CategoryLocal

Recall election to be held Dec. 14 against Nebraska county supervisor

A recall election against Doris Karloff (R), District 2 representative of the seven-member Saunders County Board of Supervisors in Nebraska, is being held on Dec. 14.

The recall effort was started by Rhonda Carritt, a resident of Wahoo, Nebraska, which is represented by Karloff on the county board of supervisors. Carritt said Karloff was not representing “the best interests of the district.” Carritt confirmed with the Wahoo Newspaper that the recall was related to a solar farm project in the county among other things.

Karloff’s son went into contract with the company starting the solar farm. Because of that connection, Karloff said she abstained from all discussions on the permit and did not vote on any actions related to the solar farm. “I have tried to do my best to make sure that I was doing everything legally correct,” Karloff said.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had to collect 573 signatures in 30 days. Recall supporters submitted the signatures by the deadline, and the county verified 581 signatures, allowing the recall to be put on the ballot.

Karloff won re-election to a four-year term in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. She defeated three other Republicans in the primary on May 12, and she faced no opposition in the general election.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 165 recall efforts against 263 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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The city of Sacramento is in the final stages of redistricting after Measure B authorized a delay due to the pandemic

The Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission is set to select its 2022 redistricting map on Dec. 8 with final adoption scheduled for Dec. 16. 

In November 2020, voters in Sacramento approved Measure B, which amended the city’s charter authorizing a one-time delay in the redistricting process. The amendment moved the deadline for map adoption to 130 days before the 2022 primary city election, which is scheduled for June 7, 2022. This moved the deadline to January 28, 2022. 

The amendment was proposed because the U.S. Census Bureau delayed the estimated date it would release census data from April 1, 2021, to July 31, 2021. The Sacramento charter requires that new redistricting maps be adopted six months after the census data is delivered and be in place for at least six months before a primary election.

Sacramento voters established the Independent Redistricting Commission with the adoption of Measure L in 2016. The redistricting commission consists of 13 commissioners—one from each of the eight existing districts and five appointed by the first eight commissioners. The city’s redistricting process begins with public map submissions, which are then narrowed down by the commission and altered to meet the criteria required by the city’s charter. 

Measure B was put on the ballot in 2020 by a vote of the Sacramento City Council, and voters approved it 66.62% to 33.38%.

Ballotpedia has tracked 16 certified ballot measures and nine potential measures proposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related regulations. New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2020 that also delayed redistricting deadlines to account for delays in census data availability. Ballotpedia has tracked 11 statewide measures in 2021 and 2022 proposed in response to COVID-19, including measures about executive emergency order authority, special legislative sessions, rights of religious services and organizations, rights of nursing home residents, and limits to voting policy changes.

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Jacksonville City Council special election to be held on Dec. 7

The special general election for Jacksonville City Council At-large Position 3 in Florida is on Dec. 7. Four candidates are competing in the general election: James Jacobs (D), Tracye Polson (D), Nick Howland (R), and Howland Russell (R). 

If necessary, a runoff election is scheduled for Feb. 22. The filing deadline to run passed on Oct. 1.

The special election was called after Tommy Hazouri (D) died on Sept. 11. Hazouri served from 2015 to 2021. 

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Tracking school board elections by 2020 presidential results

Ballotpedia tracked 96 school districts across 16 states that held elections on Nov. 2 where candidates took a stance on race in education, coronavirus responses, or sex and gender in schools. There were 310 seats up for election, all but seven of which have been called.

In each of these races, once we knew the winner, we began to research whether he or she incorporated a stance opposing any of the identified issues listed above. As a shorthand, we have developed three categories in which a winner might fall: anti-CRT, not anti-CRT, and unclear.

Today we are looking at these results through the lens of which way their counties voted in the 2020 presidential election. Note that county and school board boundaries do not perfectly align. A county might contain multiple school districts. As a result, in this analysis, voters in a school district might represent only a portion of all the voters in the county in which it is located.

Of the 96 school districts we tracked, 65 are located in counties that Joe Biden (D) won in 2020 and 31 are located in counties won by Donald Trump (R). Overall, there were 60 counties with an identified school district.

Of the 65 school districts located in Biden counties, 26 (40%) elected at least one anti-CRT candidate on Nov. 2 compared to 18 of the 31 (58%) located in Trump counties.

A further breakdown shows that, in districts located in Biden counties, 50 anti-CRT candidates won (23%) versus 139 not anti-CRT candidates (65%). In districts located in Trump counties, 39 anti-CRT candidates won (44%) versus 30 not anti-CRT candidates (34%).



