Tracking mayoral partisanship in 2023

Forty mayoral elections are taking place in the 100 largest U.S. cities by population and the 50 state capitals in 2023.

Ballotpedia has tracked the partisan affiliation of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities since 2016, and we’ve tracked the partisan affiliation of state capital mayors since 2021.

Of the 40 cities with mayoral elections in 2023, 33 hold nonpartisan elections, and seven hold partisan elections. In cities where mayoral elections are nonpartisan, Ballotpedia uses direct communication from officeholders, previous candidacy for partisan office, or identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets to identify an officeholder’s partisan affiliation.

Twenty-nine of the 100 largest U.S. cities are holding mayoral elections in 2023. Twenty of those cities have a Democratic mayor, six have a Republican mayor, two mayors are independent or nonpartisan, and one mayor’s partisan affiliation is unknown. Of the three top-100 mayoral elections that have occurred this year, no offices have changed party control.

Across the country, Democrats hold 62 top-100 mayoral offices, Republicans hold 26, independents hold three, and nonpartisan mayors hold seven. Two mayors’ partisan affiliations are unknown.

Since Ballotpedia began tracking mayoral partisanship in 2016, the number of Democratic mayors in the top 100 cities has ranged from 61 (in 2019) to 67 (in 2016). The number of Republican mayors has ranged from 25 (in 2021) to 30 (in 2019).

Eighteen state capitals are holding mayoral elections in 2023, including 11 capitals that fall outside of the top 100 cities. Heading into the year, 15 of those capitals had a Democratic mayor, one had a Republican mayor, one mayor was nonpartisan, and one mayor’s partisan affiliation was unknown. So far, one 2023 state capital election has resulted in a mayoral office changing party control. In the April 4 nonpartisan election for mayor of Springfield, Illinois, Republican Misty Buscher defeated incumbent Democrat Jim Langfelder.

As Buscher has not yet assumed office, there are currently 38 Democratic state capital mayors, four Republican mayors, one independent mayor, two nonpartisan mayors, and five mayors with unknown partisan affiliation.