TagCity Council elections

Incumbents advance in Wichita City Council primary races

Voters in Wichita, Kan., held a nonpartisan primary election on Aug. 3 for two seats on the city council. The general election will be held on Nov. 2.

Of the three city council seats on the ballot in 2021, only two required a primary election. In the race that did not require a primary election, District 1 incumbent Brandon Johnson and Myron Ackerman will face off in the general election. Johnson was elected to the city council in 2017.

In the District 3 race, incumbent Jared Cerullo and Mike Hoheisel advanced past the primary by defeating Jason Carmichael, Jerome Crawford, Ian Demory, Cindy Miles, and Tevin Smith. According to unofficial results, Cerullo and Hoheisel received 29% and 27% of the vote, respectively. Cerullo was appointed to the city council in March 2021 to replace James Clendenin. Clendenin resigned on Dec. 31, 2020, after being censured for his role in an attempt to falsely accuse Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple (D) of sexual harassment.

In the District 6 primary, incumbent Cindy Claycomb and Maggie Ballard defeated Martin Garcia, Loren John Hermreck, Dereck Reynolds, and Andy Speck. Claycomb received 41% of the vote, and Ballard received 44%. Claycomb was elected to the city council in 2017.

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and the 49th-largest city in the U.S. by population. It had an estimated population of 389,938 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 68 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Voters in Wichita, Kan., to decide city council primaries on Aug. 3

The city of Wichita, Kan., is holding a nonpartisan primary election on Aug. 3 for two seats on the city council. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2.

In the District 3 race, incumbent Jared Cerullo is facing opposition from six candidates. Jason Carmichael, Jerome Crawford, Ian Demory, Mike Hoheisel, Cindy Miles, and Tevin Smith are running against Cerullo in the primary election. Cerullo was appointed to the city council in March 2021 to replace James Clendenin. Clendenin resigned on Dec. 31, 2020, after being censured for his role in an attempt to falsely accuse Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple (D) of sexual harassment.

In the District 6 race, incumbent Cindy Claycomb will face off against Maggie Ballard, Martin Garcia, Loren John Hermreck, Dereck Reynolds, and Andy Speck in the primary election. Claycomb was elected to the city council in 2017.

The District 1 seat on the city council will also be on the ballot in 2021, but the race does not require a primary election. Incumbent Brandon Johnson and Myron Ackerman will face off in the general election. Johnson was elected to the city council in 2017.

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and the 49th-largest city in the U.S. by population. It had an estimated population of 389,938 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 68 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Wichita, Kansas

United States municipal elections, 2021



Recent polls, satellite spending in Seattle’s mayoral and council races

Seattle voters have just over one week to cast their ballots in the Aug. 3 top-two primaries. A poll released July 16 showed a plurality of voters unsure who they’d choose for mayor and the two at-large city council seats. The Northwest Progressive Institute poll, conducted by Change Research, showed 32% undecided for the mayoral race, 50% undecided for the position 9 council seat, and 55% undecided for the position 8 seat. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 4.3 percentage points.

In the mayoral primary, 20% of respondents said they supported former council president Bruce Harrell, 12% said they supported current council president Lorena González, and 10% backed Chief Seattle Club executive director Colleen Echohawk. The 12 other candidates running received less than 10% support among poll respondents.

For the position 9 council seat, attorney and Creative Justice executive director Nikkita Oliver received 26% support, Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson received 11%, and González’s chief of staff Brianna Thomas received 6%, with the four other candidates polling at 3% or less.

For the position 8 council seat, incumbent Teresa Mosqueda polled at 26%, with Kate Martin at 6%, nine other candidates below that percentage, and 55% unsure.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission reported more than $600,000 in satellite spending toward the mayoral race as of July 21:

  • Essential Workers for Lorena had spent $430,000 supporting González; 
  • Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future had spent $120,000 supporting Harrell; and 
  • Seattle United for Progressive Change had spent $70,000 supporting Farrell. 

The Progressive Equity PAC had spent $21,000 supporting Thomas in the position 9 council election.

Total satellite spending for the 2017 election cycle—the last time the city held elections for the two at-large council seats and for mayor—was around $1.3 million. In 2019, when the seven district council seats were up for election, satellite spending topped $4 million.



Recall election of Colorado city council member scheduled for July 20

A recall election to remove Jon Voelz from the Westminster City Council in Colorado is scheduled for July 20. Voelz first took office in 2019.

The recall effort began in Aug. 2020. Recall supporters allege that Voelz failed to support lower water and sewer rates in Westminster. One of the recall organizers, city resident Gary Shea, stated, “We’ve seen the water bills and some of them have just been so outrageous. A lot of the people that are upset with this are just disappointed that the Councilors that voted for this increase just were not listening to their citizens’ concerns.”

In response to the recall effort, Voelz said: “Westminster residents are being misled because I was not even on the City Council at the time of the vote on water rates that triggered the recall effort. […] I have never voted for a water rate increase during my time on Council. The only vote I have taken on water rates was for a zero increase to rates due to COVID-19.”

