TagDaily Brew

Freedom for All. Information for All

Welcome to the Thursday, July 1, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Freedom for All. Information for All.
  2. The latest on NYC’s mayoral primary
  3. An update on statewide ballot measures

The Supreme Court is expected to issue opinions for the two remaining cases heard this term today (July 1). Click here to read more about these remaining cases or to catch up on all the rulings this term! 

Freedom for All. Information for All.

How are you celebrating the 4th of July this weekend? 

We’ll be alongside you for the parades, the fireworks, and the hot dogs, but we also want to give you one more way to show your support of the red, white, and blue.

Make a donation to Ballotpedia today as we celebrate Freedom for All and Information for All. 

Your donation will support our efforts to provide accurate information about American politics and policy to all who seek it.

As we think about our Declaration of Independence, a document signed 245 years ago, we reflect on the first time in history, a people collectively decided to abdicate a government based on force and embrace a government based on liberty and freedom. 

The Declaration laid the foundation for a democracy that would hold its government accountable to ensure it would act with the peoples’ best interest at heart. 

You and I know that informed voters are the foundation of that democracy. Our nation needs a resource it can trust to stay informed. 

Ballotpedia is dedicated to producing timely, unbiased, and trustworthy information regarding politics and policy. But there is still much to be done. 

Your support today will be instrumental in keeping voters informed, updated, and engaged. 

Donate to support Freedom for All. Information for All.

The latest on NYC’s mayoral primary

We’ve been following the results of the mayoral primary in New York City. ICYMI, here’s an update on the race.

  • On June 29, the New York City Board of Elections released an unofficial round of ranked-choice voting (RCV) results for the Democratic primary, but later issued a statement saying it had erroneously counted 135,000 sample ballot images as votes. 
  • The board posted revised results on June 30 showing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D) leading former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia (D), 51.1% to 48.9%, after the ninth and final round of vote tabulations. Attorney Maya Wiley (D) was eliminated in the eighth round.

Adams leads Garcia by approximately 14,700 votes. More than 207,000 absentee ballots were distributed in the Democratic primary. As of June 29 approximately 125,000 absentee ballots—which were not included in this first set of unofficial RCV results—had been returned.

Thirteen Democrats ran in the June 22 primary. In the Republican primary, Curtis Sliwa defeated Fernando Mateo.

The primary featured the first use of ranked-choice voting for a mayoral primary in the city’s history. Official tabulations are not expected until the week of July 12 due to the deadlines for voters to submit absentee ballots and fix ballot issues.

Bookmark the page at the link below to follow along with us as we track the election results.

Keep reading 

An update on statewide ballot measures

Yesterday, I wrote about the local police-related ballot measures that have been certified so far. There have also been some interesting statewide ballot measures that were recently certified. Here’s a brief overview.

  • Arizona: 
    • At the 2022 general election, voters will decide a constitutional amendment to require that citizen-initiated ballot measures embrace a single subject. The ballot measure would also require the initiative’s subject to be expressed in the ballot title, or else the missing subject would be considered void. 
    • Also in 2022, voters will decide a ballot measure to allow the state legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives in cases where the Arizona Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court declare that a portion of the ballot initiative is unconstitutional or illegal. In Arizona, the legislature must propose a ballot measure to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives. Initiatives often include severability clauses, meaning that if the courts declare a provision to be unconstitutional, other provisions can remain valid. 
  • Oregon: At the 2022 general election, voters will decide a constitutional amendment that would remove language that allows slavery or involuntary servitude for duly convicted individuals. The amendment would also add language to authorize an Oregon court or a probation or parole agency to order alternatives to incarceration for a convicted individual as part of their sentencing.

So far, 56 statewide measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot. Click the link below for an overview of the 2022 ballot measure landscape.

Keep reading



The latest on police-related local ballot measures

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 30, Brew. 

So far this year, Ballotpedia has tracked six certified local police-related ballot measures. We define these to include ballot measures concerning:

  • police oversight, 
  • the powers and structure of oversight commissions, 
  • police practices, 
  • law enforcement department structure and administration, 
  • reductions in or restrictions on law enforcement budgets,
  • law enforcement training requirements, 
  • and body and dashboard camera footage. 

We’re also tracking potential measures later this year in Minneapolis and Cleveland.

Of the six measures already certified, voters approved three and defeated two in elections this spring. One measure is certified for the Aug. 3 ballot in Detroit pending a state supreme court ruling.

Last year, we identified 20 notable police-related measures in 10 cities and four counties that qualified for the ballot after the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Voters approved all 20 measures. 

Here’s a quick collection of recent events related to the police-related measures we’re tracking.

One quick note: If you didn’t receive Ballotpedia’s special update yesterday, click here to read about recently enacted legislation in North Carolina that allows municipalities to postpone local elections until next year due to delays in redistricting.

