103D
CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION
This section provides a tabular summary of changes in party lineup in the
first session of the 103d Congress, as well as detailed information on special
elections and membership changes in both Houses . Data on each special
election, seat change, or change in party affiliation include : background
information, election dates, candidates, means of selection, primary (where
appropriate) and general election results, and swearing-in dates for new
Members of either House .
Changes in Party Lineup in the First Session, 103d Congress
Party Lineup as of 01/05/93
Party Lineup as of 12/31/93
This figure includes Rep .-elect Vern Ehlers (R-MI-3rd), who was sworn in
January 25, 1994 .
Senator Albert (Al) Gore, Jr . (D), resigned from the Senate on January 2,
1993 ; he was elected Vice President of the United States in 1992 and was
inaugurated on January 20, 1993 . Sen. Gore was first elected to the House of
Representatives in 1976 (95th Congress) . In 1984 (99th Congress), he was
elected to the Senate, and served continuously until his resignation .
The Tennessee Election Code (ss. 2-16-101) authorizes the Governor to fill
Senate vacancies by appointment until a special election is held at the next
regularly scheduled November election . Governor Ned McWherter (D) appointed
Harlan Mathews (D) to fill the vacancy created by Sen . Gore's resignation . Sen.
Mathews was sworn in on January 5, 1993, and will serve until the special
election is held on November 8, 1994 . The winner of that election will serve the
balance of the term, which expires in 1996 . On February 15, 1994 Sen .
Mathews announced he would not be a candidate for the special election .
Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D), resigned from the Senate on January 20, 1993,
to assume the office of Secretary of the Treasury . Sen. Bentsen was first elected
to the House of Representatives in 1948 (81st Congress), and served until 1955,
when he declined to run for reelection . He was elected to the Senate in 1970
(92nd Congress), and served continuously until his resignation .
Texas Election Laws (204 .002,5) authorize the Governor to fill Senate
vacancies by appointment, and further require that a vacancy be filled by special
election if it falls during an odd-numbered year . Texas also requires a majority
vote for election in special elections (203 .003) ; if no candidate receives a
majority, then the two receiving the most votes contest a runoff. All candidates
meeting State requirements (an application, a filing fee of $2,500, and petitions
including the valid signatures of at least 5000 registered voters) appear on the
first-round ballot .
Governor Ann W. Richards (D) appointed Bob Krueger (D) to fill the
vacancy until the special election, which was scheduled for May 1, 1993 . Sen.
Krueger had previously been elected to the House of Representatives in 1974
(94th Congress) and served until 1979 . Sen . Krueger was sworn in on January
21, 1993 .
A total of 24 candidates qualified for the ballot in the special election,
including five Democrats, ten Republicans, six independents, and one
representative each of the People's, Libertarian, and Socialist Workers' Parties .
Sen. Krueger (who received 593,239 votes) and Republican challenger Kay Bailey
Hutchison, Texas State Treasurer, (who received 593,338 votes) qualified for the
runoff election . Each received 29 percent of votes, with the remainder spread
among the 22 other candidates . Governor Richards scheduled the runoff for
June 5, 1993.'
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) won the June 5 runoff for the balance of the
term (which expires in 1994) with 67 .3 percent of the vote. Official returns
were as follows :
' Official returns by Office of the Secretary of State, Texas .
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)
Bob Krueger (D)
Sen . Hutchison was sworn in on June 14, 1993 .
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Representative Leon Panetta (D) resigned from the House on January 21,
1993 in order to assume the position of Director of the Office of Management
and Budget . Rep . Panetta was first elected to the House in 1976 (95th
Congress), and served continuously until his resignation .
The California Election Codes (ss .1773) authorize the Governor to order a
special primary election to fill any vacancy in the office of Representative in
Congress . Governor Pete Wilson (R) set June 8, 1993 for the special election .
For such special elections, all qualified candidates compete in a special primary,
regardless of party affiliation (ss . 7201) . Nomination is by petition signed by not
less than 40 nor more than 60 registered voters . Any candidate receiving more
than 50 percent of the vote in the primary is elected . If no candidate receives the
required majority, the candidates of each party receiving the most popular votes
compete in a special general election .