Recall supporters also attempted to recall Mayor Herb Atchison and councilors Anita Seitz and Kathryn Skulley. Atchinson resigned effective May 3 after the city clerk announced that enough signatures had been submitted for a recall election to be scheduled. The recall effort against Seitz and Skulley failed due to an insufficient number of signed petitions.

Voters will be asked to choose a candidate to succeed Voelz in the event that he is recalled. Kathleen Dodaro is running unopposed in the replacement race.

Recall supporters had 60 days to collect 6,098 signatures in order to put the recall on the ballot. They submitted 6,732 signatures on Oct. 30. The first batch of signatures was found invalid by City Clerk Michelle Parker, and recall organizers were given until Nov. 30 to gather a second round of signatures. On Dec. 7, Parker found the second round of signature submissions insufficient to move the recall efforts forward.

Adams County District Court Judge Kyle Seedorf ruled on April 18 that the petition signatures that had been previously disqualified had to be re-evaluated. The city clerk’s office announced on April 28 that there were sufficient signatures to trigger a recall election for Voelz.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This is the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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Political recall efforts, 2021

Recall campaigns in Colorado

Westminster, Colorado



Voters to decide Concord City Council special election on July 13

The city of Concord, New Hampshire, is holding a nonpartisan special election on July 13 for Ward 4 on the city council. The filing deadline for the special election passed on May 14. The winner of the special election will have to run for re-election in Nov. to retain the seat.

Edith Chiasson, Karen McNamara, and Connor Spern are facing off in the special election. The special election became necessary after Meredith Hatfield resigned from her seat in April to move out of Concord. She had served on the city council since she won a special election for Ward 4 in June 2019.

Concord is the third-largest city in New Hampshire. It had an estimated population of 43,627 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Ballotpedia will also be covering the Concord mayoral race and 12 city council seats on the Nov. 2 ballot. The filing deadline for those races is Sept. 13. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.

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Voters reelect mayor and 5 of 7 city council members in Jackson, Miss.

The city of Jackson, Miss., held a general election for mayor and all seven seats on the city council on June 8. A primary was held on April 6, and a primary runoff was held on April 27. The filing deadline for this election was Feb. 6.

Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba won re-election with 69.3% of the vote in the general election, defeating Republican candidate Jason Wells and independent candidates Les Tannehill, Charlotte Reeves, and Shafeqah Lodree. Antar Lumumba first took office in 2017.

In the city council elections, Ward 1 incumbent Ashby Foote (R) and Ward 2 incumbent Angelique Charbonet Lee (D) won re-election after running unopposed. Ward 3 incumbent Kenneth Stokes (D), Ward 6 incumbent Aaron Banks (D), and Ward 7 incumbent Virgi Lindsay (D) won re-election after defeating one opponent. 

Democratic newcomers Brian Grizzell and Vernon Hartley won election to the Ward 4 and 5 seats, respectively, after running unopposed in the general election. Grizzell and Hartley advanced from both the primary and primary runoff. Hartley defeated incumbent Charles Tillman (D) in the Ward 5 primary runoff, while Grizzell defeated Jacqueline Amos (D) in the Ward 4 primary runoff. Ward 4 was an open seat after incumbent De’Keither Stamps (D) decided not to run for re-election.

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Two incumbents lose re-election bids in Fort Worth City Council runoffs

The general runoff election for the Fort Worth City Council in Texas was held on June 5. The general election was held on May 1, and the filing deadline to run passed on Feb. 21. Races for City Council Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 were decided in the runoff.

Both incumbents who ran in the runoff election lost their seats. Jungus Jordan lost his District 6 seat to Jared Williams, and Kelly Allen Gray lost her District 8 seat to Chris Nettles. Leonard Firestone won District 7, and Elizabeth Beck won District 9. 

Jared Williams completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey before the runoff. In it, Williams said that he “will be laser-focused on building a just and prosperous Fort Worth by growing strong jobs, affordable housing for our workforce and communities where families have access to safe neighborhoods, excellent public education and 21st century City services.”

All eight city council seats, as well as the mayor’s office, were up for election in 2021. In the general election, incumbent Carlos Flores won re-election in District 2, newcomer Michael Crain won in District 3, incumbent Cary Moon won re-election in District 4, and incumbent Gyna Bivens won re-election in District 5.

In 2019, all Fort Worth City Council incumbents were re-elected to their seats in the May 4 general election. A total of 38,798 votes were cast in the 2019 mayoral race.

In 2017, the District 3 incumbent lost re-election, and the District 2 incumbent chose not to run. The vote totals in 2017 were lower than those seen in 2019 with 33,038 votes cast in the mayoral election.

The 2021 elections saw an increase in voter turnout, with total votes in the general election equalling 66,519 and total votes in the runoff coming to 88,295.

Outside of Fort Worth, there have been six city council elections in the top 100 cities in Texas thus far in 2021.