Cleveland Community Police Commission and police oversight initiative faces signature deadline next week 

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced on June 25 that proponents of an initiative to amend Cleveland’s charter on police oversight and discipline authority fell several hundred signatures short of the required number. Citizens for a Safer Cleveland has 15 additional days to collect enough valid signatures to make up the difference and qualify the measure for this year’s ballot. 

The initiative would give certain duties and authority over police oversight, investigations, and discipline to a Civilian Police Review Board and a Community Police Commission.

Keep reading 

Michigan Supreme Court to hear arguments on Detroit charter proposal, which includes police policy changes

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on July 7 over Detroit’s Proposal P that is scheduled to go before voters on Aug. 3. Proposal P would replace Detroit’s charter with a new charter. Among its provisions are several related to police policy.

The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether Proposal P requires Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) approval to appear on the ballot. The charter commission that drafted the proposal submitted it to Gov. Whitmer, but she declined to approve it. On June 1, the state supreme court suspended previous circuit and appeals court rulings that blocked the measure from the ballot. 

Keep reading 

California Public Employment Relations Board overturns parts of Sonoma County’s 2020 oversight measure

One week ago, the California Public Employment Relations Board overturned portions of Measure P, a police oversight-related measure that Sonoma County voters approved last November 65% to 35%. The board ruled that certain provisions of Measure P violated the collective bargaining rights of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.

The California Public Employment Relations Board is a commission of four gubernatorial appointees that rule on government labor issues. The board said the unions representing county sheriffs should have had the opportunity to negotiate these provisions before they were enacted. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors can appeal the decision to the California First District Court of Appeal, one of the state’s intermediate appellate courts.

Keep reading 

California superior court judge tentatively overturns Los Angeles County measure on law enforcement budget restrictions

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel announced a tentative decision on June 17 to overturn Measure J, which voters approved 57% to 43% last November. Strobel said that Measure J unconstitutionally limits how the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors can decide revenue allocations. Strobel gave plaintiffs and defendants 15 days to submit more evidence. Strobel said she expected to issue a final ruling within the following weeks.

Measure J, among other provisions, requires that no less than 10% of the county’s general fund be appropriated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services. It also prohibits those funds from being allocated to law enforcement. 

Keep reading



A veto in a trifecta state

Welcome to the Tuesday, June 29, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Maine governor vetoes bill prohibiting ballot measure contributions from foreign government-owned entities
  2. Six national party fundraising committees have raised a combined $337 million through the end of May
  3. Flashback: First Democratic presidential debate two years ago this week

Maine governor vetoes bill prohibiting ballot measure contributions from foreign government-owned entities

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) vetoed legislation on June 23 which would have prohibited entities in which foreign governments have a 10% or larger ownership share from making contributions or expenditures to influence ballot measures.

The bill would have applied to an initiative certified for the 2021 ballot which I wrote about last week. That initiative would prohibit the construction of a 145-mile long, high-voltage transmission line project from hydroelectric plants in Quebec to electric utilities in Massachusetts and Maine. It would also require a two-thirds vote of each state legislative chamber to approve certain electric transmission line projects. A subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, a public utility owned by the government of Québec, has given $8.3 million to campaigns opposing the initiative.

Maine is a Democratic state government trifecta. The House approved the legislation 87-54 with 74 Democrats and eight Republicans in favor and four Democrats and 50 Republicans opposed. The Senate passed the bill 23-11 with 14 Democrats and nine Republicans in favor and seven Democrats and four Republicans voting against. A two-thirds (66.7%) vote in both chambers of the legislature is required to overturn the governor’s veto.

Governor Mills is not the first governor to veto a ballot initiative restriction this year. Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) vetoed a bill in May that would have required initiative and referendum petitions to be signed while the signer is physically located within the state. Gov. Little cited concerns over the legislation’s constitutionality. Idaho is a Republican state government trifecta.

Legislators in eight states—Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah—have passed restrictions on their state’s initiative processes this year. Ballotpedia is currently tracking 198 legislative proposals concerning ballot initiatives, veto referendums, referrals, local ballot measures, and recall in 39 states. Notable topics include:

  • supermajority requirement increases,
  • signature requirement and distribution requirement increases,
  • single-subject rules,
  • pay-per-signature bans,
  • residency requirements and other circulator restrictions,
  • fiscal impact statement and funding source requirements, and
  • ballot measure campaign contribution restrictions.

Keep reading

Six national party fundraising committees have raised a combined $337 million through the end of May 

With 2021 nearly halfway over, let’s check in on national party fundraising. Six national party fundraising committees have raised a combined $337 million during the first five months of the 2022 election cycle. According to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, the committees raised $65 million in May alone.

Through the end of May, the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have raised a combined $168.6 million this year. The Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee raised a combined $168.5 million. 

