Fifteen of 29 of the largest cities holding 2020 mayoral elections have Republican incumbents

Twenty-nine mayoral elections will be held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2020. In 15 of those cities (52%), the incumbent mayor is a Republican. In 12 (41%), the incumbent is a Democrat. In one, the incumbent is an independent, and in one the incumbent is nonpartisan.

Compared to the entire group of the 100 largest cities by population, there are a disproportionately high number of cities with Republican incumbents holding elections this year.

In the 100 largest cities:

  • 64 mayors are Democrats,
  • 29 are Republicans,
  • Three are independents,
  • and four are nonpartisan.

At the beginning of 2019, 61 of the 100 largest cities had Democratic mayors. Sixty-three had Democratic mayors at the start of 2018, 64 at the beginning of 2017, and 67 at the start of 2016.

In most of the nation’s largest cities, mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan, though many officeholders and candidates are affiliated with political parties. This analysis uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

Of the 100 largest cities, there are 47 strong mayor governments, 46 council-manager governments, six hybrid governments, and one city commission. As of 2013, 62,186,079 citizens lived in these cities, accounting for 19.7 percent of the nation’s total population.

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Additional reading:
Party affiliation of the mayors of the 100 largest cities 
List of current mayors of the top 100 cities in the United States 
Largest cities in the United States by population 




About the author

Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at janie.valentine@ballotpedia.org.

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