The final sneak peek: mayoral and school board elections

Welcome to the Friday, July 15, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Previewing mayoral and school board elections
  2. The next U.S. Supreme Court term begins in October
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many abortion-related ballot measures have been certified for the ballot so far this year?

Previewing mayoral and school board elections

All this week, we’ve brought you analyses and sneak peeks into the upcoming general elections at all levels of government, from the U.S. Senate to state legislatures.

In a midterm election year, attention tends to focus on these high-profile races. But when voters go to the polls, they’re likely to find local races on their ballots, as well – particularly with more than 500,000 elected officials nationally.

Here’s a look at mayoral and school board races Ballotpedia covers across the largest cities and school districts in the country.

Mayoral elections

Twenty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population are holding mayoral elections in 2022. In 15 of those cities, the incumbent is a Democrat. Four incumbents are Republicans, one is independent, and three are nonpartisan. One office is currently vacant.

Of the races we cover, two of those cities hold partisan elections, where candidates appear on the ballot with party labels. The rest hold nonpartisan elections. In cities with nonpartisan elections, Ballotpedia uses several sources to identify partisan affiliation: direct outreach to the officeholder, candidacy in some other partisan office, or identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

While most mayoral elections are scheduled for later this year, four of the 100 largest cities have already held their contests:

No party changes resulted from any of those elections.

Ballotpedia also covers mayoral elections in every state capital, 11 of which are holding elections in 2022. At the start of this year, Democrats held the mayorship in nine of those cities, and Republicans held two.

One race we will be watching closely is the mayoral race in Los Angeles, Calif., where Karen Bass (D) and Rick Caruso (D) will face off in November after advancing from a top-two primary in June. Bass, a member of the U.S. House, has held elected office as a Democrat since 2005. In January 2022, Caruso announced he changed his party registration from no party preference to Democrat.

School board elections

Ballotpedia covers school board elections in 470 school districts, including the 200 largest districts by student enrollment and all districts in the 100 largest cities by population. 

This year, we are covering school board elections in 373 districts across 28 states and Washington D.C. Within those districts, 1,149 seats are up for election with an average term length of four years.

School districts hold elections throughout the year, with a majority clustered in November. Twenty-seven percent of districts within our coverage scope have already held general elections, with 70% scheduled for Nov. 8.

Most districts we cover only hold a single general election, but 38% hold primaries and general elections. A majority of primaries—63%—have already come and gone. Maryland, the next state with upcoming school board elections, will hold primaries on July 19.

This year, 2,487 candidates are running for 1,062 school board seats within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope where the filing deadline has passed, an average of 2.34 candidates per seat. This is an 18.7% increase from the average of 1.94 candidates per seat in 2020.

To stay informed on the latest in school board elections and district policy, subscribe to Hall Pass, our weekly education-related newsletter.

Keep reading 

The next U.S. Supreme Court term begins in October

Yesterday we reviewed the events of the most recent SCOTUS sitting. Now, let’s look to the fall. The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing cases for its next term on Oct. 3, 2022. 

To date, the court has added 23 cases to its docket for the next term, which the court will decide after hearing oral arguments. None of the cases have been scheduled for arguments as of this writing.

Here’s a look at some of the most recent cases the court accepted for review:

  • Percoco v. United States, which asks whether a private citizen who can influence governmental decision-making should be convicted of bribery;
  • Moore v. Harper, involving the independent state legislature doctrine, which theorizes that the U.S. Constitution allows state legislatures to regulate federal elections without oversight from state courts.

This will be the first full term for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was sworn in on June 30 to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer following her nomination by President Joe Biden (D) earlier this year.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many abortion-related ballot measures have been certified so far this year?

On Tuesday, we brought you an update from the world of ballot measures. 2022 will see the largest number of abortion-related statewide ballot measures on record.

How many abortion-related ballot measures have been certified for the ballot so far this year?

  1. 12
  2. 3
  3. 9
  4. 5