NYC and other mayoral elections in 2021

Welcome to the Tuesday, June 22, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Reviewing recent mayoral election results in two state capitals
  2. Texas supreme court justice resigns, announces candidacy for attorney general
  3. Register for our June 23 briefing about our 2021 Mid-Year Recall Report

Reviewing recent mayoral election results in two state capitals

Voters in New York City—the nation’s largest city—will decide primary elections today for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, all 51 city council districts, and all five borough presidents. In yesterday’s Brew, we previewed the mayoral and city comptroller races, and we’ll provide results updates as New York election officials release them.

New York City will use ranked-choice voting in municipal elections for the first time this year after voters adopted it via ballot measure in 2019. Election officials are not expected to complete tabulating results from the June 22 primaries until early July due to deadlines for submitting absentee ballots.

In addition to covering municipal elections in the 100 largest cities in the country, Ballotpedia also covers races for mayors, city council members, and district attorneys in each state capital. This includes today’s partisan primaries for the mayor and all 16 seats on the city council in Albany, and the mayor and three city court judges in Buffalo.

Ballotpedia is covering 43 mayoral elections and municipal contests in 22 counties and 71 cities this year. Sixteen state capitals are holding mayoral elections this year, including 12 that fall outside of the top 100 cities. 

The mayors of 63 of the country’s 100 largest cities are Democrats. This does not include the mayors of the 32 state capitals that are outside of the top 100 cities by population.

Here’s a roundup of results from two recent mayoral elections in state capitals:

Jackson, Miss.

Voters re-elected Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) on June 8. Lumumba received 69% of the vote, defeating Jason Wells (R) and three independent candidates. Lumumba was first elected mayor in 2017. 

Voters also re-elected five incumbent council members in the city’s seven districts. The partisan composition of the Jackson City Council is six Democrats and one Republican.

Harrisburg, Pa.

At-large city councilwoman Wanda Williams (D) defeated incumbent mayor Eric Papenfuse (D) and three other candidates to win the city’s Democratic mayoral primary on May 18. Williams won by 56 votes over Papenfuse, 29% to 28%, and will face Timothy Rowbottom (R) in the Nov. 2 general election. Papenfuse was first elected in 2013, defeating Dan Miller (R), 50% to 32%. Papenfuse did not have a Republican opponent when winning re-election in 2017.

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Texas supreme court justice resigns, announces candidacy for attorney general 

Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman resigned on June 11 and announced yesterday—June 21—that she would seek the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general next year. Incumbent Ken Paxton (R) has served as Texas’ attorney general since 2014 and ran unopposed in the Republican primary for attorney general in 2018.

Former Gov. Rick Perry (R) appointed Guzman to the Court in 2009. Guzman was the first Hispanic woman appointed to the state’s highest court. Upon winning election in 2010, she became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in Texas.

In Texas, the governor appoints a replacement to fill state supreme court vacancies, subject to state Senate confirmation. Appointees serve until the next general election when they must run in partisan races for a full term.

Guzman’s replacement will be Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) fifth nominee to the nine-member supreme court. All eight current members of the court identify as Republicans. Perry appointed three of the court’s current justices, and John Devine (R) was elected in 2012.

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Register for our June 23 briefing about our 2021 Mid-Year Recall Report

Last week, Ballotpedia published our Mid-Year Recall Report, summarizing the 164 recall efforts against 262 officials we’ve tracked this year. These are the most recall efforts we’ve tracked through this point in the year since 2016. 

As we highlighted in last week’s trivia question, school board members drew more recall petitions in the first half of this year than any other office for the first time since 2015. Forty-eight percent of officials who faced recall campaigns so far this year were school board members. And for the fifth time in the past six years, California had the most officials facing recall elections of any state.

We’re hosting a live briefing tomorrow—June 23 at 11 a.m. Central Time— to discuss this year’s recall efforts, including where recalls are happening and what officials are being targeted. In addition, we’ll provide the latest news in the ongoing recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and results from the recall elections already held so far this year.

This briefing is sure to fill up, so be sure to secure your spot and register today. And if you can’t attend live, we’ll send you a link to the recording after it’s complete so you can watch it on your schedule.

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About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.