Welcome to the Friday, August 6, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Virginia gubernatorial candidates have spent more than $28 million combined so far on this year’s election
- Group submits enough signatures for police-related ballot measure to qualify for the ballot in Austin, Texas
- #FridayTrivia: Which state was the second to lower its voting age to 18?
Virginia gubernatorial candidates have spent more than $28 million combined so far on this year’s election
Virginia is one of two states—along with New Jersey—holding gubernatorial elections on Nov. 2. Investment executive Glenn Youngkin (R) won the Republican Party of Virginia’s convention on May 8, and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) won the state’s Democratic primary on June 8.
The outcome of this election, in addition to the state’s House of Delegates elections, will also determine Virginia’s trifecta status. Virginia became a Democratic trifecta in 2019. Let’s check on the most recent campaign finance reports from this race, covering data through June 30.
McAuliffe has raised $20.3 million. Youngkin has raised more than $7.5 million and loaned his campaign $12 million. Both candidates combined have spent $28.2 million on this race so far.
Breaking those expenditures down even further, the majority of both campaigns’ total expenditures have been on producing and placing media advertisements. Forty-one percent of all of McAuliffe’s expenditures through June 30 went to Grassroots Media LLC, which offers strategic media planning services and carries out media buys. Similarly, 42% of all of Youngkin’s expenditures have gone to Smart Media Group LLC, an advertising agency and media buying agency.
Princess Blanding, the Liberation Party candidate, raised $20,604 through June 30 and spent $11,043, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. Her expenditures primarily have been for campaign supplies and canvassing costs, with her largest expenditure—$1,193—being for yard signs. Independent candidate Paul Davis has raised and spent less than $5,000 on the campaign so far.
Group submits enough signatures for police-related ballot measure to qualify for the ballot in Austin, Texas
The city clerk in Austin, Texas, announced on Aug. 3 that supporters had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify an initiative for the ballot that would set police staffing minimums. The city council has 10 days to approve the measure as a city ordinance or to put the initiative on the ballot. The deadline for the city council to put the initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot is Aug. 16.
The measure would:
- establish a minimum police department staffing requirement based on Austin’s population, which would require the city to hire additional police officers;
- state that new police hires should reflect Austin’s demographics;
- add additional required training time for police officers; and
- add new requirements for serving on the city’s Public Safety Commission.
Organizers submitted 27,778 signatures and the clerk’s office projected that 25,786 were valid. Initiative petitioners must gather 20,000 signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot.
Save Austin Now—which submitted the signatures in support of this initiative—said on its website, “The City council defunded Austin Police by 30% last year, and our city has seen a rising crime wave ever since.” This measure is designed to “Ensure adequate numbers of police officers for a city our size and make that calculation independent of the city council’s whim.” A statement issued by Austin City Council Member Greg Casar said, “George Floyd was killed one year ago, and instead of working on police reform, this group is fear-mongering and trying to avoid police accountability. Their petition drive is about writing a blank check of taxpayer funds to their own department, while cutting off funds for all our other public employees and critical public safety needs. This petition goes directly against what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about.”
Ballotpedia is covering local police-related ballot measures. Voters in six cities nationwide have approved three and rejected three such measures so far this year. Voters in Cleveland and Minneapolis will decide police-related local ballot measures on Nov. 2.
#FridayTrivia: Which state was the second to lower its voting age to 18?
In Tuesday’s Brew, we highlighted Georgia’s 1943 ballot measure which lowered the state’s voting age from 21 to 18. Voters approved that change 78 years ago, and it led to consideration of the Constitution’s 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age nationwide to 18.
In that story, we noted that in 1955—12 years after voters passed the Georgia Age Requirements for Voting Amendment—a second state lowered its voting age to 18. This was before Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959, and adopted voting ages of 19 and 20 years, respectively. Which state was the second to lower its voting age to 18?