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Over half of Oklahoma’s school board elections canceled due to uncontested races

General elections for Oklahoma school boards were held on April 2. Of the 26 school districts Ballotpedia covered in the state, 16 canceled their general elections for 17 seats. Fourteen of those districts canceled due to lack of opposition, while the other two canceled after incumbents took more than 50 percent of the vote in the February 12 primaries, winning the seats outright.
 
Of the elections canceled due to lack of opposition, 13 incumbents automatically won re-election and four newcomers won new terms by default.
 
In the 10 school districts that did hold general elections on April 2, a total of 10 seats were on the ballot. Seven of the incumbents ran to retain their seats, leaving three open for newcomers. Six incumbents won new terms, and one was defeated by a challenger. One of the 10 school districts—Tulsa Public Schools—had enough candidates file to run to hold a primary on February 12. The primary narrowed the field from eight candidates to two for the general election.
 
These 26 school districts served a combined total of 261,543 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 


Madison Mayor Soglin loses re-election bid, nine new members will join city’s Common Council

In Madison, Wisconsin, Satya Rhodes-Conway defeated incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin in the general election on April 2, 2019. With all precincts reporting, unofficial results showed Rhodes-Conway received 61.9 percent of the vote to Soglin’s 37.7 percent of the vote.
 
The general election candidates advanced from a five-way primary on February 19. Soglin came in first place, receiving 28.6 percent of the vote. Rhodes-Conway trailed him by less than 1 percentage point, receiving 27.7 percent of the vote.
 
Rhodes-Conway will be the second woman to serve as mayor of Madison. She previously served on the city council from 2007 to 2013. Soglin first served as mayor from 1973 to 1979. He was re-elected in 1989 and served until 1997. He was elected again in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. In all, he has served as mayor of the city for a combined 22 years. Soglin also ran for governor of Wisconsin in 2018 but lost in the Democratic primary.
 
All 20 seats on the Madison Common Council were also up for election. Of the 11 incumbents seeking re-election, nine were unopposed. The two incumbents who faced challengers were re-elected. Nine new members will join the council.
 
Madison is the second-largest city in Wisconsin and the 82nd-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Las Vegas mayor wins third term in seven-way primary with 83.5 percent of the vote

The general election for mayor of Las Vegas was canceled following the primary election on April 2, 2019. In Nevada, candidates who receive a majority of the vote in the primary win election outright. Incumbent Carolyn Goodman faced six challengers and received 83.5 percent of the vote. The next-highest vote recipient, Phil Collins, received 5.3 percent of the vote. This will be Goodman’s third and final term as mayor due to term limits.
 
The Las Vegas City Council’s Ward 5 election was also decided outright in the primary since incumbent Cedric Crear received 59.7 percent of the vote. No candidates in Wards 1 or 3 received a majority of the vote, requiring a general election to be held on June 11. In Ward 1, Brian Knudsen faces Robin Munier in the general election. The Ward 3 race remains too close to call with all districts reporting.
 
The cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas also held primaries. Three city council seats and one municipal court judge seat were up for election in Henderson and were won outright, meaning the city will not hold elections on June 11. In North Las Vegas, one of two city council seats advanced to the general election. The Ward 4 incumbent, Richard Cherchio, faces Pete Shields in the general election.
 
Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada and the 29th-largest city in the U.S. by population. Henderson is the second-largest city in Nevada and the 70th-largest city in the U.S. by population. North Las Vegas is the fourth-largest city in Nevada and the 95th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Chicago City Council runoffs: At least 3 more incumbents defeated

On Tuesday, Chicago voters cast ballots for 15 city council runoff elections, in addition to runoffs for mayor and treasurer. Four of the 15 council runoffs were for open seats, and 11 featured incumbents seeking re-election.
 
At least three incumbent aldermen lost their re-election bids on Tuesday, adding to the three who lost outright in the general election on February 26. As of 10:45 a.m. CT, the races for the 5th, 33rd, and 46th wards were too close to call.
 
One incumbent who lost Tuesday night was 40th Ward Ald. Pat O’Connor, the second longest-serving member on the Chicago City Council. He was first elected in 1983. O’Connor lost to André Vasquez, who challenged O’Connor from the left. O’Connor campaigned as a progressive as well.
 
Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th) lost to Stephanie Coleman and Ald. Milagros Santiago (31st) was defeated by Felix Cardona Jr.
 
Forty-five of 50 city council members sought re-election in 2019. In 2015, 44 incumbents sought re-election and seven were defeated—an 84 percent re-election rate.


Justus and Lucas advance in Kansas City mayoral primary

City council members Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas advanced from the mayoral primary election in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday. They each received about 25 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. They were among a field of 11 candidates seeking to succeed term-limited Mayor Sly James. The general election is June 18.
 
Justus and Lucas have both been on the city council since 2015. Justus also served as a Democratic state senator from 2007 to 2015 and works as the director of pro bono services for a law firm. Lucas is an attorney and teaches law at the University of Kansas.
 
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.
 
Kansas City voters will also elect all 12 members of the city council on June 18.
 
