The Daily Brew: Ballotpedia’s 2021 Elections To Watch

Welcome to the Monday, October 4, Brew. 

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Briefing—Ballotpedia’s 2021 Elections To Watch
  2. First candidate filing deadlines for 2022 currently set for December
  3. Voters in Juneau, Alaska, decide today whether to renew 3% sales tax

Briefing—Ballotpedia’s 2021 Elections To Watch

The November general elections are less than a month away and we’ve been keeping a close eye on some of the most interesting races that will reshape city and state politics across the country heading into 2022. 

Tomorrow, Oct. 6, Ballotpedia Staff Writer Amée LaTour will be digging into elections ranging from Virginia’s governor to Cleveland’s mayor as part of a briefing on Ballotpedia’s 2021 Elections To Watch

Here’s a quick look at some of the races we will be discussing:

  • In Virginia, voters will be casting ballots for all 100 members of the House of Delegates as well as electing a new governor. The outcome of these elections will determine whether Democrats maintain their newly won trifecta status in the state or if Republicans return Virginia to divided government. Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the House of Delegates, making this the first time since 1999 Democrats are defending a House majority. Ballotpedia has identified 22 battleground House races: Democrats hold 16 and Republicans hold six.

In the race for governor, just last week, the Cook Political Report changed its rating from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss-up” as former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and investment executive Glenn Youngkin (R) participated in their second, and final, debate.

According to Ballotpedia’s Power Index, an election forecasting tool that factors in polling averages and PredictIt prices, the race narrowed slightly last week with McAuliffe and Youngkin’s chances of winning at 79% and 21%, respectively.

  • In Cleveland, incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson (D) is not seeking re-election, making this the city’s first open race for mayor since 2001. Two candidates advanced out of a seven-way primary: tech executive Justin Bibb (D) and City Council President Kevin Kelley (D). Bibb, who has never held office, is emphasizing a theme of fresh leadership while Kelley, who was first elected to the Cleveland City Council in 2005, is promoting his experience and record. Bibb received endorsements from Our Revolution Ohio and two former mayors: Michael White (D) and Jane Campbell (D). Kelley received endorsements from incumbent Mayor Jackson, four city council members, and numerous local unions.
  • In Seattle, homelessness has emerged as a major issue in the mayoral race between the city’s former and current city council presidents: Bruce Harrell and Lorena González. King County, where Seattle is located, has the third-highest number of people without homes of any metro area in the country, behind only New York City and Los Angeles. Harrell and González disagree over the issues of encampments, groups of people living without homes in spaces like public parks, and zoning. Harrell said he supports removing people from encampments if they are offered and refuse some form of alternative shelter. González opposes that approach. To create more affordable housing, González wants to change city zoning laws to allow apartments in neighborhoods where current zoning allows only single-family homes. Harrell opposes that, saying community input is needed before changing zoning laws.

Learn more about these exciting races and several others by registering for the upcoming briefing using the link below!

Register now 

First candidate filing deadlines for 2022 are currently set for December

The first filing deadlines for primary candidates in the 2022 election cycle are currently set to take place in Texas and North Carolina on Dec. 13 and 17, respectively, though redistricting deadlines could result in changes. Eight states will see their filing deadlines in January and February of 2022. Eighteen states have deadlines in March while 12 have deadlines set in April and May. The remaining 10 have filing deadlines in June and July. 

Keep in mind: these deadlines are tentative. Delays in the redistricting process may alter the filing deadlines. For example, lawmakers in Texas already passed a bill that provides for a postponed primary and candidate filing deadline if new district maps are not in place by the following dates:

  • If a redistricting plan is adopted on or before Nov. 15, the primary date and candidate filing deadline remain unchanged.
  • If a plan is adopted after Nov. 15 and on or before Dec. 28, the primary is moved to April 5, and the filing deadline is to Jan. 24.
  • If a plan is adopted after Dec. 28 and on or before Feb. 7, the primary goes to May 24 and the filing deadline is moved to March 7.

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Voters in Juneau, Alaska, decide today whether to renew a 3% sales tax 

The November election may be less than a month away, but there are still active elections throughout October. Today, voters in Juneau, Alaska, will decide on a ballot measure—Proposition 1—to renew the city’s 3% temporary sales tax for five years. If voters don’t approve Proposition 1, the tax would expire on July 1, 2022. If voters approve Proposition 1, the city’s total sales tax rate would remain at 5% — this 3% temporary tax, a separate 1% temporary tax, and a 1% permanent sales tax. If voters reject Proposition 1, the total sales tax rate in the city would drop to 2%.

The Juneau Assembly’s intended use of the revenue from the tax would continue to allocate revenue as it does currently:

  1. 1% police, fire, street maintenance, snow removal, EMT/ambulance service, parks and recreation, libraries, and other general purposes;
  2. 1% roads, drainage, retaining walls, sidewalks, stairs, and other capital improvements; and
  3. 1% allocated annually by the assembly among capital improvements, an emergency budget reserve, and other general public services.

Residents voted 76-24% to renew the temporary tax in October 2016. At the same time, voters rejected a measure 66-34% that would have made the 3% sales tax permanent. Juneau Budget Analyst Adrien Speegle estimated the tax generates $30 million per year.

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