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Filing deadline passed for Atlanta special election

The filing deadline for the District 3 city council special election in Atlanta passed on January 25 at 4:30 p.m. The general election is on March 19, and a runoff election will be held on April 16 if no candidate receives a majority of the votes. Ten candidates filed to run.
 
The election was called after Ivory Lee Young Jr. died in November 2018 while in office. He was first elected in 2001 and most recently re-elected in 2017 with 67 percent of the vote. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Young’s four-year term, which ends in 2021. To qualify, candidates had to live in District 3 and either pay a qualifying fee of $1,809 or file a qualifying petition and Pauper’s Affidavit.
 
Atlanta held city elections in 2017 for mayor, city council president, all 15 seats on the city council, and 10 city judges. Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia and the 39th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


No incumbents file in St. Louis school board race

A total of six candidates filed to run for two at-large seats on the St. Louis Public Schools Board of Education in Missouri. The general election is on April 2, and the filing deadline passed on January 15. Both seats are open since neither incumbent chose to file for re-election. Former incumbent Bill Haas lost his re-election bid on November 6, 2018, and has filed to run again in 2019.
 
In St. Louis Public Schools, even-year elections are held on the statewide general election date in November, while odd-year elections are held on the first Tuesday of April. In 2018, seven candidates filed to run for two seats, including both of the incumbents. In 2017, seven candidates filed to run for three seats, including two incumbents.
 
A 2007 decision made by the Missouri state government stripped the elected St. Louis school board of its power and the district of its accreditation. The district earned its accreditation back in January 2017, but the board still does not have control of the district as of the 2019 election. Oversight of the district instead rests with an appointed three-member Special Administrative Board, although the school board continues to hold elections for its seats.
 
St. Louis Public Schools is the largest school district in Missouri in 2019. The district served 28,960 students during the 2015-2016 school year. This year, Ballotpedia is covering 29 school board seats up for election across 11 school districts in Missouri.


Early voting begins in Nashville special election

On January 23, early voting began in the special election for the Nashville Metro Council’s District 29 seat. The election is on February 12, 2019. Four candidates filed to run for the vacancy: Nicola Lamattina, Delishia Porterfield, Constance Smith-Burwell, and Vicky Tataryn.
 
The District 29 seat was previously held by Karen Johnson, who was elected as the new Davidson County Register of Deeds on August 2, 2018. Although the metro council is officially nonpartisan, Johnson is affiliated with the Democratic Party.
 
The winner of the special election will complete the remainder of Johnson’s term, which ends in August 2019. In August, Nashville is holding general nonpartisan elections for mayor and all 41 metro council seats. The filing deadline for the general election is May 16, 2019.
 
Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Colorado Springs filing deadline passes

The filing deadline to run for office in Colorado Springs passed on January 22, 2019. The city is holding elections for mayor and three of nine seats on the city council on April 2, with a possible runoff scheduled for May 21. The six other seats on the city council, elected to specific districts, will be on the ballot in 2021.
 
Mayor John Suthers is running for re-election against three challengers: Lawrence Martinez, Juliette Parker, and John Pitchford. Martinez ran against Suthers in 2015, when Suthers was first elected to the position. Although the election and office are officially nonpartisan, Suthers is affiliated with the Republican Party.
 
Two of the three at-large city council members are running for re-election: Bill Murray and Tom Strand. Council member Merv Bennett, serving his second term, cannot seek re-election due to term limits. Five other candidates filed for office, Tony Gioia, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Terry Martinez, Val Snider, and Wayne Williams. Three challengers have previously held office. Klingenschmitt was the District 15 state representative from 2015 to 2017. Snider was an at-large Colorado Springs City Council member from 2011 to 2015, when he chose not to seek re-election, and Williams served as Colorado Secretary of State from 2014 to 2019; he lost the November 2018 general election.
 
Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado and the 40th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Orange County special election filing deadline is January 28

A nonpartisan special election to fill the vacant District 3 seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors in California is being held March 12. The candidate filing deadline is January 28.
 
The vacancy occurred after the former District 3 representative, Todd Spitzer, was sworn into office as the county’s new district attorney. He was elected to the new position on November 6, 2018. Spitzer had held the District 3 seat since 2012.
 
Four days before the filing deadline, nine candidates had announced their intentions to run in the special election, including two city officials in the district—Irvine Mayor Don Wagner and Anaheim City Council member Kris Murray—and one former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Loretta Sanchez. Sanchez served in the U.S. House from 1997 to 2017; in 2016, she ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary against Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barbara Boxer.


Former U.S. Senator, NHL team owner endorse in Tampa Bay mayoral race

On Tuesday, former U.S. Sen. and Florida governor Bob Graham (D) endorsed city council member Mike Suarez for Tampa Bay mayor. In a statement, Graham said, “His leadership on the environment, our efforts to fight the war on terrorism and his dedication to protecting our elders, is what I admire about his service.” Suarez has also been endorsed by two local first responders unions.
 