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Lori Lightfoot will be the next mayor of Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city

Former Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot defeated Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle in Chicago’s mayoral runoff election Tuesday. With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Lightfoot received 74 percent of the vote to Preckwinkle’s 26 percent.
 
Lightfoot was president of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018. She also chaired the Police Accountability Task Force and was a senior equity partner at the law firm Mayer Brown. Lightfoot held several positions in city government under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
 
Both Lightfoot and Preckwinkle described themselves as the progressive in the race and called each other’s progressive credentials into question based on their political and professional histories.
 
Lightfoot presented herself as the reform candidate who is independent of corrupt machine-style politics. She noted her background as a senior equity partner and her past roles in city government, saying she had requisite experience managing teams and budgets. Lightfoot referred to Preckwinkle as a party boss due to her roles as Cook County Democratic Party chair and former party committeewoman.
 
Preckwinkle highlighted her experience as an alderman and Cook County Board of Commissioners president, saying she had the experience to run the city and a progressive record. She contrasted her experience in elected office with Lightfoot’s previous appointments to positions by mayors, saying the latter connected Lightfoot to the political elite, and criticized elements of Lightfoot’s legal career.
 
The 2019 race was Chicago’s fourth open-seat mayoral race in 100 years and the second mayoral runoff election in the city’s history. Lightfoot will be the city’s first female African-American mayor and its first openly gay mayor.
 
Chicago also held runoff elections for 15 city council seats and for city treasurer Tuesday.
 
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Nine candidates file for Las Vegas special election

Candidates had until March 28 to file for a Las Vegas City Council special election for Ward 2. Nine candidates filed by the deadline, including former state assembly members Valerie Weber and Victoria Seaman. The seven other candidates are Patsy Brown, Bruce Feher, Hilarie Grey, David Orentlicher, Derrick Penney, Richard Plaster, and Michael Tomko. The special election on June 11 coincides with the city’s general election for mayor and three other city council seats. All of the elections are nonpartisan.
 
The special election became necessary after the former Ward 2 representative, Steve Seroka, resigned on March 4. He had served on the city council since 2017. Prior to his resignation, Seroka was the subject of a recall attempt. Recall organizers had accused Seroka of having anti-development positions.
 
Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada and the 29th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Incumbents seek re-election in 75% of Oregon school board races

School board candidates in Oregon had to file by March 21 to appear on the 2019 ballot. Ballotpedia is covering elections in eight Oregon school districts in 2019. A total of 28 seats will be up for election in these eight districts. This represents just over half of the 54 total school board seats in these districts.
 
General elections will take place on May 21. Incumbents are seeking re-election in 21 of the 28 seats (75%) up for election. School board members in Oregon serve four-year terms, and each school board can have a total of five or seven members. If the school district has a resident population of more than 300,000, the school board must have seven members.
 
Ballotpedia covers the 200 largest school districts in the nation in addition to any districts overlapping with the 100 largest cities by population in the United States. Oregon is one of 23 states within this scope that are holding school board elections in 2019. Ballotpedia is covering 515 school board seat elections across 181 school districts this year.
 


Ballotpedia covering local elections across seven states on Tuesday

Ballotpedia is covering local elections on April 2, 2019, across seven states—Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
 
*The city of Anchorage, Alaska, is holding nonpartisan general elections for five of 11 seats on the Anchorage Assembly. The filing deadline for this election was February 1. The contested races for District 2 Seat A, District 3 Seat D, and District 4 Seat F all feature newcomers. The remaining races for District 5 Seat H and District 6 Seat J feature unopposed incumbents. Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska and the 62nd-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
Two of seven seats on the Anchorage School District school board in Alaska are also up for nonpartisan general election on Tuesday. The filing deadline for this election was February 1. Two newcomers are facing off in the race for Seat A, and incumbent Starr Marsett faces challengers David Nees and Ronald Stafford in the race for Seat B. The Anchorage School District served 48,238 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 
*In Colorado, the city of Colorado Springs is holding nonpartisan general elections for mayor and three of nine seats on the city council. If no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote in the general election, a runoff election is scheduled for May 21. The filing deadline for this election passed on January 22.
 
In the race for mayor, incumbent John Suthers is seeking a second term in office and faces three challengers: Lawrence Martinez, Juliette Parker, and John Pitchford.
 
The contested at-large race for three Colorado Springs City Council seats features two incumbents and nine challengers. In 2017, six seats were up for election resulting in the re-election of three incumbents and the addition of three newcomers to the city council.
 
Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado and the 40th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*Chicago will hold its runoff election for mayor, treasurer, and 15 aldermen seats. Ballotpedia is also covering nonpartisan school board elections for Illinois School District U-46 on Tuesday. Four of the district’s seven board seats are up for general election. The filing deadline for this election was December 20, 2018. Three incumbents and eight candidates are running in the at-large race. This is the only elected Illinois school district covered by Ballotpedia in 2019. The district served 39,665 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 
*The city of St. Louis, Missouri, is holding partisan general elections for Metro Council President and 15 metro council seats on April 2. A primary was held on March 5 to narrow the field of candidates. The regular filing deadline for this election was January 4, and the independent candidate filing deadline was February 11.
 
