Baird wins Lincoln, Nebraska, mayoral election

Lincoln, Nebraska, held general elections for mayor, city council, and one seat on its airport authority on May 7, 2019. City elections are officially nonpartisan and political parties do not appear on the ballot, but candidates have the option to file with political parties. Of the six seats up for election, four were won by Democrats, one by a Republican, and one by a nonpartisan candidate.
Incumbent Mayor Chris Beutler (D) could not run for re-election due to term limits. At-large city council member Leirion Gaylor Baird (D) defeated District 1 city council member Cyndi Lamm (R) in the general election. Baird received 54.4% of the vote to Lamm’s 45.4% of the vote. They faced three other candidates (one Democrat and two nonpartisan candidates) in the officially nonpartisan primary.
The Lincoln city council is made up of four by-district seats and three at-large seats. All four by-district seats were on the ballot. District 3 council member Jane Raybould (D) was the only incumbent to seek re-election. She won another term on the board with 67.8% of the vote. Newcomers James Michael Bowers (D-District 1), Richard Meginnis (R-District 2), and Tammy Ward (D-District 4) all won terms on the board. The last time these seats were on the ballot was in 2015. That year, two Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates were elected.
One of five seats on the Lincoln Airport Authority was also on the ballot. Incumbent Nick Cusick (nonpartisan) received 66.1% of the vote to challenger Aurang Zeb’s (D) 33.1% of the vote.
Lincoln is the second-largest city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest city in the U.S. by population.

No incumbents defeated in Fort Wayne primary, incumbent mayor advances with 86% of the vote

Fort Wayne, Indiana, held partisan primaries for mayor, city clerk, and all nine city council seats on May 7, 2019. Nine incumbents filed for re-election and all advanced to the general election on November 5, 2019.
Current Mayor Tom Henry (D) defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary, Gina Burgess and Tommy Schrader, receiving 86.2% of the vote. Henry will face Tim Smith (R) in the general election. Smith received 56.4% of the vote in the Republican primary. He faced candidates John Crawford and David Roach.
The Fort Wayne City Clerk Democratic and Republican primary elections both featured unopposed candidates. Incumbent Lana Keesling is facing Katie Zuber in the general election.
A total of 25 candidates filed for the nine city council seats. Seven incumbents are seeking another term on the board; one at-large incumbent and the District 6 incumbent did not file for re-election. District 1 incumbent Paul Ensley (R) and District 2 incumbent Russ Jehl (R) did not face challengers in the primary and are unopposed in the general election. District 5 incumbent Geoff Paddock (D) was also unopposed in the primary but faces Taylor Vanover (R) in the general. District 6 candidate Sharon Tucker (D) is the last unopposed candidate in the general election. She defeated two other candidates in the Democratic primary. The remaining six races are all contested.
Independent candidates have until July 1 to file for election. Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana and the 75th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Johnson, Griggs head to Dallas mayoral runoff election

On May 4, State Rep. Eric Johnson (D) and Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs advanced to a June 8 mayoral runoff election in Dallas, Texas. Johnson received 20.3 percent of the vote to Griggs’ 18.5 percent. A runoff will be held as no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.
Johnson and Griggs were among nine candidates on the general election ballot for Dallas mayor. The seat is open, as incumbent Mike Rawlings (D) is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election. He was first elected in 2011.
The next highest vote-getters on Saturday were nonprofit CEO Lynn McBee and real estate developer Mike Ablon with 14 and 13.5 percent, respectively.
Griggs has been on the city council since 2011, and Johnson has been in the state House since 2010. They were among four candidates in the race who have served elected office.
Dallas is the ninth-largest city in the U.S. by population. It uses a council-manager system, in which the mayor serves on the city council. The council and mayor appoint a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor of Dallas does not have veto power but 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.
Dallas also held elections for all 14 city council seats Saturday.

Five of nation’s 100 largest cities, all in Texas, holding mayoral elections Saturday

Voters in five of the nation’s 100 largest cities will head to the polls Saturday to vote for mayors. The cities of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, and San Antonio—all in Texas— are holding mayoral elections. Thirty-one of the nation’s 100 largest cities have mayoral elections in 2019.
Incumbents in Arlington, Fort Worth, and San Antonio face challengers, while races in Dallas and Garland are open. Each election is nonpartisan, but partisan information for each incumbent is provided below where known.
  • Arlington: Incumbent Jeff Williams (R) faces three challengers.
  • Dallas: Nine candidates seek the open seat. Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
  • Fort Worth: Incumbent Betsy Price (R) faces three challengers.
  • Garland: Scott LeMay (affiliation unknown) is the only candidate running for the open seat. The incumbent, Lori Barnett Dodson (affiliation unknown), did not file for re-election.
  • San Antonio: Incumbent Ron Nirenberg (Independent) faces eight challengers.
Runoff elections are possible in all but the Garland race. If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the other four races on Saturday, runoff elections will be held June 8.
Use the links below to see coverage of each race, including candidate lists, past election results, and, once they are available, Saturday’s election results:

