Three of four Hialeah City Council incumbents ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits

Hialeah, Florida, is holding elections for four of its seven city council seats, and candidates have until July 29 to file to run. The primary is scheduled for November 5. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a general election will be held on November 19. Unopposed candidates do not appear on the ballot and are automatically declared winners.
The seats up for election are Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. City council members are elected at large to specific seats. Group 2 incumbent Jose F. Caragol, Group 3 incumbent Vivian Casals-Munoz, and Group 4 incumbent Isis Garcia-Martinez have each served the maximum three consecutive terms on the council and cannot seek re-election. Group 1 incumbent Lourdes Lozano is the only incumbent who can seek another term. First elected in 2011, Lozano would be serving her third and final consecutive term if she wins in November.
All four seats were most recently on the ballot in 2015; in that race, all four incumbents and three challengers filed to compete in the election. Lozano and Garcia-Martinez held their seats automatically because they faced no challengers. Caragol and Casals-Munoz won re-election in the primary with 53.1% and 60.3% of the vote, respectively.
Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida and the 88th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

31 candidates file to run in New Hampshire’s largest school district

In New Hampshire, 31 candidates have filed to run for 14 seats on the Manchester School District school board. A primary is scheduled for September 17, and the general election is on November 5. The filing deadline for this election passed on July 19. The elections are nonpartisan.
Nine of 14 incumbents are running for re-election in 2019; in comparison, all 14 incumbents filed in 2017. Here’s who filed to run for each seat:
  • At-large: Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Hodgdon, Joseph Lachance, Gene Martin, James O’Connell, and Lara Quiroga are competing for the two at-large seats being vacated by incumbents Richard Girard and Patrick Long.
  • Ward 1: Amber Jodoin and James Porter are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Sarah Ambrogi.
  • Ward 2: Incumbent Kathleen Kelley Arnold is facing Sean Parr.
  • Ward 3: Incumbent Mary Ngwanda Georges is facing Karen Soule.
  • Ward 4: Incumbent Leslie Want is facing Mark Flanders.
  • Ward 5: Incumbent Lisa Freeman is facing Jeremy Dobson.
  • Ward 6: Incumbent Dan Bergeron is facing William Bergquist and Jon DiPietro.
  • Ward 7: Christopher Potter and William Shea are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Ross Terrio.
  • Ward 8: Incumbent Jimmy Lehoux is facing Peter Perich.
  • Ward 9: Incumbent Arthur Beaudry is facing Candace Moulton.
  • Ward 10: Incumbent John Avard is facing state Rep. Jane Beaulieu.
  • Ward 11: Brittany LeClear-Ping and Nicole Leapley are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Katie Desrochers.
  • Ward 12: Incumbent Kelley Anne Thomas is facing Andrew Toland.
The Manchester School District served 14,219 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Nashville Metro Council elections draw 100 candidates

In Tennessee, the city of Nashville is holding nonpartisan general elections for mayor and all 41 metro council seats on August 1. The candidate filing deadline passed on May 16, and a runoff election is scheduled for September 12, if necessary. The runoff will only be held if an election occurs where no single candidate receives a majority of the vote.
The Nashville Metro Council’s 41 seats include 35 members elected by district and six members elected at large. One of the at-large members is the city’s vice-mayor, who is elected separately from the other at-large members.
The vice-mayoral election drew two candidates, incumbent Jim Shulman and challenger Robert Sawyers. The other 40 council races feature a total of 98 candidates, which includes 26 incumbents. Fourteen of the 35 district seats are open elections without an incumbent in the race, while all five at-large incumbents filed for re-election. In 2015, the Nashville Metro Council elections drew 113 candidates. This included 15 incumbents.
Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Memphis City Council elections draw fewer candidates than in 2015

