CategoryLocal

Idaho recall effort qualifies for August ballot

Recall efforts to remove Tim Winkle, Alicia McConkie, and Marianne Blackwell from their positions on the Middleton School District board of trustees in Idaho have been certified for the August 27 ballot.
 
The recall effort against Winkle and McConkie began after they voted to accept the superintendent’s personnel recommendations at a board meeting on May 6, 2019. Recall supporters objected to the superintendent’s recommendation since it did not renew the contract of Middleton High School’s principal, Ben Merrill. Board member Kirk Adams was also targeted for recall at that time, but his petition was rejected by the county since he had not served in office long enough to be recalled.
 
The recall petition against Blackwell alleged that she “set an unprofessional and unacceptable precedent for school board trustees” and violated the board’s code of ethics.
 
Winkle said that because the decision to not renew Merrill’s contract was a personnel matter, the board was limited in what they could share with the public. McConkie said she has served the best she could for the last two years and felt she was being targeted for recall over a single decision. Blackwell had not responded to the recall effort against her as of June 19.
 
In order for the board members to be removed from office in the recall election, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor of the recall. The number of voters who cast ballots in favor of the recall must also be higher than the total number of people who voted for the officeholders when they were last up for election.
 
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 


Kansas City voters reject citizen initiative to limit revenue used for economic development incentive programs

On June 18, voters in Kansas City defeated Question 1, a citizen initiative that would have limited the property tax abatement or redirection that could be used toward economic development projects in the city to 50% of the revenue that would have otherwise been generated.
 
According to election night results with 97% of precincts reporting, the measure was defeated 66% to 34%.
 
In 2017, the city implemented a 75% incentive cap on ad valorem tax incentives for economic development. Question 1 was a citizen initiative designed to enact a more restrictive cap of 50%.
 
This measure was put on the ballot through a successful initiative petition campaign led by the Coalition for Kansas City Economic Development Reform, also known as the KC TIF Watch. The signature requirement to place an initiative on the ballot in Kansas City is equal to 5% of the total votes cast for mayoral candidates at the last preceding regular municipal election. KC TIF Watch needed to collect 1,708 valid signatures. On November 29, 2018, the city clerk verified that proponents had submitted 2,321 valid signatures.


Quinton Lucas wins Kansas City mayoral election

City council member Quinton Lucas defeated fellow council member Jolie Justus to become mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, succeeding term-limited Mayor Sly James. Based on unofficial returns with 90 percent of precincts reporting, Lucas received more than 58 percent of the vote.
 
The two candidates advanced from a primary election field that had 11 candidates. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent of the vote.
 
Although elections in Kansas City are nonpartisan, James was known to be a member of the Democratic Party. Ballotpedia was unable to find information on Lucas’ political affiliation.
 
In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population in 2019. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.
 
Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies, and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.


School board election comes down to four votes in El Paso, Texas

In El Paso, Texas, unofficial election night vote totals on June 15 showed Joshua Acevedo leading Rene Vargas with 578 votes to Vargas’ 574 votes. The two candidates competed in a general election runoff for the District 3 seat of the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees. Vargas had not made a decision about whether to challenge the results as of Saturday night.
 
The District 6 seat went to a runoff as well, with Fareed Khlayel winning with 72.4% of the vote. The elections in District 2 and District 7 were decided during the May 4 general election.
 
The El Paso Independent School District serves about 60,000 students.
 


Two city council members face off in June 18 Kansas City mayoral election

Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas, both members of the City Council of Kansas City, are running in the June 18 election to be the city’s next mayor. The winner will succeed Mayor Sly James (D), who was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
 
Justus and Lucas advanced from an 11-candidate primary election field. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent.
 
Lucas led in both pre-election polls, conducted between mid-April and mid-May, receiving 38 percent support in each poll to Justus’ 31 percent and 30 percent. Each candidate has received the endorsement of one other member of the city council. Justus was also endorsed by Mayor James, while Lucas was endorsed by The Kansas City Star newspaper.
 
In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent mayor was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.
 
Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.


San Francisco mayoral race draws six candidates

Six candidates filed to run in San Francisco’s nonpartisan mayoral election on November 5. The offices of city attorney, district attorney, public defender, sheriff, and treasurer as well as the District 5 seat of the board of supervisors and one community college district seat will also be on the ballot. The filing deadline for the mayoral election and the special election for the board of supervisors was June 11. The filing deadline for the other offices is August 9.
 
In her bid for re-election, incumbent London Breed faces Robert Jordan, Wilma Pang, Paul Robertson, Joel Ventresca, and Ellen Lee Zhou. Breed was elected to the position in a special election on June 5, 2018. Prior to that, she served as acting mayor starting on December 12, 2017, following the death of Mayor Ed Lee. Breed served as acting mayor until January 23, 2018, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to replace her with District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell. Breed represented District 5 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2013 to 2018.
 
Four candidates filed to run in the special election for the District 5 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Vallie Brown faces Ryan Lam, Nomvula O’Meara, and Dean Preston. Brown was appointed to the seat on July 16, 2018, by Breed after she vacated the seat following her election as mayor.
 
San Francisco is the fourth-largest city in California and the 14th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


State Rep. Eric Johnson will be the next mayor of Dallas, Texas

State Rep. Eric Johnson defeated City Councilmember Scott Griggs in the runoff election for Dallas mayor on Saturday. Johnson received 56 percent of the vote to Griggs’ 44 percent.

