Three 2021 mayoral primaries still ahead in top-100 U.S. cities

Three of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population—Boston, Massachusetts, Cleveland, Ohio, and Toledo, Ohio—held mayoral primaries on Sept. 14. Three top-100 cities have mayoral primaries still ahead: Durham, North Carolina (Oct. 5), Hialeah, Florida (Nov. 2), and New Orleans, Louisiana (Nov. 13).

Twenty-eight top-100 cities will elect mayors in 2021. While most of these cities will hold general elections on Nov. 2, nine top-100 cities have already held mayoral elections this year, and two cities—New Orleans, Louisiana, and Hialeah, Florida—will hold elections later in November.

Since 2014, the number of mayoral elections in top-100 cities per year has ranged from 23 to 36.

In 2020, mayoral elections were held in 29 top-100 cities, and seven offices changed partisan control. In 2019, 31 top-100 cities elected mayors, resulting in four party changes.

Of the nine mayoral elections held so far this year, one has resulted in an office changing partisan control: In Anchorage, Alaska, David Bronson (R) was elected to succeed nonpartisan acting mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, who assumed office following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz (D).

Currently, 63 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, six identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and one mayor’s affiliation is unknown. While most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party. Ballotpedia 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.