Welcome to the Thursday, November 9, 2023, Brew.
By: Juan Garcia de Paredes
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- More notable election results from Tuesday
- Top-line numbers from Tuesday’s elections
- Hear from winning candidates who completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey
More notable election results from Tuesday
Welcome! It’s the Thursday after Election Day, and we have results for many of the races that remained uncalled on Tuesday night (ICYMI, click here to view the results we highlighted in yesterday’s Brew). Here are some more notable results:
- Wichita mayoral election: Lily Wu defeated incumbent Brandon Whipple. Both advanced from a field of nine candidates in the city’s top two nonpartisan primary on Aug. 1. Although the race was officially nonpartisan, Wu—a former Republican—ran as a Libertarian. Whipple, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Mayor Jeff Longwell (R) in 2019. Heading into the election, Democrats held 63 top-100 mayoral offices, Republicans held 25, independents held four, and nonpartisan mayors held six. Two mayors’ partisan affiliations were unknown.
School board elections
Six candidates ran for three seats on the seven-member board. Candidates identified as Democrats won all three districts up for election.
The elections were nonpartisan, but local media outlets reported on the candidates’ partisan affiliations. Ngoc Vuong, incumbent Stan Reeser, and Melody McCray-Miller are Democrats, while Ken Carpenter, Jason Carmichael, and Brent Davis are Republicans. Brent Davis ran as part of the Republican-backed slate in 2021.
Wichita Public Schools (WPS) is the state’s largest school district by enrollment, with 46,657 students during the 2021-2022 school year. In 2021, a slate endorsed by the Sedgwick Republican Party won three of the four seats up for election.
Eighteen candidates ran for all nine seats on the board. Only two incumbents—in Ashburn and Leesburg—ran for re-election. Although the elections were nonpartisan, local political parties endorsed their preferred candidates.
As of this writing:
- Five Democratic-backed candidates were elected, as were two Republicans.
- The Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club endorsed Lauren Shernoff, who ran for and won in the Leesburg district.
- The two incumbents, backed by the Loudoun County Democratic Party, lost their races.
- The race for Little River, featuring Democratic-backed Sumera Rashid and Republican-backed Joseph James Smith, is too close to call as of this writing.
- Newcomers are guaranteed to oversee the entire nine-member board when the winners are sworn into office.
Voters re-elected three incumbents—Sachin Isaacs, Cory Johnson, and Jackie Magnuson—and Anna Williams to four at-large seats. A fourth incumbent, Joel Albright, did not run for another term.
Isaacs, Johnson, Magnuson, and Williams received endorsements from the Dakota County United Educators (Local 2006), a group that represents teachers and nurses in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.
Denise D’Angelo and Julie Liskany, who ran as The Parents’ Voice slate, defeated incumbents Anthony Caldwell and Lee Schreiner, who ran as the Students First! slate. Two of the five at-large school board seats were up for election.
While the election was nonpartisan, both nonpartisan and partisan organizations and officeholders endorsed the slates. Endorsements for The Parents’ Voice slate included: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), the Franklin County, Ohio, Republican Party, and the 1776 Project PAC. Endorsements for the Students First! slate included: the Franklin County, Ohio, Democratic Party and four education associations.
Voters elected five Democratic candidates to five of nine seats on the Pennridge School District school board, changing the partisan composition of the board from an 8-1 Republican majority to a 5-4 Democratic majority.
The five Democratic candidates—incumbent Ron Wurz, Chris Kaufman, Bradley Merkl-Gump, Leah Foster Rash, and Carolyn Sciarrino—ran as the Pennridge Community Alliance slate and campaigned against the school board’s neutrality and curriculum policies.
School board elections in Pennsylvania are partisan. Of the five seats up for election, Republicans held four, and Democrats held one. Five candidates each advanced from the Democratic and Republican primaries on May 16, 2023. Board members are elected at large.
Local ballot measures
- Hanover County, Virginia: Voters rejected a ballot measure that would have given the county an elected, rather than an appointed school board. The vote was 53% to 47%.
- Richmond and Manassas Park, Virginia: Richmond voters rejected a proposal to allow construction of a casino on the city’s south side, 62% to 38%. In Manassas Park, voters defeated a proposed pari-mutuel betting facility 59% to 41%.
- Local Ranked-Choice Voting: Voters in two Michigan cities—East Lansing and Kalamazoo—voted to adopt ranked choice voting (RCV), provided that the state passes a law allowing the electoral system. Voters approved RCV in East Lansing 52%-48% and in Kalamazoo 71%-29%. A similar measure remains too close to call in Royal Oak, Michigan. In Minnetonka, Minnesota, voters defeated a citizen initiative that would have repealed RCV 59% to 41%.
- Sandusky Community School District recall, Michigan: Three of the seven members of the Sandusky Community School District school board in Michigan were voted out of office in recall elections. School board members Jason Trepkowski, Daniel Gerstenberger, and Jane Jacobson were on the ballot. They were defeated by David Heberling, Katherine Tovar, and Kelly Trowhill, respectively. The recall effort began after the school board voted 4-3 on Nov. 28, 2022, to adopt the Wolves as the school district’s new mascot. In April 2022, the board voted to retire the school district’s previous mascot, the Redskins.