  • In Arlington, two incumbents ran for re-election, and both won their respective districts.
  • In Dallas, incumbents ran in 11 of the 14 city council races. Eight incumbents won re-election in the May 1 general election. In the June 5 runoff, two incumbents won re-election in the runoff election, and one was defeated.
  • The San Antonio City Council election saw eight of the 10 incumbents run for re-election. One incumbent won and two lost in the June 5 runoff election. The other five won re-election in the general election on May 1.
  • Plano City Council had four council members up for election. Three incumbents ran for election and won. The fourth seat was up for special election and did not have an incumbent.
  • Irving City Council had three seats up for re-election. Incumbents ran in all three races. Two of them won re-election, and one was defeated.
  • Garland City Council saw three incumbents run unopposed. District 1 and District 3 did not have an incumbent in the race.

Nationwide, 282 city council seats were up for re-election in the top 100 cities in 2019. Of the 196 incumbents who ran for re-election, 12.8% were defeated. Between 2014 and 2020, an average of 12.9% of city council incumbents were defeated nationwide.

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Dallas voters elect four new members to City Council in runoff elections

Dallas, Texas, voters elected four new members to the City Council in the June 5, 2021 city runoff elections.

Elections for six of the 14 seats on the city council advanced to runoffs from the May 1 general election, including three with incumbents. One incumbent lost re-election. In District 14, Paul Ridley defeated incumbent David Blewett 61% to 39%. In District 4, incumbent Carolyn King Arnold defeated Maxie Johnson 55% to 45%. In District 7, incumbent Adam Bazaldua defeated Kevin Felder 64% to 36%.

Blewett was the only incumbent to lose an election in 2021. In 2019, two incumbents lost re-election: Kevin Felder in District 7 and Philip Kingston in District 14, who was defeated by Blewett. In 2017, four incumbents lost re-election and in 2015, all incumbents were re-elected.

In Districts 2, 11, and 13, incumbent councilmembers Adam Medrano, Lee Kleinman, and Jennifer Staubach Gates did not run for re-election due to term limits. In District 2, Jesse Moreno defeated Sana Syed 58% to 43%. In District 11, Jaynie Schultz defeated Barry Wernick 54% to 46%. In District 13, Gay Donnell Willis defeated Leland Burk 54% to 47%.

The Dallas City Council is the city’s primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances. All fourteen seats on the Dallas City Council are up for election every two years.

To read more about the 2021 Dallas City Council elections, click here:



Eleven incumbents file to run for re-election to offices in King County, Wash.

The filing deadline passed on May 21 to run for elected office in King County, Wash. Candidates filed for the following positions:

Mayor of Seattle

Seattle City Attorney

Seattle City Council Position 8 At-Large

Seattle City Council Position 9 At-Large

Port of Seattle Commission Position 1

Port of Seattle Commission Position 3

Port of Seattle Commission Position 4

King County Executive

Metropolitan King County Council District 1

Metropolitan King County Council District 3

Metropolitan King County Council District 5

Metropolitan King County Council District 7

Metropolitan King County Council District 9

Eleven incumbents filed for re-election. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced in December 2020 that she would not run for re-election. Fifteen candidates are seeking to become Seattle’s next mayor, including M. Lorena González, who currently holds the Position 9 seat on the Seattle City Council.

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 3, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

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Omaha, Nebraska, voters to decide mayoral, city council races on May 11

The nonpartisan general election for Omaha, Neb., will be held on May 11. The top-two primary was held on April 6. Candidates will be competing for mayor and seven city council seats. On election day, the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Jean Stothert and RJ Neary are facing off in the general election. Stothert is one of 26 Republican mayors across the country’s 100 largest cities. She was first elected in 2013, following Democratic control of the mayorship since 2001, and won re-election in 2017. She is Omaha’s longest-serving Republican mayor since 1906.

Neary is the chairman of Investors Realty, a commercial real estate investment company, and the former chairman of the Omaha Planning Board. During the primary, he received endorsements from the city’s three most recent Democratic mayors: Mike Fahey, Jim Suttle, and Mike Boyle.

Seven city council seats will also be on the May 11 ballot. District 3 incumbent Chris Jerram was the only city council member to not file for re-election in 2021. Five incumbents advanced past the primary election and will appear on the general election ballot. District 5 incumbent Colleen Brennan lost her re-election bid after placing fifth in the primary election.

*District 1: Incumbent Pete Festersen and Sarah Johnson are facing off in the general election. Festersen has served on the city council since 2009.

*District 2: Incumbent Ben Gray and Juanita Johnson will face off in the general election. Gray has represented District 2 since 2009.

*District 3: Danny Begley and Cammy Watkins are competing for this open seat. Incumbent Jerram announced in August 2020 that he would not seek a fourth term in 2021. He has represented District 3 on the city council since 2009.

*District 4: Incumbent Vinny Palermo and Rebecca Barrientos-Patlan will face off in the general election. Palermo has served on the city council since 2017.

*District 5: Patrick Leahy and Don Rowe will face off in the general election. Incumbent Colleen Brennan was appointed to the seat in December 2020. She placed fifth in the April 6 primary election and did not advance to the general election.

*District 6: Incumbent Brinker Harding and Naomi Hattaway will face off in the general election. Harding has represented District 6 on the city council since 2017.

*District 7: Incumbent Aimee Melton and Sara Kohen are facing off in the general election. Melton has served on the city council since 2013.

Omaha is the 42nd largest city by population in the United States. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.

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