Welcome to the Wednesday, April 14, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Who’s running for Virginia governor
- April 6 election updates: Omaha and Anchorage mayoral races
- West Virginia to join 41 other states with intermediate appellate courts
Who’s running for Virginia governor
Virginia is one of two states—along with New Jersey—holding a regularly scheduled gubernatorial election in 2021. (Signatures on a recall of California Gov. Gavin Newsom are also being verified. If it makes the ballot, the recall will be voted on sometime this fall.) Virginia’s incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is unable to seek re-election due to term limits. The Virginia Republican Party will hold a nominating convention to determine its candidate on May 8. A Democratic primary will be held on June 8. The general election is on Nov. 2.
Democrats have won four of the five most recent gubernatorial elections, as well as all 13 statewide elections in Virginia since 2012. Northam defeated Ed Gillespie (R) 54%-45% in the 2017 gubernatorial election. The last Republican governor was Bob McDonnell (2010-2014).
Let’s take a look at who’s running. Note: Candidate lists are unofficial and may be incomplete.
At least five candidates are running in the Democratic primary, all current or former officeholders: Del. Lee Carter, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan. This is the largest number of Democrats running in a gubernatorial primary in Virginia’s history.
Here are some noteworthy endorsements for the three candidates leading in endorsements and fundraising:
- Carroll Foy: Clean Virginia, Democracy for America, and three members of the General Assembly
- McAuliffe: Northam, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and 34 members of the General Assembly (including the House speaker and Senate majority leader)
- McClellan: New Virginia Majority, Care in Action, and 12 members of the General Assembly
At least seven candidates are competing in the Republican convention. Commentary on the Republican convention has focused on four candidates: state Sen. Amanda Chase, Del. Kirk Cox, 2013 lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder, and former global investment firm co-CEO Glenn Youngkin.
Some noteworthy endorsements for those four candidates are listed below.
- Chase: former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn
- Cox: former Govs. Bob McDonnell (R) and George Allen (R) and 24 General Assembly members
- Snyder: former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) and five General Assembly members
- Youngkin: commentator and talk show host Hugh Hewitt (R) and Del. John McGuire (R)
Due to coronavirus crowd-size restrictions, the unassembled Republican convention will be held across 37 locations. Unlike previous conventions in the state, there will be no limit on how many delegates can participate. Delegates are voting members who register as representatives of their local voting units ahead of the convention. Each voting unit is allocated a set number of delegate votes, which are then equally divided among the delegates representing that voting unit. Delegates will cast a single ballot using ranked-choice voting to determine a winner, rather than using multiple rounds of voting. This is the first time the party is using ranked-choice voting for a convention.
Other Virginia elections
Virginia is also holding elections for lieutenant governor, attorney general, and House of Delegates in 2021. All 100 House districts are up for election. This is one of three state legislative chambers—along with New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate—with regularly scheduled elections in 2021.
In 2019, Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate, making Virginia a Democratic trifecta for the first time since 1994.
April 6 election updates: Omaha and Anchorage mayoral races
Last week, I highlighted some April 6 election results out of Wisconsin and Missouri. I’m following up today with results of the Omaha, Nebraska, and Anchorage, Alaska, mayoral races.
Omaha mayoral election
Incumbent Jean Stothert (R) and RJ Neary (D) advanced from the top-two mayoral primary to a May 11 general election. Stothert received 57% of the vote followed by Neary with 16%. Third-place finisher Jasmine Harris (D) received 14%. Though the race was officially nonpartisan, we determined candidates’ party affiliations through the Nebraska Voter Information Lookup.
Stothert has been mayor for eight years, making her the city’s longest-serving Republican mayor since 1906, when Frank E. Moores (R) died in office after serving for nine years. Before Stothert’s election in 2013, Democrats had held Omaha’s mayorship from 2001 to 2013.
Anchorage mayoral election
David Bronson and Forrest Dunbar advanced to a May 11 runoff election, as neither candidate won more than 45% of the vote. As of April 12, Bronson had received 33% of the vote to Dunbar’s 31%. No other candidate had received more than 15% of the vote.
Incumbent Ethan Berkowitz (D) resigned from office in October. The Anchorage Assembly selected Austin Quinn-Davidson to serve as acting mayor and did not seek a full term. Former Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell (R) endorsed Bronson. Planned Parenthood endorsed Dunbar and two other candidates.
West Virginia to join 41 other states with intermediate appellate courts
As I alluded to in Monday’s Brew, Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a bill into law on April 9 that provides guidelines for creating the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals. Currently, the Supreme Court of Appeals is the state’s only appellate court. Intermediate appellate courts serve as an intermediate step between the trial courts and the courts of last resort in a state.
West Virginia is one of nine states without an intermediate appellate court. Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming do not have intermediate appellate courts. The Superior Court of Delaware serves as both a trial court and an intermediate appellate court.
West Virginia’s intermediate appellate court will consist of three judges set to assume office on July 1, 2022. The first three judges will be appointed—one each to a term ending in December 2024, December 2026, and December 2028. The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will submit a list of recommendations to the governor, who will nominate judges from the list. Nominees are subject to state Senate confirmation.
Nonpartisan elections for the position will be held beginning in 2024. Judges will be elected to 10-year terms.
Twelve other states hold nonpartisan elections for intermediate appellate court judges. Seven states hold partisan elections. Twenty states use various appointment methods. In two states—Virginia and South Carolina—state legislators elect judges.