The filing deadline to run for election in Memphis passed on July 18, and all 13 city council seats are on the October 3 ballot. As of July 19, 42 candidates had qualified for the ballot, and another four potential candidates’ papers were still being verified.
Including the four candidates who are still in the process of making the ballot, an average of 3.54 candidates filed per seat. Each seat has at least two candidates on the ballot or in the process of getting on the ballot. The District 7 seat drew the most candidates with nine facing off in October. Six city council seats drew two candidates each, two seats drew three candidates each, two seats drew four candidates each, one seat drew five candidates, and one seat drew six candidates. Nine incumbents filed to run for re-election.
The most recent election for all 13 city council seats was held in 2015. Sixty candidates appeared on the ballot, and all 13 seats were contested. An average of 4.62 candidates filed per seat. That year, District 7 also saw nine candidates file for the seat, which was again the highest number of candidates in a race. One city council seat drew two candidates, six seats drew three candidates each, one seat drew four candidates, one seat drew six candidates, two seats drew seven candidates each, and one seat drew eight candidates. Seven incumbents filed to run for re-election in 2015, and all seven won.
Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee and the 20th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

City council member recalled in Merrill, Wisconsin

In Merrill, Wisconsin, Council President Rob Norton and Aldermen Paul Russell, Tim Meehean, John Van Lieshout, and Dave Sukow were up for recall on July 16. Four of the five officials retained their positions, but Tim Meehean was successfully recalled.
  • In District 1, Alderman Paul Russell defeated Becky Meyer with 62% of the vote.
  • In District 5, Alderman John Van Lieshout defeated Shannon Collins with 52% of the vote.
  • In District 6, Alderman Dave Sukow faced no opposition.
  • In District 7, Council President Rob Norton defeated Eric Dayton with 56% of the vote.
  • In District 8, Alderman Tim Meehean was defeated by Steve Sabatke, who received 56% of the vote.
The recall effort was organized by Merrill resident Mark Bares in response to a property tax increase. Petition language was shared across all five petitions. The following language is quoted verbatim from the statement of intent against Norton:
  • “Repeated failure to protect the best interests of the constituents in light of mismanagement, misinformation, and possible illegal activities of administration and the council.”
  • “Willfully ignored and took no action to correct errors by city staff which more than doubled the budget effect on personal property taxes.”
  • “Failure to take action to end violations of open meetings laws including, but not limited to walking quorums un-posted meetings, committee meetings held with other council members present and allowed to participate, and repeated violations of state closed meeting statutes.”
  • “Willfully ignored the direct legislation referendum passed by the voters, in 2016, resulting in the elimination / curtailing of a duly elected position.”
  • “Failure to follow city ordinances as to the acquisition / purchase of property.”
  • “Failure to oversee city staff and failure to listen to the taxpayers of the district.”
The number of valid signatures required for a recall election in Merrill is 25% of the number of people who voted in the last election for the office of governor within the electoral district of the officer targeted for recall. This meant that about 130 valid signatures were needed for each official. The petition against Paul Russell was initially found insufficient due to errors in the signature-gathering process, but petitioners successfully corrected the issue in the five-day window afforded to them.
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.

20 candidates file for Toledo City Council elections

Twenty candidates filed to run for the November 5 general election for six of the 12 city council seats in Toledo, Ohio. A primary is scheduled for September 10 for races that had more than two candidates file. The filing deadline was July 12. Toledo’s municipal elections are nonpartisan, but party affiliations were available for each candidate.
District 1 incumbent Tyrone Riley (D) faces three Democrats and one Republican in his bid for re-election. In District 2, incumbent Matt Cherry (D) faces a Republican candidate and a Green Party candidate. Incumbent Peter Ujvagi (D) did not file to run for re-election, leaving the District 3 seat open for a newcomer. Two Democrats and one Republican are running for the seat. The District 4 race includes incumbent Yvonne Harper (D) and two other Democrats. No Republicans filed to run in that race. The District 5 race is also open for a newcomer as incumbent Tom Waniewski (R) was unable to run for re-election due to term limits. One Democrat and two Republicans are running for the seat. In District 6, incumbent [[Chris Delaney]] (D) is running for re-election against a Republican. Because only two candidates filed, no primary will be held for that race.
Elections for Toledo municipal judges and the clerk of the municipal court are also scheduled to be on the ballot in 2019. No official candidate lists were available for those races as of July 15.
Toledo is the fourth-largest city in Ohio and the 66th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Nine file to run for potential swing seat on the Atlanta school board

