Author

Caitlin Vanden Boom

Caitlin Vanden Boom is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Nov. 2 candidates for Topeka mayor and city council determined in Aug. 3 primary

The primary for the Topeka mayor and District 3 council seat in Kansas was held on Aug. 3. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on June 1.

Five candidates competed in the mayoral race. Mike Padilla and Leo Cangiani both advanced to the general election. Padilla received 3,990 votes, and Cangiani received 1,803. Daniel Brown, John Lauer, and Patrick Klick received less than 1,000 votes each and will not move on to the general election. The current mayor of Topeka, Michelle De La Isla, announced she would not be running for another term in March 2021. 

Sylvia Ortiz and Regina Platt advanced from the primary for the District 3 council seat, defeating William Hendrix, David Johnson, and Lana Kombacher. The primaries for Districts 1, 5, 7, and 9 on the city council were canceled, but they will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

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Minor party filing deadline to pass on Aug. 4 in special election for two Michigan state Senate seats

The minor-party filing deadline for the Michigan State Senate Districts 8 and 28 special elections is on Aug. 4.

The major party primary is scheduled for Aug. 3, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2. 

In District 8, seven Republicans and two Democrats will compete in the Aug. 3 primaries. For District 28, there are two Democrats and three Republicans competing.

The District 8 special election was called after Peter Lucido (R) was elected Macomb County Prosecutor. The District 28 special election was called after Peter MacGregor (R) was elected Kent County Treasurer. 

As of August 2, the Michigan State Senate is composed of 16 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Michigan has had a divided government since 2019. A divided government occurs when different parties control the state senate, state house, and governorship. There are currently 12 states with divided governments.

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Republicans retain two Alabama state legislative seats in special elections on July 13

Special general elections were held in District 14 of the Alabama State Senate and District 73 of the Alabama House of Representatives on July 13. The primary was held on March 30, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 26. The Republican primary for the House District 73 seat went to a primary runoff on April 27.

In District 14, April Weaver (R) defeated Virginia Applebaum (D) for the seat. Weaver received 89.6% of the unofficial election night vote. The seat was vacated by Cam Ward (R), who was appointed as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles on Dec. 7. Ward had been a member of the state Senate since 2010. 

In District 73, Kenneth Paschal (R) defeated Sheridan Black (D) for the seat. Paschal received 74.9% of the unofficial election night vote. The seat was vacated by Matt Fridy (R), who was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in Nov. 2020. Fridy had been a member of the state House since 2014. 

There is one additional special election scheduled in the state this year. Kenyatté Hassell (D) is facing Loretta Grant (R) in the Sept. 7 general election for the District 78 seat in the state House. Hassell progressed to the general election after winning the special Democratic primary runoff on June 22. Grant advanced to the general after the special Republican primary was canceled. 

The Sept. 7 election will mark the fifth state legislative special election in Alabama in 2021. This is a 10-year high for special elections in the state. The previous yearly high was four special elections in 2013. Alabama held a total of 23 special elections between 2010 and 2020. Alabama held only one special election in 2020 for House District 49.

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Alabama State Senate District 14

Alabama House of Representatives District 73

Alabama House of Representatives District 78

Alabama state legislative special elections, 2013

Alabama state legislative special elections, 2020



Filing deadline to run for Albuquerque City Council was on July 5

The filing deadline to run for city council in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was on July 5, 2021. The seats in districts 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are up for election on November 2.

As of July 2, 19 candidates have filed across the five districts. In addition to the city council seats, the mayor of Albuquerque will also be on the ballot in November. The filing deadline to run in the mayoral race passed on June 19.

Additional Reading:

Mayoral Election In Albuquerque, New Mexico (2021)

Mayoral Election In Albuquerque, New Mexico (2019)



Kenyatté Hassell wins Democratic nomination in special primary runoff for Alabama House District 78

A special Democratic primary runoff for District 78 in the Alabama House of Representatives was held on June 22, 2021. Kenyatté Hassell defeated Donald Williams and advanced to the general election.