Both parties each have three national fundraising committees: 1) a national committee, 2) a committee dedicated to U.S. Senate elections, and 3) a committee dedicated to U.S. House elections. Click on the link below to see how much these committees have raised and spent monthly this year and every month since the 2016 election cycle.

Keep reading 

Flashback: First Democratic presidential debate two years ago this week

Two years ago this week, the first of 11 Democratic presidential primary debates occurred in Miami. Spread over two days—June 26 and 27—20 candidates took the stage, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Biden and Harris debated on the same night and took up the top two spots in total minutes spoken during the debate, respectively. Click the link below to read the transcript, watch a recording of the entire debate, or skim the highlights.
Keep reading



The too-far-ahead look at the 2024 presidential calendar

Welcome to the Monday, June 28, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Nevada enacts legislation replacing state’s presidential caucus in 2024
  2. New Jersey voters to decide at least two state constitutional amendments this year
  3. COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

Nevada enacts legislation replacing state’s presidential caucus in 2024

We’re not even halfway through 2021, but states are already making changes to the 2024 presidential nominating calendar. So, let’s take a look at the activity.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed legislation on June 11 that replaces the state’s presidential caucus with a primary and seeks to make that primary the first presidential nominating event in 2024.

In 2020, the Nevada Democratic caucuses took place on Feb. 22, and the Republican Party canceled its caucus. In 2016, Democrats held their caucus on Feb. 20, and Republicans held theirs on Feb. 23. Nevada’s Democratic caucus was the third nominating event of the cycle in 2016 and 2020. Among Republicans, the Nevada caucus was the fourth delegate-awarding event for that party’s nomination in 2016.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald issued a joint statement with Republican leaders from Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, saying, “As the GOP leaders of the four carve out states, we want to make clear that we stand together in protecting the Presidential nominating schedule as it has existed for many years. Our alliance is strong and we will continue to work together to preserve this historic process.”

The Democratic National Committee has not yet released its plans for the 2024 presidential calendar. It can increase or decrease the number of convention delegates allocated to each state based on when they hold their primaries.

Iowa has held the first nominating event of each presidential election cycle in the United States since 1972. The results of 2020’s Iowa caucuses were delayed by technological issues and tabulation errors.

The maps below show the months when states held presidential nominating events in the 2020 presidential election cycle: 

Keep reading

New Jersey voters to decide at least two state constitutional amendments this year

Over the past five odd-year cycles, voters in eight states on average decide statewide ballot measures. Let’s take a look at one of those states—New Jersey. 

Garden State voters will decide at least two constitutional amendments on Nov. 2 regarding gaming and wagering. The state legislature referred both measures to the ballot and could possibly refer additional measures up through Aug. 2. Measures passed after that date—three months before the general election—would be placed on the 2022 ballot.

One measure would allow organizations that are permitted to hold raffles to retain the proceeds from those events to support themselves. The New Jersey Constitution allows the following groups to hold bingos and raffles: veterans, charitable, educational, religious, and fraternal organizations; civic and service clubs; senior citizen associations; and volunteer fire companies and volunteer first-aid and rescue squads. Currently, only veterans and senior citizen organizations are allowed to use bingo and raffle proceeds to support their groups. Other groups must use the proceeds for educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public-spirited uses. Both the state Senate and Assembly approved this measure unanimously.

The other amendment would allow wagering on postseason college sports competitions held in the state and competitions in which a New Jersey-based college team participates. Currently, the state constitution permits sports betting except for games held in New Jersey or where one or both teams are based in the state. This measure would expand sports betting to include all postseason college sports competitions, as long as a nonprofit collegiate athletic association sanctions the game.

Between 1995 and 2020, voters in New Jersey decided 35 constitutional amendments and approved 91% of them. 

Keep reading 

COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:

  • Kentucky, Maine, and Rhode Island moved into different phases of reopening plans, permitting increased numbers of people to gather indoors and the reopening of certain businesses—such as bars, movie theatres, and restaurants—with limited capacity.

Federal government responses:

  • The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that the deadline to file taxes would not be extended beyond July 15. The IRS postponed the original April 15 deadline for filing federal tax returns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

School reopenings:

  • Governors or state education departments in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming released guidelines for reopening schools.

Mask requirements: 

  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D), Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D), and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued mandates requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces and in outdoor settings when social distancing was not possible. 

Keep reading



State, local governments in conflict over police budgets

Welcome to the Friday, June 25, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. State, local governments in conflict over police budget reduction preemption laws
  2. Redistricting update: Colorado commission releases draft congressional district maps
  3. Arizona Secretary of State rejects recall petitions against state House speaker

Here’s an important update on California’s gubernatorial recall: Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced on June 23 that 1,719,900 valid signatures remained on petitions to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), more than the 1,495,970 needed to trigger a recall election. Weber directed the state Department of Finance to perform a cost analysis for such an election before she certifies the recall petitions and an election is scheduled. Although the recall is now official, a date for the election has not yet been set.