Democratic State Senator Sam Farr, Republican Bill McCampbell, and the
following minor party candidates qualified for inclusion on the ballot : Kevin G .
Clark, Green (Grn) ; Jerome McCready, American Independent (AI); and Richard
J. Quigley, Libertarian (Lbt) . In addition, two Independent (Ind) candidates
Peter James and James Ogle, also qualified for ballot inclusion . A write-in
candidate, Tom Shannon, also received votes .
Sam Farr (D) was elected on the first round with 52 .3 percent of the vote .
Official returns were as follows :
Sam Farr (D)
Bill McCampbell (R)
Jerome McCready (AI)
Kevin G. Clark (Grn)
Richard J . Quigley (Lbt)
Peter James (Ind)
James Ogle (Ind)
Tom Shannon (Write-in)
Rep . Farr was sworn in on June 16, 1993 .
Official returns provided by Office of the Secretary of State, Texas .
s Official returns provided by Elections Division, Office of the California
Secretary of State .
Representative Paul B . Henry (R) died July 31, 1993 . Rep . Henry was first
elected to the House in 1984 (99th Congress), and served continuously until his
Michigan Compiled Laws (168 .631,633) authorize the Governor to order
special primary and general elections to fill any vacancy in the office of
Representative in Congress . Plurality vote is sufficient to nominate or elect .
Governor John M . Engler (R) scheduled the primary for November 2, 1993, and
the general election for December 7 . Major party candidates for the primary are
required to submit nominating petitions signed by registered voters equal in
number to not less than one percent nor more than four percent of the votes
cast for the party's candidate for Secretary of State at the preceding general
election (163 .133) . Minor party and independent candidates do not appear on the
primary ballot .
The following candidates were accorded ballot status for the primary : Dale
R. Sprik (D) (who was unopposed for the nomination), and Marge Byington,
Richard P . Dean, Vern Ehlers, Thomas W . Heintzleman, Michael G . Maxfield,
Ken Sikkema, and Dave Ver Meulen, all Republicans . State Senator Vern
Ehlers joined Democrat Sprik on the general election ballot, winning the
Republican nomination with 32 .7 percent of the vote . In addition, Independent
candidate (Ind) Dawn Ida Krupp qualified for inclusion on the general election
Vern Ehlers won the December 7 general election with 66 .6 percent of the
vote. Official returns were as follows :
Vern Ehlers (R)
Dale R. Sprik (D)
Dawn Ida Krupp (Ind)
Rep . Ehlers was sworn in on January 25, 1994 .
Representative Mike Espy (D) resigned from the House on January 22, 1993
to assume the office of Secretary of Agriculture . Rep. Espy was first elected to
the House in 1986 (100th Congress), and served continuously until his
4 Voters Place Ehlers on Track to Succeed Henry in House . Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, v. 51, Nov. 6, 1993. p. 3069.
Official returns provided by Office of Director of Elections, Office of the
Michigan Secretary of State .
The Mississippi Code (ss . 23-15-853 Suppl .) requires the Governor to order
an election to fill any vacancy in the office of Representative in Congress not
more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs . The election must be scheduled for
not later than 40 days after the order is issued . Candidates gain ballot access
by submitting petitions including the valid signatures of not less than 1,000
registered voters who reside in the district . All candidates who qualify for ballot
position contest the special election, in which a majority is required to elect . If
no candidate receives the requisite majority, then the two receiving the most
popular votes contest a runoff election, held two weeks later . Governor Kirk
Fordice (R) set March 30, 1993 for the special election and April 13 for the
Seven Democratic candidates-Unita Blackwell, Henry Espy, David M .
Halbrook, James H . Meredith, Brian H. Neely, Steve Richardson, and Bennie
Thompson, and one Republican-Hayes Dent, qualified for the first round
election. Although no candidate received a majority, Dent (with 34 .2 percent of
the vote) and Thompson (with 28 .4 percent) qualified for the runoff.
Bennie Thompson (D) won the April 13 runoff with 55.2 percent of the vote .
Official returns were as follows :
Bennie Thompson (D)
Hayes Dent (R)
Rep. Thompson was sworn in on April 20, 1993 .
