The Congressional Elections

This+year%2C+San+Mateo+County+residents+took+to+the+polls+to+reelect+Jackie+Speier+as+their+congressional+representative.

Will Lester | Mercury News

This year, San Mateo County residents took to the polls to reelect Jackie Speier as their congressional representative.

Local Elections:

Jackie Speier, the Democratic candidate for District 14 in California, won the 2020 election by a large margin of 79.3% against Republican candidate Ran Petel. 

Speier has been serving as a U.S. Representative since 2008, making this her 12th year in Congress. She is the current representative of District 14, previously known as District 12 from 2008 to 2013, which covers the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and the southwest quarter of San Francisco. 

In nearby districts, Democratic candidate Anna Eshoo, who has been in Congress for 27 years, won District 18 by a majority vote of 63.2% against Democratic opponent Rishi Kumar. District 18 covers the bottom one-third of San Mateo County and parts of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. 

Both Eshoo and Speier have been in the House for over a decade, as they have been consistently reelected. 

Speier first ran for Congress in 1979, directly after the assassination of Rep. Leo Ryan, where she was also seriously injured after suffering five gunshot wounds. 

She was later elected to the California State Assembly, where she served for 13 years. She was later elected into the California State Senate, where she served up until 2006. 

Since the beginning of her political career, Congresswoman Speier has been an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. She recently authored H.J.Res.79, a resolution to eliminate the arbitrary deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which prohibits discrimination based on sex. 

In 2019, Speier cosponsored H.R. 1692, which requires coverage for abortion care through public health insurance programs. The right to abortion is one topic that Speier has always been vocal about. In 2011, she became the first Member of Congress to share her abortion story on the House floor. 

In addition to women’s rights, Congresswoman Speier supports healthcare-related legislation such as the Medicare for All Act of 2019, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, and more. 

Her current term will end on Jan. 3, 2021, paving the way for her 7th term in office. 

Flipped seats in the Senate:

In Alabama, Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville won the 2020 Senate election by a majority vote of 60.4%. Historically, Alabama has been a red state; however, the last serving senator was Democrat Doug Jones.

Jones had won the previous election as his opponent, Republican Roy S. Moore, was accused of sexual misconduct. As a result, Alabama’s senate seat flipped from blue to red in the 2020 election. 

In Colorado, Democrat John Hickenlooper won this year’s Senate election against current Republican Senator Cory Gardner. Previously, polls had predicted that Hickenlooper would defeat Gardner. Ultimately, the Republican senator lost his seat to Hickenlooper, meaning that on Jan. 3, 2021, Colorado will have 2 Democratic senators. 

In Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly won the Senate election against the current Republican Senator, Martha McSally. Like Colorado, polls had, in fact, previously predicted Kelly’s win. Kelly is a former U.S. Navy captain and astronaut, who gained national recognition with his strong advocacy for gun safety following the 2011 shooting where his wife, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was seriously injured. 

Run-offs: 

A run-off election is a second election that is held when no candidate wins the required majority of votes. 

Following the 2020 Senate election in Georgia, there will be two run-off elections, which have been set for Jan. 2021. These run-off elections are particularly crucial as they will determine which party has the majority in the Senate.

Typically, Senate elections are staggered so that two senate races do not happen at the same time within the same state. However, this year, Georgia has both seats up for reelection at the same time as one Senator is running because his term finished, while the second senator retired early due to health issues, leaving his seat open.  

Ultimately, neither race won a majority vote of 50%, which is why there will be a run-off election.  

The first seat up for reelection belongs to 70-year-old David Perdue, who has been in office since 2014 as a Republican Senator in Georgia. He is running against 33-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff, who has never been in office before and has progressive ideas, including demilitarization and expanding the Affordable Care Act. 

The second seat up for reelection is between Raphael Warnock and Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is a 51-year-old Black Democrat who has not previously served in office. Loeffler, on the other hand, is a 40-year-old white Republican who has been serving as Senator for the last year after former senator Johnny Isakson retired due to health issues. 

In the general election, Perdue edged out Ossoff by about 86,000 votes, winning 49.7% of the votes, while Warnock got over 334,000 votes more than Loeffler, winning 32.9% of the votes. 

Currently, the Republicans have won 50 seats, while the Democrats have flipped a net of one seat for a total of 48. Because of this, the Georgia run-off election is critical. If the Democrats win both seats in Georgia, Kamala Harris will become the tie-breaking vote, giving Democrats the majority in the senate. 

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