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Early voting begins in NYC mayoral primary on June 12

Thirteen candidates are running in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City on June 22, 2021. Early voting began on June 12.

This election features the first use of ranked-choice voting for a mayoral primary in the city’s history. Under this system, voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference. A candidate must receive a majority of votes cast to win the election, and votes for eliminated candidates are redistributed based on the next preference on the ballot.

On June 10, five Democrats discussed gun violence, policing, legal marijuana, and historical landmarks in the final primary debate before early voting:

* Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president

* Kathryn Garcia, former New York City Sanitation Commissioner

* Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller

* Maya Wiley, former mayoral counsel

* Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate

Adams led in an Emerson College poll released this week with 23% support in the first round of voting. Wiley, whose candidacy was boosted by the endorsement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on June 5, came in second with 17%.

Yang, Garcia, and Stringer followed with 15%, 12%, and 9% respectively. Yang received an endorsement from the Uniformed Firefighters Association last week, while Garcia was backed by Citizens Union (CU). Adams and Stringer were the second and third choices for CU.

Two candidates are running in the Republican primary: New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers founder Fernando Mateo and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits. De Blasio was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017 with 66% of the vote. Including de Blasio, four of the previous six mayors were Democrats.



The NYC race you may not have heard about—for comptroller

On June 22nd, New York City will vote in primaries not only for mayor, but for other city offices as well, including comptroller. The comptroller performs audits of city agencies and manages five public pension funds, among other responsibilities. As of March, the pension funds totaled $253 billion in assets. The next comptroller will also be responsible for overseeing the use of federal stimulus money issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten candidates are running in the Democratic primary for a chance to succeed Scott Stringer, who is running in the Democratic primary for mayor. Republican and Conservative Party primaries were canceled as only one candidate was on the ballot in each.

Seven Democratic primary candidates have been mentioned by media outlets as leading candidates. Each has argued that their background equips them for the office. 

• Brian Benjamin, a state senator, previously worked for a housing developer and in financial management for Morgan Stanley. 

• Michelle Caruso-Cabrera was a financial analyst for CNBC. 

• Zachary Iscol served in the Marines and is a business and nonprofit founder. 

• Corey Johnson is speaker of the New York City Council. 

• Brad Lander, also a city councilman, co-founded the council’s Progressive Caucus. 

• Kevin Parker, a state senator, previously worked for investment banking firm UBS PaineWebber and as project manager for the New York State Urban Development Corporation. 

• David Weprin, a state assemblyman, previously served on the city council, where he was chair of the Finance Committee for eight years.

Ballotpedia has compiled biographical information, key messages, endorsements, and more related to the Democratic primary for comptroller. We also provide information on ranked-choice voting, which New York City is using this year for the first time. Voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballots.

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Virginia cities hold municipal primaries on June 8

The primary election for Norfolk and Richmond in Virginia was on June 8. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. 

In Richmond, Antionette Irving defeated William Burnett in the Democratic primary for sheriff. Irving earned 55% of the vote to Irving’s 45%. No Republican candidates filed to run.

In the Democratic primary for Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney, Ramin Fatehi won with 61% of the vote, defeating Megan Zwisohn and Amina Matheny-Willard. The Republican primary was canceled as no candidates filed to run.

Primary elections for other local offices were canceled after fewer than two candidates filed. The major party filing deadline passed on March 25.

Norfolk and Richmond are the 80th- and 100th-largest cities in the U.S. by population. They are the second-largest and fourth-largest cities in Virginia, respectively.

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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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Mattie Parker defeats Deborah Peoples in Fort Worth mayoral runoff election

Mattie Parker defeated Deborah Peoples in the Fort Worth mayoral runoff election on June 5, 2021. Parker received 54% of the vote to Peoples’ 46%. Parker and Peoples advanced to the runoff from the general election on May 1, 2021. Incumbent Mayor Betsy Price (R) did not run for re-election.

Prior to the election, Parker worked in education and as the chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council. She received endorsements from incumbent Mayor Price, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Price was first elected in 2011, and then re-elected in 2015 and 2019. In 2019, Price won with 56% of the vote, and Peoples was the runner-up with 42%. Prior to Price’s 2011 win, Fort Worth had not elected an openly Republican mayor in twenty years. In the 2020 and 2016 presidential elections, Joe Biden (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) won the city with 52% and 56% of the vote, respectively.

