One week until Mississippi’s statewide filing deadline

Welcome to the Wednesday, Jan. 25 Brew. 

By: Juan Garcia de Paredes

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

  1. Filing deadline update in Mississippi
  2. Seattle to decide on Social Housing Developer initiative
  3. DeSantis currently leads PredictIt’s 2024 presidential general election market

One week until Mississippi’s statewide filing deadline

Yes, you read that right. As hard as it is to believe, the 2023 election season is already upon us! In Mississippi, the filing deadline to appear on the ballot in the Aug. 8 statewide primaries is week from now.

The Magnolia State is one of four states—along with Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia—holding regularly-scheduled state legislative elections this year. It is also one of three states—along with Kentucky and Louisiana—holding statewide elections for executive positions this year.

All 52 seats in the Mississippi State Senate and all 122 seats in the Mississippi State House are up for election this year. Republicans currently have a 36-16 majority in the state senate and a 76-42 majority in the state house, with three independent members and one vacancy. The party also holds the governorship, meaning Mississippi has a Republican trifecta. 

Besides seats in the state legislature, voters in Mississippi will vote for 14 state executive positions in November. Republicans hold 12 of these positions, and Democrats hold two. As of Jan. 13, ten Republican incumbents and one Democratic one have filed to run for re-election.  

Below is a list of the state executive positions up for election in Mississippi this year: 

  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • Treasurer
  • Auditor
  • Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
  • Commissioner of Insurance
  • Mississippi Public Services Commission (3 seats)
  • Mississippi Transportation Commission (3 seats)

The general election is on Nov. 7.

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Seattle to decide on Social Housing Developer initiative on Feb. 14

On Feb. 14, Seattle voters will decide on Initiative 135, an initiative to create the Seattle Social Housing Developer, a public development authority to own, develop, and maintain what the initiative describes as social housing. According to Initiative 135, this housing would provide publicly financed apartments that are “removed from market forces and speculation and built with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably.”

Under Initiative 135, the public developer’s housing units would be available to those with a mix of income ranges from 0% to 120% of the area median income (which was $120,907 as of 2022). Rent prices would be limited to 30% of household income. Applications would not include prior rental references, co-signers, background checks, or application fees. Tenants would be selected using a lottery-based system.

As a public corporation, the Seattle Social Housing Developer would be allowed to issue bonds, receive federal funds and grants, receive private funds, and collect revenue for services.

House Our Neighbors! (HON), also known as Yes on I-135, is sponsoring the initiative. House our Neighbors! needed to submit 26,520 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The group submitted 27,220 valid signatures. 

HON stated, “Social Housing is publicly owned forever, permanently affordable, and creates cross-class communities and resident leadership. … By creating a community-controlled Social Housing Developer to buy and build housing that will be available to those across the income spectrum, Seattle will have another critical tool to address the suffering, displacement, and inequity that defines our housing landscape.” 

The measure has received endorsements from State Sens. Joe Nguyen (D) and Rebecca Saldana (D), and State Reps. Frank Chopp (D) and Nicole Macri (D). It was also endorsed by the Green Party of Seattle and the Working Families Party of Washington.

The Housing Development Consortium, a non-profit organization based in Seattle that describes its mission as building “a diverse network committed to producing, preserving, and increasing equitable access to affordable homes,” released a statement on Initiative 135, writing, “… We are concerned [the initiative] distracts funds and energy away from what our community should be focusing on – scaling up affordable housing for low-income people. We do not need another government entity to build housing when there are already insufficient resources to fund existing entities. … “

“The proposed new public development authority (PDA) would not have the authority to impose taxes on its own, so the funds necessary to set up the additional citywide PDA would likely draw from existing affordable housing funding that could otherwise be dedicated to creating homes for our lowest-income neighbors,” the group added.

Currently, the Seattle Housing Authority, an independent public corporation, provides low-income housing and rental assistance to 17,945 households. The SHA owns and operates 8,530 apartments and single-family homes in Seattle. Eighty-five percent of SHA housing serves households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income (about $36,270). Funding for the Seattle Housing Authority comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), rent revenue, and public and private grants. The Social Housing Developer would not replace the Seattle Housing Authority.

Mail ballots must be postmarked no later than Feb. 14 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Feb. 14. In Washington, individuals who prefer to vote in person rather than by mail may do so at voting centers, which are open during business hours for 18 days prior to the election. Washington allows for same-day voter registration.

Since 2017, four local measures have reached the ballot in the City of Seattle. All four were approved. 

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DeSantis currently leads PredictIt’s 2024 presidential general election market

Now, let’s take a look at the 2024 presidential election. 

As of January 23, 2023, PredictIt’s 2024 presidential market shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) leading at $0.31, followed by President Joe Biden (D) at $0.29, former President Donald Trump (R) at $0.21, and California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) at $0.12. No other candidate has more than a $0.10 share price. The share price, which rises and falls based on market demand, roughly corresponds to the market’s estimate of the probability of an event taking place.

Trump is the only candidate of this group to have officially announced his presidential campaign.

The Democratic presidential primary market shows Biden leading the pack at $0.52. Two other candidates have a share price at or above $0.10: California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) is at $0.20, and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) is at $0.11.

DeSantis currently leads in the Republican presidential primary market at $0.38, followed by Trump at $0.32. No other candidate has a share price at or above $0.10. 

PredictIt is an online political futures market in which users purchase shares relating to the outcome of political events using real money. Each event, such as an election, has a number of contracts associated with it, each correlating to a different outcome. Services such as PredictIt can be used to gain insight into the outcome of elections. Due to action from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, PredictIt may halt trading on February 15, 2023.

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