Author

Joel Williams

Joel Williams is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

California secretary of state announces gubernatorial recall candidates must release tax records

On June 15, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced that candidates in an election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would be required to release five years’ worth of tax records to run. The California Supreme Court previously struck down portions of a 2019 law that pertained to presidential candidates but left the sections related to gubernatorial candidates.

The law specifies that it applies to candidates “on a direct primary election ballot.” Weber’s office ruled that it applied to the potential recall election, while Politico noted that several legal experts disagreed with Weber’s ruling and that candidates could file lawsuits in response.

Representatives for the campaigns of former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) and former Rep. Doug Ose (R) said the campaigns would comply with the ruling. A spokesperson for Newsom said that the governor would also release his records, even though the governor would not technically be a candidate on the recall ballot.

The state legislature approved and Newsom signed the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act in July 2019. It required candidates for president or governor to file copies of their IRS returns for the five most recent years at least 98 days before a primary election. In a November 2019 decision in Patterson v. Padilla, California Supreme CourtChief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye wrote for a unanimous court that the law was “in conflict with the Constitution’s specification of an inclusive open presidential primary ballot.”

Organizers of a campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) turned in 1,719,943 valid signatures, exceeding the 1,495,709 required to trigger a recall election. Organizers turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 filing deadline. Voters who signed the petition had until June 8 to request removal from the petition. The California secretary of state has until June 22 to verify that enough signatures remain to move the recall forward.



Newsom signature removal deadline passes; counties have until June 22 to verify the number of remaining signatures

June 8 was the deadline for voters who signed the petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to request their names be removed from the petitions. County election offices now have until June 22 to report the number of remaining signatures to the California Secretary of State.

If at least 1,495,709 signatures remain following the removal request deadline, the recall will be certified and move to a budgeting and scheduling phase. Supporters turned in 1,719,943 valid signatures by the March 17 submission deadline. Based on the remaining procedural steps required by state law for the recall campaign, an election is likely to take place in October or November 2021.

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.



Jack Ciattarelli wins New Jersey gubernatorial Republican primary, will face Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in general election

Former New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli defeated Philip Rizzo, Hirsh Singh, and Brian Levine for the Republican nomination in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election. Ciattarelli received 49.5% of the vote, followed by Rizzo with 25.8%, Singh with 21.5%, and Levine with 3.3%.

Ciattarelli will face Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in the general election on November 2, along with Gregg Mele (L), Joanna Kuniansky (Socialist Workers), Justin Maldonado (I), and David Winkler (I).

The general election will determine New Jersey’s trifecta status for the next four years. A Murphy victory would maintain Democratic trifecta control, while a Ciattarelli victory would create a divided government. Election forecasters expect the Democratic party to maintain control of the state legislature.

As of June 1, 2021, two of the three major race rating outlets rated the general election as Solid Democratic and the third rated it as Likely Democratic, but Republicans have had success in the state’s gubernatorial races in the recent past. Between 1992 and 2021, Republicans held the governorship for 16 years and Democrats held the governorship for 14 years.

Heading into the 2021 election, the last Democratic governor to win re-election was Brendan Byrne in 1977. Since then, two sitting Democratic governors, Jim Florio (1993) and Jon Corzine (2009), lost re-election to Republican challengers.



Voters have until June 8 to remove signatures from recall petitions of California Gov. Newsom

The next major deadline in the recall campaign against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is June 8. Voters have until this date to request to have their signatures removed from the recall petitions. At that point, if at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall election will be certified and proceed to a budgeting and scheduling phase. If certified, political analysts expect the recall to take place in October or November 2021.

So far, 37 candidates have officially filed with the California Secretary of State to run in the recall election. Among those candidates are eight Democrats, 17 Republicans, two Green Party candidates, and a Libertarian Party candidate. The remaining candidates filed with no party preference. Ballotpedia has tracked an additional 13 candidates who have declared their intent to run in the recall election but have not yet officially filed. In the 2003 recall election, 135 candidates ran.

Official committees registered with the California Secretary of State have raised at least $10 million during the campaign. Support committees raised $7 million through March 31, while opposition committees raised $3.6 million. The deadline for the next scheduled reports is August 2.

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.



Newsom recall update: 37 filed candidates, a new poll, and a $3 million donation

The recall campaign against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is currently in the signature removal phase, when voters can request to have their signatures removed from the recall petitions through June 8. At that point, if at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall election will be certified and proceed to a budgeting and scheduling phase. If that happens, political analysts expect the recall to take place in October or November 2021.

So far, 37 candidates have officially filed with the California Secretary of State to run in a recall election. Among those candidates are eight Democrats, 17 Republicans, two Green Party candidates, and a Libertarian Party candidate. The remaining candidates filed with no party preference. Ballotpedia has tracked an additional 13 candidates who have declared their intent to run in the recall election but have not yet officially filed. In the 2003 recall election, 135 candidates ran.

On May 25, the Public Policy Institute of California published a poll finding that 57% of respondents opposed a recall, 40% supported a recall, and 3% were undecided. These numbers were about the same as a March poll by the same group, which found 56% opposed, 40% supported, and 5% undecided. Both polls surveyed 1,700 people and had a margin of error of around 3%.

On May 21, multiple media outlets reported a $3 million donation from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to Stop The Republican Recall, a committee registered in opposition to the recall effort. According to The Hill, Hastings donated $7 million in 2018 to the gubernatorial campaign of Antonio Villaraigosa, who lost in the primary. Hastings has also previously donated to ballot measure campaigns in the state—Ballotpedia has tracked donations to at least eight propositions since 2009.