Top-line numbers from Tuesday’s elections
Now that the dust has settled a little bit, let’s look at some top-line numbers from Tuesday’s elections:
Voters approved more than 80% of the statewide measures on the ballot
Voters in five states decided on 28 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 7. Voters approved 23 (82%) and rejected five (18%). The average vote was 63% ‘Yes’ to 37% ‘No’.
Forty-one statewide measures made the ballot in eight states this year. Voters have approved 30 and defeated seven so far. Voters in Louisiana will decide the remaining four on Nov. 18.
For odd years from 2003 to 2021, voters approved an average of 23 ballot measures and rejected 15.
The topics on the ballot included abortion, marijuana, utilities, taxes, and state constitutional rights.
The ballot measure that received the highest percentage of votes cast was Maine Question 2 at 86%. Question 2 prohibited foreign governments, or entities with at least 5% foreign government ownership or control, from spending money to influence ballot measures or candidate elections.
The ballot measure that received the lowest percentage of votes cast was also in Maine—Question 3—at 31%. Question 3 would have replaced investor-owned electric utilities with a quasi-public, elected board utility called the Pine Tree Power Company.
At least ten state legislative incumbents lost on Tuesday
Based on preliminary results, at least 10 state legislative incumbents—seven Republicans, one Democrat, and two independents—were defeated in yesterday’s elections. That’s 2.40% of the 425 incumbents who ran in the general election.
This figure could change, however, as one legislative race featuring an incumbent—Virginia House District 82—remains uncalled. Six incumbents are also running in the Louisiana general election on Nov. 18.
In 2019, the last time Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia all held state legislative elections, 14 incumbents lost in the general election. That was 3.40% of the 195 incumbents who sought re-election that year, a decade-high. The incumbents who lost that year included 10 Republicans, two Democrats, and two independents or minor party candidates.
Republicans will have a majority in 56 state legislative chambers, and Democrats will have the majority in 41, up from 40
Democrats gained control of one state legislative chamber yesterday after they won a majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. The party also maintained control of the Virginia Senate and both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature.
Republicans were guaranteed simple majorities in both Mississippi’s House and Senate and Louisiana’s House and Senate due to the number of districts where candidates from only one political party ran.
Nationally, Republicans will be the majority in 56 chambers, down from 57 before the election. Democrats will be the majority in 41, up from 40. (The Alaska House and Senate are organized under multipartisan, power-sharing coalitions.)
Hear from winning candidates who completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey
So far, we’ve counted 90 winners of Nov. 7 elections who completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. This survey allows voters to readily access candidates at all levels of government and get the information they need to feel confident they’re picking the best candidate for the role.
Here are some sample responses from candidates who submitted surveys and won last night:
Gabe Amo (D), Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Preventing gun violence is personal to me. I have had the experience of calling mayors across the country on behalf of the President following a mass shooting in their community.
We have to end the scourge of gun violence in our nation, and I firmly believe that my experience working for two presidents and a governor makes me the best person in this race to go to Congress and advocate on behalf of Rhode Islanders, on this issue and so many others.
Ian Lovejoy (R), Virginia House of Delegates District 22
Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
For over a decade I’ve served our region- as a Councilman, entrepreneur, small business owner and community advocate. I’ve worked to bring quality jobs, opposed data center sprawl and unchecked development- all while fighting to keep more of your money in your own pocket.
Mark Metcalf (R), Kentucky State Treasurer
Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
- I am running for Kentucky State Treasurer to protect Kentucky’s revenues and pension funds from being stolen by woke corporations.
- I am funning 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.
Loree Williams (Nonpartisan), Prince William County Public Schools – Woodbridge District
What is the primary job of a school board member in your view?
A school board member’s role is to govern the school district. The primary role is to represent the interests of the community, students, and educators in making decisions that affect the local public school system. The responsibilities of a School Board member are to:
School board members work to establish the vision, mission, and goals for the school district. Board members develop and implement policies that govern various aspects of education, such as curriculum, budgeting, and student services. Board members are responsible for overseeing the school district’s budget, as well as hiring and annually evaluating the superintendent( who is responsible for day-to-day operations), community engagement, advocacy, and policy development. Board members are also responsible for ensuring that the school district operates in compliance with state and federal education laws and regulations, including those related to curriculum standards, student safety, and educational equity.
Michael Feggans (D), Virginia House of Delegates District 97
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Advocating for high-tech transitional skills training for my fellow veterans to pursue quality jobs and strengthening/expanding efforts to work toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Virginia.
Aurin Chowdhury (Nonpartisan), Minneapolis City Council, Ward 12
Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
I’m a first-generation Bengali-American, the daughter of working-class immigrants, an organizer, renter, and experienced policy aide. I’m running to fight for working families, deliver progressive change for our communities, and work collaboratively to move our city forward.
My parents immigrated here from Bangladesh and made the Southside their home. Like many in our community, my parents relied on social services and public goods to make ends meet. I often reflect on how our city could have better supported them. A more extensive transit system, renter’s protections, and good-paying union jobs could have improved our family’s quality of life.
I’ve spent years shaping public policy and building inclusive coalitions – first at the State Senate and then as a Policy Aide at the City of Minneapolis. At City Hall, I developed policies to combat wage theft, expand affordable housing, and deliver funding for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. These experiences have given me a strong understanding of what it takes to get things done for residents and the importance of delivering excellent constituent services. I have a strong record of public service and I’m ready to bring that experience to fight alongside you at City Hall.