Representative Willis Gradison, Jr . (R), resigned from the House on January
31, 1993. Rep . Gradison was first elected to the House in 1974 (94th Congress),
and served continuously until his resignation .
The Ohio Revised Code, Annotated (ss .3521 .03) requires the Governor to
order a special election to fill any vacancy in the office of Representative in
Congress . Procedures for special elections are the same as those for regular
elections, including both primary and general elections . A plurality is sufficient
to nominate and elect . Major party candidates for nomination gain primary
ballot access by submitting a declaration of candidacy, a filing fee, and petitions
including the valid signatures of not less than 150 registered voters who are
party members . Independent candidates do not contest the primary, but may
qualify for ballot access by submitting a declaration of candidacy, a filing fee,
and petitions including the valid signatures of a number of registered voters
which varies according to the vote for governor in the district in the last
election . Governor George V . Voinovich (R) scheduled the primary for March
16, 1993, and the general election for May 4 .
6 Official returns provided by Elections Bureau, Office of the Mississippi
Secretary of State .
Five Democrats qualified for the primary ballot : Ralph A. Applegate,
Thomas R . Chandler, Lee Hornberger, Robert Dale McDilda, Sr ., and Ray
Mitchell . Hornberger won the primary with 46 .0 percent of the vote . Seven
Republicans contested the primary : Jay Buchert, Ken Callis, Garland Eugene
Crawford, Robert W. Dorsey, Van Darnell Loman, Bob McEwen, and Rob
Portman . Portman won the primary with 35 .6 percent of the vote .'
Rob Portman (R) won the May 4 general election with 70 percent of the
vote . Official returns were as follows :
Rob Portman (R)
Lee Hornberger (D)
Rep . Portman was sworn in on May 5, 1993 .
Representative Les Aspin, Democrat, resigned from the House on January
20, 1993 to assume the office of Secretary of Defense . Rep . Aspin was first
elected to the House of Representatives in 1970 (92nd Congress), and served
continuously until his resignation .
The Wisconsin Statutes Annotated (8 .50 (1),(4)) requires the Governor to
order a special election, and, if necessary, a special primary, to fill any vacancy
in the office of Representative in Congress which occurs prior to the second
Tuesday in May in a year in which general elections are scheduled . A plurality
is sufficient to nominate or elect . Candidates for nomination are required to file
a statement of candidacy accompanied by petitions signed by not less than 1,000
nor more than 2,000 electors who reside in the congressional district (8 .15
(6)(b)) . Independent and other party candidates do not participate in the
primary, but qualify for general election ballot access by meeting the same
requirements as candidates for the primary election, as cited previously (8 .20) .
Governor Tommy G . Thompson (R) scheduled the special primary for April 6,
1993, and the general election for May 4 .
Five Democrats qualified for the primary ballot : Peter W. Barca, Jeffrey
Neubauer, Samuel Platts, Jeffrey C . Thomas, and Wayne W. Wood . Barca won
the April 6 primary with 50 .3 percent of the vote . Two Republicans, Charles W .
Coleman and Mark W . Neumann contested the primary, which Neumann won
with 78 .9 percent of the vote .' In addition, Libertarian (Lbt) candidate Edward
J . Kozak, and two Independent (Ind) candidates Gary W . Thompson and Karl
Huebner, also qualified for the general election ballot .
' Moore, Thomas H . Portman Wins the Inside Lane in Republican 2nd
District . Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, v . 51, Mar . 20, 1993 . p . 687 .
8 Official returns provided by Office of the Ohio Secretary of State .
9 Cook, Rhodes . Neumann, Barca Are Finalists for the 1st District .
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, v . 51, Apr . 10, 1993 . p . 924 .
Democrat Peter W. Barca won the May 4 general election with 49 .9 percent
of the vote . Official returns, after a recount, were as follows :
Peter W. Barca (D)
Mark W. Neumann (R)
Edward J. Kozak (Lbt)
Gary W. Thompson (Ind)
Rep . Barca was sworn in on June 8, 1993 .
to Official returns provided by Wisconsin State Elections Board .