Heading into 2021, the mayors of 25 of the country’s 100 largest cities, including Fort Worth were affiliated with the Republican Party. The mayors of 64 of the 100 largest cities were affiliated with the Democratic Party.

To read more about the mayoral runoff election in Fort Worth, click here:

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Jim Ross defeats Michael Glaspie in mayoral runoff election in Arlington, Texas

Attorney Jim Ross defeated former city councilor Michael Glaspie in the general election runoff for mayor of Arlington, Texas, on June 5, 2021. Ross received 54.4% of the vote to Glaspie’s 45.6%. This was the first mayoral election in Arlington since 2003 without an incumbent on the ballot. Mayor Jeff Williams (R) was term-limited and unable to seek re-election.

Ross received an early endorsement from Williams and described his campaign as a continuation of the incumbent’s tenure. On his campaign website, Ross wrote, “as Mayor Williams approaches the end of his last term in office, the big question is, ‘Where do we go from here?’ The answer is simple, FORWARD!”

Before entering the election, Ross owned a law firm and Mercury Chophouse, a local restaurant. He previously worked as a police officer with the Arlington Police Department and served on the board of directors for the Arlington Police Foundation. In addition to his endorsement from Williams, Ross received endorsements from Arlington’s four police unions.



Dallas voters elect four new members to City Council in runoff elections

Dallas, Texas, voters elected four new members to the City Council in the June 5, 2021 city runoff elections.

Elections for six of the 14 seats on the city council advanced to runoffs from the May 1 general election, including three with incumbents. One incumbent lost re-election. In District 14, Paul Ridley defeated incumbent David Blewett 61% to 39%. In District 4, incumbent Carolyn King Arnold defeated Maxie Johnson 55% to 45%. In District 7, incumbent Adam Bazaldua defeated Kevin Felder 64% to 36%.

Blewett was the only incumbent to lose an election in 2021. In 2019, two incumbents lost re-election: Kevin Felder in District 7 and Philip Kingston in District 14, who was defeated by Blewett. In 2017, four incumbents lost re-election and in 2015, all incumbents were re-elected.

In Districts 2, 11, and 13, incumbent councilmembers Adam Medrano, Lee Kleinman, and Jennifer Staubach Gates did not run for re-election due to term limits. In District 2, Jesse Moreno defeated Sana Syed 58% to 43%. In District 11, Jaynie Schultz defeated Barry Wernick 54% to 46%. In District 13, Gay Donnell Willis defeated Leland Burk 54% to 47%.

The Dallas City Council is the city’s primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances. All fourteen seats on the Dallas City Council are up for election every two years.

To read more about the 2021 Dallas City Council elections, click here:



Eight Democratic mayoral candidates debate on June 2—three weeks before NYC primary

Eight Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City participated in their first in-person debate on June 2, 2021: Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, and Andrew Yang.

They discussed gun violence, hate crimes, policing, the city budget, public education, and the economy.

Heading into the debate, Garcia topped an Emerson College poll of 570 likely voters conducted May 23-24 with 21% support in the first round and 55% support in the eleventh and final round of ranked-choice voting. The margin of error was 4.1%. Adams and Yang, who led in earlier polls, rounded out the final three.

Garcia’s performance in polling has improved following endorsements from The New York Times and the New York Daily News. Other recent key endorsements in the race include Rep. John Liu (D-N.Y.) for Yang, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) for Wiley, and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) for Adams.

Stringer, who lost endorsements following allegations of sexual misconduct that Stringer denied, received a boost from the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers in May through a $4 million television and digital ad campaign.

Additional key spending in the race includes $500,000 from investor George Soros to a pro-Wiley super PAC and $1 million from oil executive John Hess to a pro-McGuire group.

The primary election will take place on June 22, 2021. It will be the first mayoral primary in New York City to use ranked-choice voting. Voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference. 

Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) did not run for re-election because of term limits.



Virginia municipal primaries to be held June 8 

The municipal primary elections in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Richmond in Virginia are scheduled for June 8. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. 

The filing deadline to run for major party candidates passed on March 25. For minor party and independent candidates, the filing deadline is Aug. 13. Primary elections are canceled for offices where only one candidate from a party filed to run. 

Candidates filed to run for:

• Commonwealth’s attorney

• Sheriff 

• Treasurer

• Commissioner of revenue (for Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake only)

Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Richmond are the top four largest cities by population in Virginia. In the United States, they are the 39th-, 80th-, 90th-, and 100th-largest cities, respectively.

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