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) resigns

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) resigned from her office Thursday. Her resignation came the week after federal investigators raided Pugh’s home and city office as part of an investigation into sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s’ book series. In a statement read by her attorney, she said, “I am sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor.”
Pugh had taken a leave of absence from office effective April 2, saying that she was suffering from pneumonia. City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young (D), who has been acting mayor since Pugh’s leave began, succeeded her.
Pugh was first elected mayor in 2016. A state and federal investigation into the sales of her children’s’ book series is ongoing. Pugh had been a member of the board of the University of Maryland Medical System while it ordered her books, while Kaiser Permanente purchased a run as it was bidding for a $48 million city contract. Pugh is estimated to have made over $800,000 from sales of the books.
Young, who has served on the city council since 1996 and as its president since 2010, said that he would not seek election to a full term in 2020, setting up an open-seat race for mayor.

Five running in California school board special election next week

The Trustee Area 5 seat on the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Education in California is up for special election on May 7. Five candidates are running for the seat. The filing deadline was February 8. None of the other four seats on the board are scheduled to hold an election in 2019.
The Trustee Area 5 seat was originally vacated in August 2018 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 community had 30 days following Peeden’s appointment to gather 231 signatures from Trustee Area 5 voters for a special election to be held in lieu of the appointment. A total of 318 valid signatures were turned in, and the appointment was overturned in December 2018. Peeden filed to run for the seat in the special election.
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. Following a similar petition drive, Baugh vacated the seat in June of that year and stood for election in November. He won the special election and served until 2018.
The Moreno Valley Unified School District served 33,408 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Judicial filing deadline on May 6 for Hamilton County, Ohio

Candidates have until May 6 to file for seven seats on the Hamilton County Municipal Court in Ohio. Judges will be elected in nonpartisan general elections on November 5. The winners of the elections will serve six-year terms.
The county court is located in the city of Cincinnati and has jurisdiction over municipal ordinance violations. In total, 14 judges serve on the court. As of April 29, Judge Ted Berry, Judge Heather Russel, and Judge Gwen Bender had filed for re-election.
In 2019, Ballotpedia is covering elections in 23 counties across 11 states. In addition to the counties, Ballotpedia is also covering elections in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population.

School board recall effort begins in California

An effort to recall three of the five members of the Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Trustees in California started in April. 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.
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 and Parrell were first elected to the board on November 6, 2018. Davis was first elected to the board on November 3, 2015.
If the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk approves the recall petitions, recall supporters will have 160 days to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in each of the board member’s districts. A total of 3,982 signatures are needed from Davis’ district, 3,416 signatures are needed from Parrell’s district, and 3,694 signatures are needed from Ruffin’s district.
Ballotpedia has tracked six school board recall efforts targeting 13 board members so far in 2019.
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.

Virginia Beach holding 3 regular and 3 special elections in 2019

The city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is holding regular elections for clerk of court and two positions on the Virginia Dare Soil and Water Conservation District on November 5, 2019, as well as a special election for treasurer after the 2018 retirement of John Atkinson, who served in the position for 41 years. Atkinson’s son—Clay Atkinson—filed in the election and faces interim incumbent Leigh Henderson.
Two additional special elections will be held on November 5 for the Beach District and Rose Hall District seats on the Virginia Beach City Council. In the Beach District, Councilman David Nygaard was removed from office on March 19 after local judges ruled he did not meet the residency requirements to fill the seat. He was first elected to the position on November 6, 2018. On April 23, the council appointed interim member Guy Tower to serve until the November election.
Councilwoman Shannon Kane also resigned from her position as representative of the Rose Hall District on April 6, 2019. According to WAVY, Kane purchased a home outside of the district and was moving immediately. She also filed to seek election to the Virginia House of Delegates to represent District 21 and is running in the general election on November 5, 2019. The council has until May 7 to choose Kane’s successor.
The filing deadline for clerk of court and city treasurer was March 28, and a primary election for these positions is on June 11. The candidate filing deadline for the Virginia Dare District members and independent candidates for all races is June 11, and the filing deadline for the special city council elections is August 16.

Runoff elections determine winners in three Tampa City Council races

Tampa held general runoff elections for mayor and three of seven city council seats on April 23, 2019. Runoffs were required for these four races after no candidate received a majority of the general election vote on March 5.
In the city council’s District 1 race, Joseph Citro defeated Walter Smith with 57.4% of the unofficial election night vote total. In District 3, John Dingfelder defeated Stephen Lytle with 64.0% of the vote, and in District 5, Orlando Gudes defeated Jeffrey Rhodes with 50.8% of the vote.
Races in Districts 2, 4, 6, and 7 were all decided in the general election. Incumbents Charlie Miranda, Guido Maniscalco, and Luis Viera won the Districts 2, 6, and 7 races, respectively. The District 4 election did not feature an incumbent and was won by Bill Carlson. 
In the mayoral runoff election, unofficial results showed Jane Castor defeating David Straz with 73.1% of the vote. FOX 13 identified both candidates as members of the Democratic Party. Castor had received 48.0% of the vote in the general election, and Straz received 15.5%.