Nine candidates filed to run in a special election for the District 2 seat on the Atlanta Public Schools school board. They had until July 10 to file for the seat, and the special election is on September 17. A runoff election, if needed, is scheduled for October 15.
The special election was called after Byron Amos resigned his seat in January 2019 to run for the Atlanta City Council. He was defeated in the runoff election in April. Amos had served on the board from 2011 to 2019, most recently winning re-election in 2017. The winner of the special election will fill Amos’ unexpired term, which ends in 2021.
In a June 20 article, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that the vacant seat “could be a critical swing vote on the board.” Due to the unoccupied seat, the board has had at least one vote end in a 4-4 tie, which led to an automatic defeat of the motion.
The nine candidates vying for the seat are Aretta Baldon, Christopher Brown, Keisha Carey, Will Chandler, Nathaniel Borrell Dyer, Davida Huntley, Ed Johnson, Chadd Jonesmith, and Paula Kupersmith. Carey challenged Amos in 2017 and lost the general runoff election with 49.51% of the vote. Dyer and Johnson also previously sought election to the Atlanta school board, while Brown was previously a candidate for Atlanta City Council and Chandler sought election to the Georgia House of Representatives.
Atlanta Public Schools served 60,133 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

City Councilwoman Dolores Martinez recalled in Humboldt, Nebraska

Voters in Humboldt, Nebraska, voted to recall City Councilwoman Dolores Martinez on July 9. There were 93 votes cast in favor of recalling Martinez and 55 votes against the recall.
The recall effort began in April 2019. Recall organizer Jamie Lynne Dorney accused Martinez of failing to act in the best interest of the city and having acted unprofessionally and unethically. In her statement of defense, Martinez called the accusations ambiguous and unverified. Martinez had represented Ward 1 of the city council since 2017.
Petitioners were required to submit 56 valid signatures to put the recall on the ballot. Richardson County Clerk Mary Eickhoff verified 78 of the 81 signatures collected.
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.

Memphis candidate filing deadline set for July 18

Memphis, Tennessee, is holding nonpartisan general elections for mayor and all 13 seats on the city council on October 3. The filing deadline to run is July 18.
The same positions were last up for election in 2015. Mayor Jim Strickland won his first term that year in an open-seat race. He received 41% of the vote and defeated nine other candidates. In January, Strickland announced his intention to run for re-election to a second term. As of July 11, 18 candidates had been issued petitions to run for mayor, and six of those candidates had officially filed.
A total of 100 candidates had taken out petitions to run for city council as of July 11, including eight incumbents. Of those potential candidates, 28 had officially filed. In 2015, seven of the 13 city council incumbents ran for re-election, and they all won new terms.

Seattle City Council races feature recent election law changes, interest from Amazon

Seattle’s nonpartisan primary elections on August 6 include four open-seat city council races and three council incumbents facing challengers. As of July 8, there were 55 candidates running across the seven races.
This is the second city council election in which members will be elected by district and have the option to participate in a public campaign financing program involving voter vouchers. The election has also seen endorsements and satellite spending from a political action committee (PAC) that has received contributions from Amazon following conflict between the company and the city council in 2018.
In 2015, Seattle voters elected council members by district for the first time in more than 100 years. Two council seats that remain elected at-large held elections in 2017.
Also in 2015, Seattle voters approved an initiative to provide for public campaign financing through voter vouchers. The program was first implemented in the 2017 elections. In February this year, eligible residents received four $25 vouchers each, which they could distribute among council candidates of their choosing. As of July 2, 42 candidates were participating in the program, and $1.2 million had been distributed among 32 candidates.
The 2019 election takes place a year following conflict between the city council on one hand and Amazon and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on the other. The chamber’s PAC received $200,000 from Amazon in March and has endorsed and spent money in support of nine candidates in the races, including challengers of District 1 and 3 incumbents Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant.
In 2018, the city council unanimously passed a head tax proposal that would have required businesses grossing at least $20 million to pay $275 per employee in order to fund affordable housing programs for the homeless. The proposal faced criticism from Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce. One month after its passage, seven of nine council members voted to repeal the tax, including Herbold, who was one of the proposal’s original sponsors. Sawant voted against the repeal.
Following the August 6 primary election, the top two finishers in each race will advance to the November 5 general election.