CategoryLocal

Dallas city elections: What and who is on the ballot

Dallas, the nation’s ninth-largest city by population, will hold elections for mayor and city council on May 4, 2019. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in a race on May 4, a runoff will be held on June 8, 2019.
 
Current Mayor Mike Rawlings, in office since 2011, is prevented by term-limits from seeking re-election. Nine candidates qualified for the ballot, representing a mixture of backgrounds in local and state government, business, the nonprofit sector, and more.
 
Four candidates in the race hold or have held elected office: Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs, state Rep. Eric Johnson (D), Dallas Independent School District Trustee Miguel Solis, and former state Rep. Jason Villalba (R).
 
Candidates Albert Black and Regina Montoya have other forms of government experience. Black was the chairman of the Dallas Housing Authority under Mayor Rawlings. Regina Montoya was the chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty under Rawlings, and she was assistant for intergovernmental affairs to President Bill Clinton (D).
 
Candidate Mike Ablon is a real estate developer. Alyson Kennedy was the 2016 Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate. Lynn McBee is CEO of the nonprofit Young Women’s Preparatory Network.
 
In addition to the mayor’s race, Dallas will hold elections for all 14 city council seats. Ten incumbents are seeking re-election, and four races are open (Districts 1, 5, 9, and 12). Nobody is running unopposed.
 
The city of Dallas uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, the mayor serves on the city council—the city’s primary legislative body. The council and mayor appoint 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 of Dallas presides over the city council and makes policy and budget recommendations. The mayor does not have veto power.
 
Dallas’ use of the council-manager system is unique among large cities. Most cities in the United States with populations over one million use a strong mayor system, in which the mayor—instead of a city manager—serves as the city’s chief executive.
 
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Las Vegas special election filing deadline is March 28

Candidates interested in running in the Las Vegas City Council special election for Ward 2 have until March 28 to file for the seat. 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.
 


Judge rules in favor of Fall River election certification

On March 12, an effort in Fall River, Massachusetts, to recall Mayor Jasiel Correia II was approved. On the same night, Correia was elected to serve as mayor again on a separate ballot.
 
Following the election, a group of 10 voters involved in the recall process filed a lawsuit seeking to block the certification of the results. The lawsuit alleged that the city charter approved in 2017 should have prohibited Correia from running for re-election as a part of the recall vote. On March 22, New Bedford Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Perrino ruled against the lawsuit. He said, “while the 2017 charter no longer expressly permits the officeholder who is the subject of a recall from also being a candidate, the plaintiff has not shown that the 2017 charter expressly excludes a recalled candidate from succeeding himself.”
 
On the first portion of the ballot, Correia was recalled with 7,829 votes cast in favor of the recall and 4,911 votes cast in opposition to the recall. The second portion of the ballot allowed voters to choose who should serve as mayor if the recall vote succeeded. Correia received more votes than his four opponents, allowing him to retain his position. He won by a plurality with 4,808 (35.4%) of the total votes cast. Runner-up Paul Coogan received 4,567 votes (33.6%), Joe Camara received 1,971 votes (14.5%), Kyle Riley received 1,460 votes (10.8%), and Erica Scott-Pacheo received 740 votes (5.5%).
 
Petitioners began the recall process after Correia was arrested on October 11, 2018, on 13 charges of wire and tax fraud related to his company SnoOwl. In a press conference following the indictment, Correia said he was innocent of the charges and that he would not resign from office. He said the voters of Fall River should let him continue to serve or recall him.
 


Denver Mayor Michael Hancock maintains fundraising lead

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has raised more money than his five challengers combined, according to pre-election campaign finance reports filed March 17 with the Denver Elections Division.
 
Hancock reported raising just under $1.6 million between the beginning of the campaign cycle and the March 14 reporting deadline. His five challengers reported raising a combined total of just under $710,000.
 
Urban development consultant Jamie Giellis reported raising just under $410,000, the most of any challenger. Former state Sen. Penfield Tate followed with $230,000 raised, while criminal justice professor Lisa Calderón reported raising $70,000. Two other candidates each raised under $2,500.
 
The Giellis campaign reported more cash on hand than Hancock’s, with just over $190,000 to the incumbent’s $150,000.
 
The nonpartisan election takes place on May 7. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June 4 runoff.
 
The city of Denver uses a strong mayor-council system. Under this system, a mayor with a broad range of powers serves as the city’s chief executive while a city council acts as the municipal legislature. All Denver municipal elections are for four-year terms, and no elected official may serve more than three consecutive terms.
 


Goldberg and Repenning advance to runoff in LAUSD school board special election

Jackie Goldberg and Heather Repenning will compete in a May 14, 2019, runoff election for the District 5 seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education, according to certified election results from a March 5 special election. The runoff will take place because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.
 
On March 5, Goldberg finished first, receiving 48.2 percent of the vote. Repenning was second with 13.1 percent. Repenning defeated Grace Ortiz for the second-place spot by 31 votes.
 
The election was necessary to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Ref Rodriguez.
 
School board elections in the district in 2017 flipped the board from a 4-3 majority of members supported by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) to a 4-3 majority of members supported by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Rodriguez was a member of the latter group, and his resignation left a 3-3 split.
 
CCSA did not endorse in the March 5 race. The UTLA backed Goldberg.
 
