CategoryLocal

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.
 


Kansas school boards cancel primaries in four of five districts covered by Ballotpedia in 2019

Ballotpedia is covering elections in five Kansas school districts in 2019: Circle USD 375, Goddard USD 265, Haysville USD 261, Maize USD 266, and Wichita Public Schools. The filing deadline for these elections was June 3, 2019. Four districts canceled their primaries after two or fewer candidates filed per seat up for election. Wichita Public Schools is scheduled to hold a primary on August 6 for one seat. All districts will hold general elections on November 5.
 
Three of seven seats are up for election in Wichita Public Schools; these consist of two by-district seats and one at-large seat. The district holds primaries if three or more candidates file per seat. The by-district seats do not require a primary, but four candidates filed for the at-large seat. All three incumbents filed for re-election. The District 3 incumbent is the only Wichita school board member who is unopposed in her bid for re-election.
 
Four of seven seats are up for election in Circle USD 375; these consist of three by-district seats and one at-large seat. Two incumbents filed for re-election. Each of the races only drew one candidate, so two newcomers will be sworn in following the election.
 
Goddard USD 265 has four of seven at-large seats up for election. Five candidates filed for election, including three incumbents. This means the district is guaranteed at least one newcomer on the board.
 
Five of seven at-large seats are up for election in Haysville USD 261; four are up for regular election and one is for an unexpired term. A total of seven candidates filed for the four seats up for regular election and one candidate is running for the unexpired term. Three incumbents filed for re-election, meaning the board will see a minimum of two newcomers.
 
Maize USD 266 has three by-district seats and one at-large seat up for election. There are seven seats on the board. Three incumbents filed for re-election. Two incumbents face challengers, but the at-large incumbent is unopposed in his bid for re-election. The open by-district seat drew two candidates. At least one newcomer will be elected to the board.
 
These five Kansas school districts served a combined total of 71,240 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 


Los Angeles Unified School District Measure EE parcel tax fails

Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters
 
On Tuesday, voters in Los Angeles Unified School District defeated Measure EE, which would have enacted an annual parcel tax for 12 years at the rate of $0.16 per square foot of building improvements to fund educational improvements, instruction, and programs.
 
District officials estimated that the parcel tax would have raised $500 million per year. A two-thirds (66.67%) supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure EE. According to election night results, 54% of voters were against the measure and 46% were in favor.
 
A parcel tax is a kind of property tax based on units of property rather than assessed value. So far in 2019, local California voters have approved ten parcel tax measures and have defeated three. Since 1983, there have been 708 local parcel tax measures on ballots in California; 425 (60%) were approved, and 283 (40%) were defeated.
 


California school board recall approved to circulate petitions

An effort to recall three of the five members of the Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Trustees in California was approved to circulate petitions on June 3. Board President Robert Davis, Vice President Victoria Ruffin, and Clerk Amanda Parrell were targeted for recall due to allegations of excessive, unnecessary, and duplicative expenditures, troubling contracts with friends and associates, a failure to support student families, and a lack of respect toward members of the community, according to the notice of intent to recall filed with the county. To get the recall on the ballot, supporters must submit petitions to the county by October 1. Davis’ petition requires 7,964 signatures, Ruffin’s requires 7,388 signatures, and Parrell’s requires 6,833 signatures.
 
In response to the recall, Davis said that the board had a new vision for the district and that change was hard to accept. He said he believed the board was on the right track. Ruffin said, “When we’re doing the hard work in social justice and we’re doing the hard work of being equity warriors, it does mean that people get an opportunity to look at your ways and your practices. […] I can understand why that would be something that is scary.”
 
Ruffin and Parrell were first elected to the board on November 6, 2018, in the school district’s first by-district election. Prior to that, elections were held at large. Davis was first elected to the board on November 3, 2015.
 
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%. That was higher than the 56.9% rate and 56.3% rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 


Incumbent Michael Hancock defeats development consultant Jamie Giellis in Denver mayoral runoff

 
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock defeated development consultant Jamie Giellis to win a third term Tuesday. At the time of Giellis’ concession, Hancock had received 55.6% of the vote to Giellis’ 44.4%. Giellis and Hancock were the top two finishers among a six-candidate field on the May 7 general election ballot. Since neither received a majority of the vote, the two advanced to a runoff.
 
A central issue in the election was the city government’s response to a decade of rapid population growth and large-scale development. Hancock said that he supported the Denveright plan, which charted a path forward for Denver to continue growing at its current rate through 2040. Giellis, on the other hand, said that Denver had not taken residents’ needs into account when planning new development and said she would increase neighborhood-level control over development.
 
Hancock was first elected in 2011 after serving seven years on the city council. He won re-election in 2015 with just over 80% of the vote. He said that his third-term policy objectives would include establishing a municipal department of transportation and increasing the minimum wage for city employees to $15 per hour. Hancock was endorsed by The Denver Post, former mayors Wellington Webb and Bill Vidal, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), and presidential candidates Michael Bennet (D), Pete Buttigieg (D), and John Hickenlooper (D).
 
Giellis is a former board member of the International Downtown Association and served as president of the River North Art District before launching her campaign. She said that her masters’ degree in public administration and her experience with urban design made her more qualified to manage growth. She supported opening a municipal planning office in every neighborhood and increasing city spending on affordable housing to $1 billion over the course of the next decade. Her endorsers included former Gov. Dick Lamm (D) and general election candidates Lisa Calderón and Penfield Tate. Giellis, Calderón, and Tate received a combined 58.1% of the vote to Hancock’s 38.7% in the first round of voting.
 
Although the election was officially nonpartisan, both Hancock and Giellis are members of the Democratic Party.
 


City council seats on Tuesday’s ballot in Los Angeles and Riverside

More than 200,000 Los Angeles residents will have more than 15 candidates to choose from in a city council special election on Tuesday.
 
In California, the District 12 seat on the Los Angeles City Council and the Ward 1, 3, 5, and 7 seats on the Riverside City Council are up for election on June 4. The Los Angeles race is a special primary for a vacant seat, while the Riverside contests are their regularly scheduled general elections. In both cities, the council seats can be won outright on Tuesday if one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. If none do, then Los Angeles is holding its special general election on August 13, and Riverside is holding its general runoff on November 5.
 
The District 12 seat in Los Angeles was vacated by Mitchell Englander, who resigned on December 31, 2018, in order to work in government affairs for the Oak View Group. Englander, the only Republican on the council, was first elected in 2011 and left office during his second term. Fifteen candidates are running for the remainder of his term in the special nonpartisan primary. The Los Angeles City Council has 15 members.
 
Riverside is holding an all-mail nonpartisan general election for the four city council seats. Only the Ward 1 incumbent, Mike Gardner, is running for re-election, and he faces two challengers. The other three elections are for open seats and feature between three and seven candidates each. The Riverside City Council has seven members, which means that a majority of the council could be new members following the election. The winners this year will receive an extended five-year term in office instead of four-year terms. This is due to the city’s transition to holding elections in even-numbered years beginning in 2022. Consequently, the Ward 1, 3, 5, and 7 seats will be on the ballot next in 2024 instead of 2023.
 
Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the second-largest city in the U.S. by population, while Riverside is the 12th-largest city in the state and the 58th-largest city nationwide.
 


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