In the race for council president, Democrat Jeffrey Reed faces Green Party member Jerome Bauer, after both advanced from the primary. No Republican candidate filed in the election.
 
St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri and the 57th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*Missouri is also holding nonpartisan general school board elections on Tuesday. Ballotpedia is covering elections for 29 seats across 11 school districts. Collectively, these districts served 126,611 students during the 2016-2017 school year. The largest of these districts is  St. Louis Public Schools, which served 28,270 students during the 2016-2017 school year. Missouri holds school board elections annually.
 
*In Henderson, Nevada, nonpartisan primaries are being held for the Ward I, II, and IV seats on the city council and for one municipal court judge. The general election is on June 11, and the filing deadline for this election was January 31.
Each primary race is contested. The Ward II and IV incumbents each face a challenger in their bids for re-election, and five newcomers are running in Ward 1.
 
In the race for Henderson Municipal Court Judge Department 1, incumbent Mark Stevens faces challenger Regina McConnell.
Henderson is the second-largest city in Nevada and the 70th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*In Las Vegas, Nevada, nonpartisan primaries for mayor and the Wards 1, 3, and 5 seats on the city council will be held. The general election is on June 11, and the candidate filing deadline was February 8.
 
Mayor Carolyn Goodman faces six challengers in her bid for a third term. Goodman was first elected in 2011, succeeding her husband, Oscar B. Goodman, who had served the maximum of three terms in office.
 
Each city council race is contested with 10 newcomers running in Ward 1, seven newcomers running in Ward 3, and incumbent Cedric Crear facing two challengers in Ward 5.
 
The city will also hold a special election for the Ward 2 seat on the city council on June 11, 2019. The filing deadline for this election was March 28, 2019. The special election became necessary after former Ward 2 representative Steve Seroka resigned on March 4, 2019. Prior to his resignation, Seroka was subject to a recall attempt.
 
Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada and the 29th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*The city of North Las Vegas, Nevada, is holding nonpartisan general elections for the Wards 2 and 4 seats on Tuesday. The candidate filing deadline was on February 8. Incumbent Pamela Goynes-Brown faces challenger Christopher Burns in Ward 2, and incumbent Richard Cherchio faces five challengers in Ward 4.
 
North Las Vegas is the fourth-largest city in Nevada and the 95th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*Oklahoma will hold its nonpartisan general school board elections on Tuesday. Ballotpedia is covering the election of 30 school board seats across 26 Oklahoma school districts in 2019. Collectively, these districts served 261,543 students during the 2016-2017 school year. The largest of these districts is Oklahoma City Public Schools, which served 39,806 students during the 2016-2017 school year. Oklahoma holds its school board elections annually.
 
*In Dane County, Wisconsin, nonpartisan general elections for circuit court judge and two county supervisor seats are being held. If more than two candidates had filed to run per seat, a primary would have been held on February 19, but each of the races is unopposed. The filing deadline for this election was January 2.
 
*The city of Madison, Wisconsin, is holding a nonpartisan general election for mayor. A primary was held on February 19 to narrow the field of candidates. The filing deadline for this election was January 2.
 
Incumbent Paul Soglin faces challenger Satya Rhodes-Conway after they defeated three candidates in the primary. Soglin has served in the position since 2011, and previously held the office of Mayor in Madison from 1973 to 1979 and 1989 to 1997. He lost an election bid in March 2003.
 
Madison is also holding nonpartisan general elections for all 20 seats on the common council on Tuesday. As in the mayoral election, the candidate filing deadline was January 2. Primaries were only held on February 19 in districts where three or more candidates filed to run. These were Districts 3, 12, 13, and 15. The top two vote recipients in each race advanced to the general. In total, 11 incumbents are running for re-election to the council, with 10 of these incumbents running unopposed.
 
Madison is the second-largest city in Wisconsin and the 82nd-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 
*Nonpartisan general elections are also being held for Wisconsin school boards. Ballotpedia is covering races for 21 seats across seven school districts in 2019. Collectively, these districts served 123,027 students during the 2016-2017 school year. The largest of these districts is Milwaukee Public Schools, which served 76,206 students during the same time period.
 
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42% of Texas school board elections uncontested in May

In 2019, Ballotpedia will cover regularly scheduled elections across 63 Texas school districts. Of these, 56 districts will hold their elections on May 4. The 56 districts have a combined 161 board seats up for election, and the remaining seven school districts are holding their elections on November 5.
 
Of the 161 seats up for election in May, 67 (or 42 percent) are uncontested. Thirty-nine districts have at least one unopposed candidate, and 13 of them have no contested seats on the ballot and may cancel their election entirely. The remaining 17 districts have contested seats across the board.
 
A total of 316 candidates filed for election, which is approximately 1.96 candidates per seat. This figure is higher than the 2016 Texas average of 1.79 candidates per seat and the 2016 national average of 1.90 candidates per seat. In all, 114 incumbents are seeking re-election, which means 47 races are open-seat contests.
 
These 56 school districts served a combined total of 1,817,124 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 


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