Goldberg and Repenning have said they support holding charter schools to the same standards as public schools, among other positions.
 
LAUSD is the largest school district in California and the second-largest in the nation by enrollment. The district had 224 independently operated charter schools in 2017, more than any other school district in the U.S.
 


Three-vote margin decides runoff candidates in Atlanta special election

A special election for the District 3 seat on the Atlanta City Council in Georgia took place on March 19, 2019.
 
Nine candidates appeared on the ballot. Results were certified on March 22, showing Byron Amos and Antonio Brown as the top two vote recipients. Third-place finisher Greg Clay finished three votes behind Brown, 293 to 296, which allows him to request a recount. Following the recount, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election scheduled for April 16, 2019.
 
Amos previously served on the Atlanta school board from 2011 to 2019. Brown is the CEO of LVL XIII, a men’s clothing business.
 
The special election was triggered after the former incumbent, Ivory Lee Young Jr., passed away in November 2018. Young had been a member of the city council since 2002.
 
The Atlanta City Council is made up of 16 members, including a council president. Twelve members are elected by the city’s 12 districts, while three other members and the council president are elected at large.
 


Unions are largest contributors in Chicago mayoral race

On Wednesday, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Chicago District Council PAC contributed $500,000 to Lori Lightfoot’s campaign. That made unions the largest contributors to both candidates in the mayoral runoff race, which takes place April 2.
 
Toni Preckwinkle’s largest contributors are committees associated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU Illinois Council PAC Fund donated just over $2 million to her campaign through February 25. Her second-largest contributor has been the Service Employees Local #1 PEC, which donated $784,486.83 through March 5.
 
Lightfoot is her own second-largest contributor; she donated and loaned a total of $316,532.95 to her campaign through March 5.
 
As of March 22, Preckwinkle had reported raising $6.3 million and Lightfoot, $4.6 million.
 
Lightfoot and Preckwinkle advanced from a 14-candidate field in the February 26 general election. Preckwinkle was the second-highest fundraiser (behind Bill Daley) in the general election since December 7, when she received her first donation from SEIU Illinois Council PAC Fund ($1 million). Lightfoot had approximately $1.6 million at the end of the general election, the sixth-highest amount.
 
Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S. by population. The 2019 race is the second mayoral runoff in the city’s history and the fourth open-seat mayoral race in 100 years.


Nashville Metro Council special runoff election won by 25 votes

Delishia Porterfield defeated Nicola La Mattina to win the Nashville Metro Council’s District 29 seat in a special runoff election on March 19, 2019, by 25 votes. Porterfield received 561 votes compared to La Mattina’s 536, according to unofficial election night totals.
 
The two candidates had advanced from a four-candidate field in the special general election on February 12. In that race, Porterfield had led the field with 402 votes to La Mattina’s 376. The other two candidates, Constance Smith-Burwell and Vicky Tataryn, received 74 and 58 votes, respectively. The special election was called after Karen Johnson, the former District 29 council member, won election in November 2018 to become the new Davidson County Register of Deeds.
 
The District 29 seat is also up for regular election in 2019, along with all 40 other seats on the Metro Council as well as the mayor’s office. The filing deadline is May 16, the general election is August 1, and a runoff election may be held on a currently unknown date in September if no candidate receives a simple majority of the general election vote. Mayor David Briley was first elected to the office in a May 2018 special election; he announced his plan to run for a full term in September 2018.
 
Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Jacksonville mayor avoids run-off and wins re-election

Mayor Lenny Curry (R) won re-election to his second term on March 19 defeating two Republicans and an independent. He received 58 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Councilwoman Anna Brosche (24 percent), unaffiliated candidate Omega Allen (11 percent), and former Atlantic Beach City Councilman Jimmy Hill (8 percent). No Democratic candidate filed to run in the race, but the Duval County Democratic Party approved a resolution opposing Curry’s re-election. Curry’s new term will last four years, and the next election will take place in 2023.
 
Twenty-six of the 100 largest cities by population will be holding mayoral elections in 2019. Of those, five (Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Dallas) are among the 10 largest cities. Democrats currently hold the mayor’s office in 18 of the cities with elections this year, while Republicans and independents hold four each.


Five Jacksonville City Council races headed to May 14 runoff

Five of the 19 city council seats in Jacksonville, Florida, are headed to a runoff election on May 14 after no candidate received a majority of the votes cast in the March 19 general election. Two of the runoff races feature incumbents. At-large Position 3 incumbent Tommy Hazouri (D) is competing against Greg Rachal (R), and District 8 incumbent Ju’Coby Pittman (D) is competing against Tameka Gaines Holly (D). The runoff elections for the At-large Position 1 seat and the District 14 seat each include one Democrat and one Republican, while the runoff election for the District 10 seat includes two Democrats.
 
The other nine incumbents on the ballot—six Republicans and three Democrats—won re-election outright on March 19. The five open seats that did not go to a runoff were all won by Republicans. The Jacksonville City Council is guaranteed to have at least 11 Republicans and five Democrats after the runoff elections. Currently, it has a Republican majority of 13-6.
 
The city also held elections for mayor, property appraiser, sheriff, supervisor of elections, and tax collector on March 19. All five Republican incumbents won re-election outright to those offices, including Mayor Lenny Curry. Curry faced no Democratic opponents in his re-election bid.
 
Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and the 13th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


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