Johnson has been a member of the Texas House of Representatives since 2010. Griggs has served on the Dallas City Council since 2011. The candidates campaigned on who was best equipped to build consensus on the city council, each referring to their respective legislative experience.

Dallas uses a council-manager form of government in which the mayor serves as a member of the city council along with 14 elected council members. The council appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations. The mayor appoints city council committee members and chairs, determines what policy-related agenda items will be considered by the council, and makes policy and budget recommendations.

Johnson’s endorsers included incumbent Mayor Mike Rawlings, a number of Republican and Democratic state representatives, and The Dallas Morning News editorial board. Griggs was backed by the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, the Dallas Police Association, and several organizations, including the Sierra Club and the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

Rawlings, in office since 2011, was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election in 2019. Although elections for the office are nonpartisan, Rawlings and Johnson are both Democrats.

Dallas is the ninth-largest city in the U.S., with a population of 1.3 million. Mayors serve four-year terms.



Three new members to join the Dane County Board of Supervisors

A special general election was held on June 4 in Wisconsin to fill three seats on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Elizabeth Doyle (District 1), Kristen Audet (District 17), and Ann DeGarmo (District 33) were elected to the board. Doyle won her race unopposed, while the other two each faced a challenger.
 
Three candidates participated in the District 17 primary on May 7, which narrowed the field to the top two candidates. With only one candidate filing in District 1 and two in District 33, those primaries were canceled.
 
Dane County also held regular elections on April 2 for two seats on the Dane County Board of Supervisors as well as a seat on the Dane County Circuit Court. All three of those races were won unopposed by the incumbent.
 
Dane County was home to 516,284 residents in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The county contains Wisconsin’s capital, Madison.
 
Ballotpedia covers municipal elections for the 100 largest cities by population in the nation, and 59 of those cities are holding elections in 2019.
 


Preview of June 8 mayoral runoff elections in Dallas and San Antonio

On June 8, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas—two of the 10 largest cities by population in the country—will hold runoff elections for mayor. Dallas’ runoff is for an open seat, while San Antonio’s incumbent mayor is seeking re-election.
 
In Dallas, the race is between City Councilmember Scott Griggs and state Rep. Eric Johnson, who were among nine candidates on the May 4 general election ballot. Griggs has served on the Dallas City Council since 2011 and Johnson in the state House since 2010.
 
The candidates have referred to their respective legislative experience as evidence of their ability to build consensus among members of the city council, on which the mayor of Dallas serves.
 
Griggs has the backing of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association and the Dallas Police Association, in addition to environmental and LGBT organizations. Johnson’s endorsers include incumbent Mayor Mike Rawlings, Democratic and Republican state representatives, and The Dallas Morning News editorial board.
 
San Antonio‘s mayoral runoff election features incumbent Ron Nirenberg and City Councilmember Greg Brockhouse, each of whom received more than 45 percent of the vote in the nine-candidate general election field. Nirenberg has been in office since 2017 when he defeated Mayor Ivy Taylor. He served four years on the city council before winning election as mayor. Brockhouse was first elected to the city council in 2017. Before that, he worked as a political consultant.
 
Nirenberg supported and Brockhouse opposed a proposal to make San Antonio carbon-neutral by 2050 and a measure denying Chick-Fil-A a permit to operate in the municipal airport. Brockhouse supported and Nirenberg opposed a 2018 ballot measure that gave firefighters binding arbitration power in contract negotiations.
 
Nirenberg’s backers include the San Antonio AFL-CIO and the Texas Democratic Party, while Brockhouse has support from the San Antonio Police Officers Association and the San Antonio Professional Firefighters.
 
Both Dallas and San Antonio use council-manager forms of government, meaning the mayor serves as a member of the city council and helps select a city manager to serve as chief executive officer of the city. Dallas mayors serve four-year terms and San Anontio mayors, two-year terms. Elections for mayor in both cities are nonpartisan.
 
Click the links below to learn more about these two elections:
 


Wichita’s mayor faces eight challengers in re-election bid

Nine mayoral candidates and eight city council candidates have filed to run in the 2019 elections in Wichita, Kansas. A primary for the mayoral race is scheduled for August 6. The general election is on November 5. The filing deadline was June 3.
 
Wichita’s current mayor, Jeff Longwell, filed for re-election. He is facing eight challengers, including state Rep. Brandon Whipple (D), in the primary. Longwell became mayor in 2015 after serving on the Wichita City Council from 2007 to 2015. He was elected in 2015 with 60% percent of the vote.
 
Three of the six seats on the city council—Districts 2, 4, and 5—are also on the ballot in 2019. The primaries for the three races were canceled due to an insufficient number of filed candidates. A primary is held only if four or more candidates file in a certain district. The races are on the November 5 ballot. District 2 incumbent Becky Tuttle is running for re-election against former state Rep. Joseph Scapa and Rodney Wren. District 4 incumbent Jeff Blubaugh is facing Beckie Jenek and Christopher Parisho in the general election, and District 5 incumbent Bryan Frye is competing against challenger Mike Magness.
 
The mayor and city council members each serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms (eight years) in office.
 
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and the 48th-largest city in the U.S. by population. In 2019, Ballotpedia is covering elections in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population. In addition to the cities, Ballotpedia is also covering elections in 23 counties across 11 states.
 


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