Wednesday, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik endorsed Jane Castor in the race. In a statement, Vinik said, “I know as our next Mayor, Jane will continue to strengthen our economy and make Tampa an even better place to live and work.”
 
Seven candidates are running to replace outgoing Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D), who is term-limited and was first elected in 2011. David Straz has raised the most of the candidates so far, $1.6 million, with Castor and Ed Turanchik next at about $220,000 each. Castor topped two summer 2018 polls produced by the group St. Pete Polls, averaging 44 percent with 18 percent of voters still unsure. Straz polled second in those polls with 10 percent support.
 
Tampa is the second-largest city in Florida and the 52nd-largest city by population in the United States. Twenty-six of the 100 largest cities by population will be holding mayoral elections in 2019. Five (Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Dallas) are among the 10 largest cities.
 
Democrats hold the mayor’s office in 18 of the cities with elections this year. Republicans and independents hold four each.


Tampa’s 2019 municipal races see twice as many candidates as 2015

A total of 32 candidates filed to run for eight offices up for nonpartisan election in Tampa, Florida, which is double the number of candidates who ran in the city’s 2015 elections. The office of mayor and all seven city council seats are on the general election ballot on March 5, 2019. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general election, a runoff election will be held on April 23. The filing deadline was January 18.
 
The race to replace term-limited Mayor Bob Buckhorn attracted eight candidates. Two current city council members—District 1 representative Mike Suarez and District 4 representative Harry Cohen—are running in the race along with Jane Castor, Dick Greco Jr., Topher Morrison, David Straz, Ed Turanchik, and write-in candidate Reginald Howard. When Buckhorn ran for re-election in 2015, he faced one challenger and won outright in the general election with over 95 percent of the vote.
 
The races for the open District 1 and 4 city council seats attracted five and three candidates, respectively. The District 3 and 5 seats are also open to newcomers since the incumbents were term-limited. Four candidates are running for the District 3 seat, and five candidates are running for the District 5 seat. In District 2, incumbent Charlie Miranda faces two challengers. District 6 incumbent Guido Maniscalco and District 7 incumbent Luis Viera each face one challenger in their bids for re-election.
 
In 2015, an average of two candidates ran per city council seat. Only one seat—District 6—required a runoff election to determine the winner.


Early voting in Chicago tentatively scheduled to start on Jan. 28

Early voting in Chicago’s municipal elections was scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 17, but a number of outstanding petition challenges left the ballot unfinalized. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners now estimates that early voting will begin on January 28.
 
There were 46 candidates who filed to run in the 2019 municipal elections still facing challenges to their candidacies as of January 15, according to the board’s preliminary candidate list. That included:
  • 2 mayoral candidates (Dorothy Brown and Neal Sáles-Griffin)
  • 40 city council candidates (across 18 wards)
  • 2 city treasurer candidates (Ameya Pawar and Peter Gariepy)
  • 2 city clerk candidates (Patricia Horton and Elizabeth Arias-Ibarra)
The tentative January 28 start date is for early voting at the Loop Super Site located at 175 W. Washington St. Early voting at locations in all wards begins on February 11.
 
Elections for Chicago mayor, treasurer, clerk, and all 50 city council seats take place on February 26. Runoffs will be held on April 2 for those races in which no candidate receives a majority of the vote in February.
 
Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Special election called for California school district

A special election for Moreno Valley Unified School District Trustee Area 5 in California has been called for May 7, 2019. None of the other five seats on the board are scheduled to hold an election in 2019. Those interested in the position have until February 8 to file for the office.
 
The seat was originally vacated in August when Evan Morgan resigned his position following criminal charges that Morgan said he feared would distract from his work on the board. The Board of Education appointed Darrell Peeden to the seat in October 2018, but the appointment was overturned in December by a petition drive that required the district to call a special election. The community had 30 days following Peeden’s appointment to gather 1 ½ percent of Trustee Area 5 voters’ signatures—or 231 signatures—for the election to be called. A total of 318 valid signatures were turned in. Peeden stated he plans to file for the seat he held for roughly two months.
 
This is the second such special election to be called in Moreno Valley USD this decade. In May 2013, the school district appointed Gary Baugh to a vacant at-large seat on the board. He then vacated the seat in June of that year and stood for election in November. He won the special election and served until 2018.
 
Moreno Valley USD served 33,942 students during the 2015-2016 school year.


Deadline passes to run in Missouri school board elections

The filing deadline to run in Missouri school board elections passed on January 15, 2019. General elections are on April 2. Ballotpedia is covering elections for 24 school board seats across 10 Missouri school districts. These districts served a combined total of 120,068 students during the 2015-2016 school year, with the largest district being St. Louis Public Schools. The district is holding elections for two of its seven at-large seats.
 
This is the second school board candidate filing deadline covered by Ballotpedia this year, after the Wisconsin deadline on January 2. Another statewide filing deadline for 2019 school board elections, Oklahoma’s, passed on December 5, 2018.
 
Ballotpedia covered elections for 52 school board seats across 17 Missouri school districts in 2017, and in 2018, Ballotpedia covered elections for 24 seats across 10 Missouri school districts.


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