Biden nominates Shalanda Young for final empty Cabinet post

Welcome to the Thursday, December 2, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Biden nominates Shalanda Young for director of Office of Management and Budget
  2. Tracking school board elections by 2020 presidential results
  3. Andre Dickens elected mayor of Atlanta

Biden nominates Shalanda Young for director of Office of Management and Budget

President Joe Biden (D) announced Shalanda Young as his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Nov. 24, 2021. Young was confirmed as deputy director of the OMB on March 2 and has been serving as the agency’s acting director. 

Earlier this year, Biden nominated Neera Tanden as OMB Director. Tanden withdrew her nomination on March 2 before the Senate voted on her confirmation. The position was last held by Russell Vought, who served from 2020-2021 during Donald Trump’s (R) administration.

OMB Director has been Biden’s last remaining unfilled Cabinet position. The Senate has confirmed 22 of Biden’s other Cabinet members. Young’s path to confirmation will require hearings before the Senate committees on Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, followed by confirmation by the full Senate.

With the exception of Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who voted against Tom Vilsack’s nomination as Secretary of Agriculture, no members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus have voted against any of Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees. 

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican who has voted for all of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has voted against 19 of Biden’s nominees—more than any other Senator.

While not explicitly identified in the Constitution, the Cabinet secretaries are the 15 agency heads who are in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also part of the Cabinet. Biden identified an additional nine positions as Cabinet-rank in his administration.

Before Young’s confirmation as deputy director of the OMB, she was Democratic staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, where she had worked since 2007. 

The Office of Management and Budget is a United States executive agency formed in 1970 to “serve the President of the United States in implementing his vision across the Executive Branch.” Its chief responsibilities are managing the development and execution of the annual federal budget, overseeing federal agencies and executive branch operations, and coordinating and reviewing agency regulations.

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Tracking school board elections by 2020 presidential results

Ballotpedia tracked 96 school districts across 16 states that held elections on Nov. 2 where candidates took a stance on race in education, coronavirus responses, or sex and gender in schools. There were 310 seats up for election, all but seven of which have been called.

Of the 96 school districts we tracked, 65 are located in counties that Joe Biden (D) won in 2020 and 31 are located in counties won by Donald Trump (R). Overall, there were 60 counties with an identified school district.

Note that county and school board boundaries do not perfectly align. A county might contain multiple school districts. As a result, in this analysis, voters in a school district might represent only a portion of all the voters in the county in which it is located.

In each county, we also tracked whether the winner incorporated a stance opposing race in education (or critical race theory), coronavirus restrictions or mitigation efforts, or issues regarding sex and gender into his or her campaign. For shorthand, we categorize them as an anti-CRT candidate. Other candidates are categorized as not anti-CRT, or unclear.

Of the 65 school districts located in Biden counties, 26 (40%) elected at least one anti-CRT candidate on Nov. 2 compared to 18 of the 31 (58%) located in Trump counties.

In districts located in Biden counties, 50 anti-CRT candidates won (23%) versus 139 not anti-CRT candidates (65%). In districts located in Trump counties, 39 anti-CRT candidates won (44%) versus 30 not anti-CRT candidates (34%).

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Andre Dickens elected mayor of Atlanta

Andre Dickens defeated Felicia Moore in the nonpartisan runoff for mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 30. Dickens won 64% of the vote to Moore’s 36%.

Dickens and Moore were the top two finishers in the Nov. 2 general election. Moore finished first in that round of voting, winning 41% to Dickens’ 23%. The number of votes cast in the runoff decreased by 18.1% compared to the general election, the largest decrease since the 1993 election. This was the seventh mayoral runoff in Atlanta since 1973 and the second in which the candidate who placed second in the general election went on to win.

Both candidates are members of the city council. Dickens was first elected in 2013. Moore was first elected in 1997 and was elected council president in 2017. Although the election was officially nonpartisan, both candidates are Democrats. Incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms did not run for re-election, the second Atlanta mayor since World War II to not run for a second term.

Two of the nine seats on the Atlanta Public Schools school board also went to runoffs. Tamara Jones defeated KaCey Venning 67% to 33% for an at-large seat, while Aretta Baldon defeated Keisha Carey 51% to 49% for the District 2 seat.

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