The general election is scheduled for September 7. The filing deadline passed on March 23. Hassell will be running against Loretta Grant (R).

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2, 2021. Hatcher served from 2018 to 2021. 

The September 7 special election will mark the fifth Alabama state legislative special election this year and the third special election for the state house of representatives. Ben Robbins (R) defeated Fred Crum (D) in the January 19 special election for House District 33. Virginia Applebaum (D) and April Weaver (R) will compete for Senate District 14 and Sheridan Black (D) will face Kenneth Paschal (R) in House District 73 on July 13.

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Two Georgia state legislative special elections advance to July 13 runoffs

Image of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

A special general election was held for Georgia House of Representatives Districts 34 and 156 on June 15. In District 34, Priscilla Smith (D) and Devan Seabaugh (R) advanced to the general runoff and defeated Sam Hensley Jr. (D), David Blinkhorn (R), and Chris Neill (L). In District 156, Leesa Hagan (R) and Wally Sapp (R) advanced to the general runoff and defeated Wright Gres (D).

The general runoff election is scheduled for July 13. The filing deadline passed on May 7.

The special elections were called after Bert Reeves in District 34 and Greg Morris in District 156 resigned on Apr. 30 and Apr. 13, respectively. Reeves served from 2015 to 2021, and Morris served from 1999 to 2021.

There was a third special election held for a state legislative seat in Georgia earlier this year. A primary for the District 90 seat was held on Feb. 9 after Pam Stephenson (D) resigned her seat on Sept. 4. Angela Moore and Stan Watson advanced to the Democratic primary runoff election held on March 9. Moore won the seat. 

Georgia had 67 state legislative special elections between 2010 and 2020. The state has held at least one special election every year during that time period. The highest number in one year was 12 in 2015, and the lowest was two in 2012. 

Georgia is one of only two states that require a majority in all congressional, state executive, and state legislative elections in order to avoid a runoff. 

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Two incumbents lose re-election bids in Fort Worth City Council runoffs

The general runoff election for the Fort Worth City Council in Texas was held on June 5. The general election was held on May 1, and the filing deadline to run passed on Feb. 21. Races for City Council Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 were decided in the runoff.

Both incumbents who ran in the runoff election lost their seats. Jungus Jordan lost his District 6 seat to Jared Williams, and Kelly Allen Gray lost her District 8 seat to Chris Nettles. Leonard Firestone won District 7, and Elizabeth Beck won District 9. 

Jared Williams completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey before the runoff. In it, Williams said that he “will be laser-focused on building a just and prosperous Fort Worth by growing strong jobs, affordable housing for our workforce and communities where families have access to safe neighborhoods, excellent public education and 21st century City services.”

All eight city council seats, as well as the mayor’s office, were up for election in 2021. In the general election, incumbent Carlos Flores won re-election in District 2, newcomer Michael Crain won in District 3, incumbent Cary Moon won re-election in District 4, and incumbent Gyna Bivens won re-election in District 5.

In 2019, all Fort Worth City Council incumbents were re-elected to their seats in the May 4 general election. A total of 38,798 votes were cast in the 2019 mayoral race.

In 2017, the District 3 incumbent lost re-election, and the District 2 incumbent chose not to run. The vote totals in 2017 were lower than those seen in 2019 with 33,038 votes cast in the mayoral election.

The 2021 elections saw an increase in voter turnout, with total votes in the general election equalling 66,519 and total votes in the runoff coming to 88,295.

Outside of Fort Worth, there have been six city council elections in the top 100 cities in Texas thus far in 2021.

  • In Arlington, two incumbents ran for re-election, and both won their respective districts.
  • In Dallas, incumbents ran in 11 of the 14 city council races. Eight incumbents won re-election in the May 1 general election. In the June 5 runoff, two incumbents won re-election in the runoff election, and one was defeated.
  • The San Antonio City Council election saw eight of the 10 incumbents run for re-election. One incumbent won and two lost in the June 5 runoff election. The other five won re-election in the general election on May 1.
  • Plano City Council had four council members up for election. Three incumbents ran for election and won. The fourth seat was up for special election and did not have an incumbent.
  • Irving City Council had three seats up for re-election. Incumbents ran in all three races. Two of them won re-election, and one was defeated.
  • Garland City Council saw three incumbents run unopposed. District 1 and District 3 did not have an incumbent in the race.