Dickens defeats Moore in Atlanta mayoral runoff election

City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) defeated City Council President Felicia Moore (D) in the general runoff election for mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 30, 2021, receiving 64% of the vote to Moore’s 36%. Incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced on May 6, 2021, that she would not seek re-election, making her the first Atlanta mayor since World War II to choose not to run for a second term.

Dickens and Moore advanced to a runoff after placing second and first, respectively, in the Nov. 2 general election. Moore received 41% of the vote followed by Dickens with 23%. This was the city’s seventh mayoral runoff since 1973.

Dickens was first elected to the city council in 2013 and won re-election in 2017. During the mayoral race, he promoted his SAFE Streets Atlanta plan, a series of public safety proposals in response to voter concerns regarding crime. He received endorsements from Mayor Lance Bottoms, former Mayors Shirley Jackson (D) and Andrew Young (D), and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams (D). Dickens also received endorsements from six members of the Atlanta City Council and three Fulton County Commissioners.

The number of votes cast in the runoff decreased by 18.1% compared to the general election, making this the largest decrease since the 1993 contest between Bill Campbell and Michael Lomax. 2021 was also the second time since at least 1981 where the second-place finisher in the general election went on to win the runoff.



Baldon and Jones win Atlanta Public Schools runoff elections

Runoff elections for District 2 and At-Large District 7 of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) school board took place on Nov. 30, 2021. Aretta Baldon defeated Keisha Carey in the runoff election for the District 2 seat, 50.6% to 49.4%. Tamara Jones defeated KaCey Venning in the runoff for the At-Large District 7 seat, 66.9% to 33.1%.

Nine seats on the Atlanta Public Schools school board in Georgia—three at-large and six district seats—were up for general election on Nov. 2. Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 and At-Large Districts 8 and 9 were decided in the general election.

Baldon was the District 2 incumbent and ran against challengers Carey and Bethsheba Rem in the general election. Baldon received 48.5% of the vote and Carey received 29.5%, followed by Rem with 22%. At-Large District 7 was an open seat, as incumbent Kandis Wood Jackson did not seek re-election. Five candidates ran for the seat, with Jones receiving 39.5% of the vote, Venning receiving 20%, and candidates Patricia Crayton, Royce Carter Mann, and Stephen Spring receiving 15% or less.

With one-quarter of APS students enrolled in charter and partner schools, standards for renewing and expanding charter schools were a major issue in this race. COVID-19 response policies, including mask and vaccine mandates, were also an issue.

The 2021 election was the last election during which every board seat was up for election simultaneously, as Georgia’s HB 1075 changed the state’s school board election process so that members’ terms are staggered based on whether they serve in even or odd-numbered districts. Jones will serve a two-year term that will expire Dec. 31, 2023, and Baldon will serve a four-year term that will expire on Dec. 31, 2025.



Runoff elections for Atlanta Public Schools districts to be held Nov. 30

Runoff elections for District 2 and At-Large District 7 of the Atlanta Public Schools school board will be held on Nov. 30, 2021. Aretta Baldon and Keisha Carey advanced to a runoff election for the District 2 seat, while Tamara Jones and KaCey Venning advanced to a runoff for the At-Large District 7 seat.

Nine seats on the Atlanta Public Schools school board in Georgia—three at-large and six district seats—were up for general election on Nov. 2. Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 and At-Large Districts 8 and 9 were decided in the general election.

Baldon is the District 2 incumbent and ran against challengers Carey and Bethsheba Rem in the general election. Baldon received 48.5% of the vote and Carey received 29.5%, followed by Rem with 22%. At-Large District 7 is an open seat, as incumbent Kandis Wood Jackson did not seek reelection. Five candidates ran for the seat, with Jones receiving 39.5% of the vote, Venning receiving 20%, and candidates Patricia Crayton, Royce Carter Mann, and Stephen Spring receiving 15% or less.

With one-quarter of APS students enrolled in charter and partner schools, standards for renewing and expanding charter schools have been a major issue in this race. COVID-19 response policies, including mask and vaccine mandates, are also an issue.

The 2021 election was the last election during which every board seat is up for election simultaneously, as Georgia’s HB 1075 changed the state’s school board election process so that members’ terms are staggered. The winner in At-Large District 7, an odd number district, will serve a two-year term that will expire on December 31, 2023. The winner in District 2, an even number district, will serve a four-year term that will expire on Dec. 31, 2025.



Brown defeats Walton in Buffalo, New York mayoral election

Byron Brown (D) defeated India Walton (D) in the general election for mayor of Buffalo, New York, on November 2, 2021. Brown, who ran as a write-in candidate in the general election, received 59.6% of the vote to Walton’s 40%.