Newsom was elected governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then Gov. Gray Davis (D). and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) as Davis’ replacement.



Gov. Greg Abbott sets runoff in Texas’ 6th Congressional District for July 27

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the special runoff election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District will take place on July 27, 2021. The two candidates in the runoff are Jake Ellzey (R) and Susan Wright (R). Since they are both Republicans, the seat will not change party hands as a result of the election.

Ellzey and Wright advanced from a 23-candidate special election on May 1. Wright received 19.2% of the vote while Ellzey received 13.8% of the vote. Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), the Democratic candidate to receive the most votes, received 13.4% of the vote. She missed qualifying for the runoff by 354 votes.

The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on February 7, 2021. Susan Wright is Ronald Wright’s widow. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed her on April 26. The filing deadline was March 3, 2021.



Pureval, Mann advance to general election for Cincinnati mayor

Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval and councilman and former mayor David Mann advanced from the May 4 primary for mayor of Cincinnati. The two will meet in the general election on Nov. 2. The other four candidates in the primary election were Gavi Begtrup, Herman Najoli, Raffel Prophett, and Cecil Thomas.

Pureval received 39.1% of the vote and Mann received 29.1%. Thomas received 16.4%, Begtrup received 9.6%, Prophett received 3.5%, and Najoli received 2.3%.

Although the elections for and position of the mayor are officially nonpartisan, the candidates running were affiliated with political parties. Both Pureval and Mann are Democrats. The last Republican to serve as mayor was Willis Gradison, who left office in 1971.

The mayor serves as the city’s chief executive and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, and appointing departmental directors. He or she presides over council meetings, proposes legislation for discussion, and holds the power to appoint or remove committee heads, but does not have the authority to vote. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels.



Two Republicans advance to runoff for Texas’ 6th Congressional District

Susan Wright (R) and Jake Ellzey (R) advanced to a runoff from a 23-candidate field in the special election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District on May 1, 2021. Since both candidates in the runoff are Republicans, the seat will not change party hands as a result of this election. As of May 2, 2021, state officials had not yet announced a runoff date.

Wright received 19.2 percent of the vote while Ellzey received 13.8 percent of the vote. The two other candidates to receive at least 10 percent were Jana Lynne Sanchez (D) with 13.4 percent and Brian Harrison (R) with 10.8 percent. Sanchez fell 354 votes short of the runoff based on unofficial results.

The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on February 7, 2021. Susan Wright is Ronald Wright’s widow. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed her on April 26.

The district became more competitive in both presidential and congressional elections from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, Donald Trump (R) won the district 51-48, running behind Wright, who won 53-44. In 2016, Trump won the district 54-42, while Wright won 58-39. In 2012, Mitt Romney (R) won the district 58-41 while then-Rep. Joe Barton (R) won re-election 58-39. Midterm elections in the district have followed the same trend. In 2018, Wright won re-election 53-45, while Barton won 61-36 in 2014.

In this special election, Democrats earned about 37 percent of the votes cast, returning to a 2014 level for the district.



Arlington mayoral election heads to runoff

Jim Ross and Michael Glaspie advanced to a runoff from the seven-candidate field in the general election for mayor of Arlington, Texas, on May 1, 2021. Ross received 47.9% of the vote and Glaspie received 21.3% of the vote. Marvin Sutton, the third-place finisher, received 15.1% of the vote. The runoff election will take place on June 5. According to pre-general campaign finance filings, Glaspie and Ross led in fundraising, raising $47,537 and $264,712, respectively as of April 23, 2021.

Incumbent Jeff Williams (R) could not seek re-election due to term limits, leaving the position open. Mayoral elections in Arlington are nonpartisan, meaning candidates appeared on the ballot without party affiliations. 

Ross owns a law firm and a local restaurant. He previously worked as an officer with the Arlington Police Department and served on the board of directors for the Arlington Police Foundation. He received endorsements from Mayor Williams (R) and former Mayor Richard Greene. He was also endorsed by four of the city’s police unions.

Glaspie was a member of the Arlington School Board from 1991 to 2008. He represented at-large District 8 on the Arlington City Council from 2012 to 2019. When he left office due to term limits, Glaspie had been serving as Arlington’s mayor pro tempore. He received endorsements from former Mayor Elzie Odom and The Dallas Morning News.



Fort Worth mayoral election heads to runoff

Deborah Peoples and Mattie Parker advanced to a runoff from a 10-candidate field in the nonpartisan general election for mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, on May 1, 2021. Peoples received 33.6% of the vote and Parker received 30.8% of the vote. Brian Byrd, the third-place finisher, received 14.7% of the vote. The runoff election will take place on June 5.

Incumbent Mayor Betsy Price announced on January 5, 2021, that she would not run for re-election. Mayoral elections in Fort Worth are nonpartisan, meaning candidates appeared on the ballot without party affiliations. 

Peoples is the Chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party and previously worked as a business executive. She was endorsed by U.S. House Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), The Collective PAC, Grassroots Law Project, and Higher Heights PAC. As of April 21, she raised $286,180 and spent $238,351.

Parker is an educator and previously worked as the chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council. She was endorsed by Mayor Price, former Mayor Mike Moncrief, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Dallas Morning News. As of April 21, she raised $1,033,304 and spent $834,823.

Ann Zadeh, Daniel Caldwell, Mylene George, Mike Haynes, Cedric Kanyinda, Steve Penate, and Chris Rector also ran in the election. They made up the largest mayoral candidate field in at least a decade.