Nationwide, 282 city council seats were up for re-election in the top 100 cities in 2019. Of the 196 incumbents who ran for re-election, 12.8% were defeated. Between 2014 and 2020, an average of 12.9% of city council incumbents were defeated nationwide.

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Two incumbents lose re-election bids in Fort Worth City Council runoffs

The general runoff election for the Fort Worth City Council in Texas was held on June 5. The general election was held on May 1, and the filing deadline to run passed on Feb. 21. Races for City Council Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 were decided in the runoff.

Both incumbents who ran in the runoff election lost their seats. Jungus Jordan lost his District 6 seat to Jared Williams, and Kelly Allen Gray lost her District 8 seat to Chris Nettles. Leonard Firestone won District 7, and Elizabeth Beck won District 9. 

Jared Williams completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey before the runoff. In it, Williams said that he “will be laser-focused on building a just and prosperous Fort Worth by growing strong jobs, affordable housing for our workforce and communities where families have access to safe neighborhoods, excellent public education and 21st century City services.”

All eight city council seats, as well as the mayor’s office, were up for election in 2021. In the general election, incumbent Carlos Flores won re-election in District 2, newcomer Michael Crain won in District 3, incumbent Cary Moon won re-election in District 4, and incumbent Gyna Bivens won re-election in District 5.

In 2019, all Fort Worth City Council incumbents were re-elected to their seats in the May 4 general election. A total of 38,798 votes were cast in the 2019 mayoral race.

In 2017, the District 3 incumbent lost re-election, and the District 2 incumbent chose not to run. The vote totals in 2017 were lower than those seen in 2019 with 33,038 votes cast in the mayoral election.

The 2021 elections saw an increase in voter turnout, with total votes in the general election equalling 66,519 and total votes in the runoff coming to 88,295.

Outside of Fort Worth, there have been six city council elections in the top 100 cities in Texas thus far in 2021.

  • In Arlington, two incumbents ran for re-election, and both won their respective districts.
  • In Dallas, incumbents ran in 11 of the 14 city council races. Eight incumbents won re-election in the May 1 general election. In the June 5 runoff, two incumbents won re-election in the runoff election, and one was defeated.
  • The San Antonio City Council election saw eight of the 10 incumbents run for re-election. One incumbent won and two lost in the June 5 runoff election. The other five won re-election in the general election on May 1.
  • Plano City Council had four council members up for election. Three incumbents ran for election and won. The fourth seat was up for special election and did not have an incumbent.
  • Irving City Council had three seats up for re-election. Incumbents ran in all three races. Two of them won re-election, and one was defeated.
  • Garland City Council saw three incumbents run unopposed. District 1 and District 3 did not have an incumbent in the race.

Nationwide, 282 city council seats were up for re-election in the top 100 cities in 2019. Of the 196 incumbents who ran for re-election, 12.8% were defeated. Between 2014 and 2020, an average of 12.9% of city council incumbents were defeated nationwide.

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Eleven incumbents file to run for re-election to offices in King County, Wash.

The filing deadline passed on May 21 to run for elected office in King County, Wash. Candidates filed for the following positions:

Mayor of Seattle

Seattle City Attorney

Seattle City Council Position 8 At-Large

Seattle City Council Position 9 At-Large

Port of Seattle Commission Position 1

Port of Seattle Commission Position 3

Port of Seattle Commission Position 4

King County Executive

Metropolitan King County Council District 1

Metropolitan King County Council District 3

Metropolitan King County Council District 5

Metropolitan King County Council District 7

Metropolitan King County Council District 9

Eleven incumbents filed for re-election. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced in December 2020 that she would not run for re-election. Fifteen candidates are seeking to become Seattle’s next mayor, including M. Lorena González, who currently holds the Position 9 seat on the Seattle City Council.

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 3, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

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