Walton defeated Brown in the June 22 Democratic primary. Following his primary defeat, Brown announced he would run in the general election as a write-in candidate. Walton received 51% of the vote in the June 22 primary followed by Brown with 46%. Brown was first elected mayor of Buffalo in 2005 and won re-election three times before the 2021 election. Before losing the 2021 primary, he had won the four preceding Democratic mayoral primaries by an average margin of 26.5 percentage points.

A write-in victory in one of the country’s 100 largest cities is rare but not unheard of. Mike Duggan, the mayor of Detroit, Mich., advanced from a 2013 primary as a write-in candidate. And Beverly O’Neil won re-election to a third term as mayor of Long Beach, Calif., in 2002 as a write-in.

Before the election, the New York Times’ Jesse McKinley said the mayoral race “reflects the defining tension within the national Democratic Party, pitting its new generation of left-wing politicians against its more moderate establishment,” referring to Walton and Brown, respectively.

Walton, a nurse and community activist, said Brown had not delivered results as mayor, and that his record “showed that he doesn’t have much care … for the people of Buffalo, unless they’re wealthy developers or heads of large corporations.” She received endorsements from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the local and national branches of the Democratic Socialists of America, and the Working Families Party of New York. She also received a general election endorsement from the Erie County Democratic Party, which endorsed Brown in the primary but switched its support to Walton following her primary election victory.

Brown, who became the city’s longest-serving mayor in January 2021, said Walton was “an unqualified, inexperienced, radical socialist,” and described the general election as “a choice between proven results and false, empty promises.” He received general election endorsements from U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Common Councilmembers Joseph Golombek (D), Christopher Scanlon (D), and Ulysees Wingo (D), and former Mayor Anthony Masiello (D). He also received endorsements from The Buffalo News and the local, county, and state police benevolent associations.

Both Walton and Brown also received support from satellite organizations. The Working Families Party’s national PAC supported Walton with satellite spending, while the New York State Association of Realtors and the New York Republican Party supported Brown.

Sean “Jaz” Miles (R), Benjamin Carlisle (I), William O’Dell (I), and Taniqua Simmons (I) also ran in the general election as write-in candidates.

As of December 2021, 63 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, six identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and one mayor’s affiliation is unknown. While most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party.

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New PAC raising money in support of Sawant recall

Seattle’s District 3 voters will decide on Dec. 7 whether to recall City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on the grounds of misusing city funds for electioneering purposes, disregarding regulations related to COVID-19, and misusing her official position. 

Sawant’s official response referred to the effort as a right-wing recall and said, “The charges against Kshama Sawant are dishonest, and the courts haven’t found her guilty of anything.”

A new political action committee supporting the recall called A Better Seattle has begun fundraising. It reported $80,000 raised as of Nov. 17. It joins Recall Sawant, which raised $746,000. The one group filed in opposition to the recall, Kshama Solidarity, has raised $844,000.

Nov. 29 is the last day for people to register to vote or update their registration information for this election.



Recall election scheduled against Kansas county commissioner

A recall election against Brian Kinzie, District Two representative on the Labette County Commission in Kansas, has been scheduled for Dec. 7. Voters will be asked, “Shall Brian C. Kinzie be recalled from the office of 2nd District County Commissioner?” They will have the option to vote yes or no.

The recall effort started after Kinzie voted in April 2021 in favor of a motion to enter into final negotiations to allow a wind energy company to place 50 to 70 wind turbines in the county. The motion passed with a vote of 2-1. Recall supporters said they were concerned that Kinzie or his family stood to financially benefit from the deal. Kinzie said, “I’ve given this community 45 years of my life and I’ll continue to do so until there’s no fight left.”

Before recall petitions can be circulated in Kansas, a district attorney or county attorney must certify that it meets specific legal grounds. The petition against Kinzie was allowed to circulate due to misconduct. The Office of the Attorney General of Kansas found that Kinzie and fellow commissioner Cole Proehl violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act when they discussed county business on a phone call outside of a public commission meeting. The attorney general’s office did not file formal charges against Kinzie and Proehl. Instead, they were required to take a refresher course on public meeting compliance.

To get the recall on the ballot, supporters had to collect 1,202 signatures in 90 days. They submitted 1,582 signatures on Aug. 30. The county verified enough signatures on Sept. 24 to put the recall on the ballot. Kinzie filed a challenge to the sufficiency declaration in Labette County District Court. A senior judge denied his requests to stop the recall process.

Kinzie is serving his fourth term on the three-member commission.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 165 recall efforts against 263 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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