Welcome to the Monday, October 16, 2023, Brew.
By: Juan Garcia de Paredes
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Every local ballot measure in Virginia on Nov. 7
- Top-polling Republican presidential primary candidates’ logos and slogans
- All candidates for Kentucky State Treasurer complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
Every local ballot measure in Virginia on Nov. 7
The local ballot measures range in topic, including government structure and elections, gambling expansion, general obligation bonds for school facilities, and capital improvement projects.
Let’s take a brief look at each measure.
Measures on government and elections
Two of the ballot measures address government structure and elections.
One is in Hanover County, north of Richmond. The ballot initiative would change how school board members are selected for Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS). Currently, the seven-member Hanover County Board of Supervisors appoints school board members to four-year terms. Six of the supervisors are Republicans, and one is a Democrat. The ballot initiative would make the school board an elected body, with voters directly electing the school board members.
Virginia state law allows school boards to be appointed or elected. School board elections in Virginia—which are nonpartisan—must be held at the same time as statewide general elections, and are held every four years, every two years, or annually on varying schedules. District voters can change from an appointed school board to an elected school board or from an elected school board to an appointed school board through a petition and referendum process. To read more about the rules governing school board election dates and timing in Virginia, click here.
HCPS is one of 13 school divisions (of 132) where board members are appointed, rather than elected. In 1992, Virginia became the last state to permit elected school boards. HCPS provides education for approximately 17,000 students in 26 schools.
Let’s take a look at some arguments in favor and against the measure:
- Hanover Citizens for an Elected School Board is leading a campaign to support the ballot initiative. The campaign stated that the initiative would “make school board members accountable to citizens, rather than the one Board of Supervisors representative who appointed them.”
- Bob Holsworth, founding director of the Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, said, “The argument you make is that it’s a ‘parents’ matter’ situation. If you want parents to control what their children are going to attain in the school system, why not let them have a direct voice? This is a place where the ACLU and the NAACP and the ideology of ‘parents matter’ are in alignment.”
- Keep Hanover Students First, which opposes the initiative, stated, “… a group backed by the Teacher Unions, supporters of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and those pushing transgender issues have attempted to takeover our School Board by forcing a ballot measure that would require School Board Members to be elected and focus on running for office, rather than on our children.”
- Jack Dyer, chairperson of the Hanover County Republican Committee, said, “We feel more comfortable with the school board being taken care of by the elected board of supervisors. We voted them in to serve the seven districts of Hanover County and we look to them to make those appointments.”
Meanwhile, in Pittsylvania County, voters in the town of Hurt, with a population of 1,259, will decide on a ballot measure to downsize the town council from six to four members. Hurt Mayor Gary Hodnett said the measure was referred to the ballot due to constant vacancies. “It’s not very efficient for Council to run and work when you constantly have members that are spending a short term on council, resigning and so forth. Since I’ve been here I think I’ve counted at least 10 vacancies that we’ve had,” Hodnett said.
Measures to expand gambling
In Richmond and Manassas Park, measures to expand gambling are on the ballot. For a second time, voters in Richmond will decide whether to allow a casino to be established. The ballot measure follows a vote in Nov. 2021, when 50.95% voted to reject a casino measure. Axios reported that this year’s pro-casino campaign topped $8.1 million compared to the $2.6 million spent in 2021.
In Manassas Park, Churchill Downs Incorporated and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums organized a signature drive campaign for an initiative to allow pari-mutuel wagering, also known as pool betting, at satellite facilities. Rosie’s is planning a location within a shopping center in Manassas Park.
General obligation bonds for schools, parks, and more
Five of the local measures on the ballot in Virginia are general obligation bonds, which are similar to loans, in which the government takes a debt and repays the principal and interest over a set period. A general obligation bond, also known as a GO bond, is based on the government’s pledge to generate revenue, such as through taxes.
- In Loudoun County, there are three bond measures on the ballot:
- One would authorize up to $59.57 million in bonds for capital improvement projects, including a fire and rescue station, parks and trails, and an adult care center.
- One would authorize up to $362.71 million in bonds for designing, constructing, and equipping public school facilities.
- One would authorize up to $156.62 million in bonds for public road projects.
- In Fairfax County, voters will decide on a measure to authorize up to $435.00 million in bonds for public school improvements, such as acquiring and renovating properties, buildings, and furnishings.
- In Gloucester County, voters will decide on a measure to authorize up to $39.58 million for capital improvement projects related to volunteer fire and rescue departments, public school facilities, and parks and recreation facilities.
In 2023, Ballotpedia is covering local ballot measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the 100 largest cities in the U.S., within state capitals, and throughout California. Ballotpedia is also covering a selection of election-related, policing-related, and other ballot measures outside of the largest cities.
Top-polling Republican presidential primary candidates’ logos and slogans
With roughly four months left before the start of the Republican presidential primaries, let’s take a look at the top contenders’ campaign logos and slogans, and see how they compare to those of previous years.
Let’s start with the campaign logos and slogans for the top five polling 2024 Republican primary candidates according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average: former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
In 2020, we identified four noteworthy Republican presidential candidates over the course of the cycle: Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.), and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. See their campaign logos and slogans below.
At this point in the 2016 cycle, the top five polling Republican primary candidates according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average were Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Here are their logos and slogans:
To view the campaign logos and slogans for all presidential candidates in 2024, click here. For all 2020 campaign logos and slogans, click here. To read more about the 2024 Presidential election, click the link below.
Stay tuned! We’ll be back with the Democratic campaign logos and slogans tomorrow.
All candidates for Kentucky State Treasurer complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
If you’re a regular reader of The Daily Brew, you know about our Candidate Connection survey. The survey allows voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them and their priorities.
In races where all candidates completed the survey, voters get a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates’ backgrounds, objectives, and experiences.
Both of the candidates running in the Nov. 7, 2023, general election for Kentucky State Treasurer — Michael Bowman (D) and Mark Metcalf (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey.
The Kentucky State Treasurer is one of five state financial officers (SFOs) up for election this year. SFOs include treasurers, auditors, and controllers. Broadly, these officials are responsible for things like auditing other government offices, managing payroll, and overseeing pensions. In some states, certain SFOs are also responsible for investing state retirement and trust funds.
Looking a bit further ahead, 14 SFOs will be on the ballot in 2024. In 2022, 50 state financial officers were up for election.
Here are the candidates’ responses to the question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
- “Increase Accountability and Transparency in State Government
- Improve Financial Literacy
- Advocate for Innovative Policy Solutions That Grow Our Economy, Create Jobs, and Save Us Money”
- “I am running for Kentucky State Treasurer to protect Kentucky’s revenues and pension funds from being stolen by woke corporations.
- I am [running] for Kentucky State Treasurer return over $800 million to the rightful owners.
- I am running for Kentucky State Treasurer fix the pension problem and assure every County in Kentucky has up to date computer software and hardware to service their systems.”
Click on the candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.
We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete our Candidate Connection survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.
To read more about this year’s Kentucky state treasurer election, click the link below. Kentucky is one of three states, along with Louisiana and Mississippi, holding statewide elections in 2023.