State, local governments in conflict over police budget reduction preemption laws

Various state and local governments have recently come into conflict over laws preempting municipalities from reducing their police department budgets. Preemption occurs when a law at a higher level of government is used to overrule authority at a lower level. In this case, several states have implemented legislation either prohibiting local governments from reducing their police budgets or imposing penalties on local governments that do so.

This issue emerged in 2020, as some municipalities considered reducing their police department budgets, often as part of a policy response to the May 2020 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. 

Here are three examples of how this conflict is playing out:

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a police department budget reduction preemption law in April 2021. Under the law, a citizen or government official can challenge a police department budget reduction with the state Administration Commission, which consists of the governor and other state cabinet officials. The Administration Commission would then hold a hearing on the proposed budget change and has the power to approve the budget or amend it, which would be final.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed legislation in May prohibiting municipalities from reducing police department budgets more than 5% in a year, or cumulatively over five years, with an exception for budget reductions due to financial hardship. Police department budget reductions had been proposed in Atlanta and Athens-Clarke County in 2020, but neither municipality reduced their policing budgets.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a police department budget reduction preemption bill into law on June 1. The legislation imposes penalties on populous municipalities that reduce police department budgets. The city of Austin, Texas, approved a budget in 2020 that planned to reallocate around $150 million from the police department. The money will be used to hire other public safety responders, establish new public safety programs, and reorganize certain departments currently under police department authority. Officials have not yet determined whether Austin’s budget reallocations fall under the provisions of the new state law. 

Keep reading 

Redistricting update: Colorado commission releases draft congressional district maps

The Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission released preliminary congressional district maps on June 23, making Colorado the first state in the current redistricting cycle to release a draft congressional plan. The commission will now conduct at least three public hearings on the proposed maps in each of the state’s congressional districts for a total of at least 21 public hearings. All hearings must be broadcast online.

After the hearings conclude, the commission can vote on the preliminary map or ask commission staff to make revisions. Eight of the commission’s 12 members (including at least two unaffiliated members) must approve new maps. The Colorado Supreme Court must also approve the maps. Click here for an interactive version of the proposed congressional districts map.

In other redistricting news, the Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments June 21 on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s request to extend the state’s constitutional deadline for adopting new district maps. Under the Michigan Constitution, the commission must publish plans for public comment by Sept. 17 and adopt new redistricting plans by Nov. 1. The commission said it wouldn’t be able to meet that timeline due to delays in receiving census data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Keep reading

Arizona Secretary of State rejects recall petitions against state House speaker 

The Arizona secretary of state’s office rejected a recall filing targeting state House speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R) because the signatures could not be counted under state law. 

The Patriot Party of Arizona submitted an estimated 24,500 signatures by the June 17 deadline, but none of the 2,040 signature sheets had a recall application attached. Arizona law requires that a date-stamped recall application be attached to each signature sheet when it is submitted. 

Supporters started the recall effort on Feb. 17 and needed to submit at least 22,331 signatures to trigger a recall election. The recall petition said that Bowers “failed to convene a Special Session to allow the representatives of the people a voice in the governing of the state of Arizona, throughout the State of Emergency. He again ignored the will of the citizens of the state of Arizona, by his failure to act to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election.”

Bowers said he was surprised the recall effort failed. He told the Arizona Republic, “I was gearing up to go through a recall.”

Keep reading



18 incumbents (so far) are not running for re-election to Congress in 2022

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 23, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Eighteen congressional incumbents are not running for re-election in 2022
  2. Deadline passes for secretary of state to verify remaining signatures in Newsom recall
  3. Maine voters to decide ballot initiative on electric transmission corridor

Eighteen congressional incumbents are not running for re-election in 2022

There are just over 500 days until next year’s congressional elections—503 days, to be exact. (But who’s counting?) This seemed like a good time to review those members of Congress who have announced they’re not running for re-election.

Eighteen members of Congress—five in the U.S. Senate and 13 U.S. Representatives—have announced they will not seek re-election next year. This includes 10 members who are retiring and eight U.S. Representatives who are running for other offices. This is ahead of the pace at this point in the election cycle in 2018 and 2020 (see chart below).

Between January 2011 and December 2020, 245 members of Congress announced they would not run for re-election. The peak of these announcements came in January of each election year when 31 members announced they would not run for election later that year. The fewest announcements took place in June.

Reps. Val Demings (D) and Vicky Hartzler (R) are the most recent members of Congress to announce they would not seek re-election. Demings announced on June 9 that she would run for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R) rather than seek re-election in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Hartzler—who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District—announced on June 10 that she is running for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

The five U.S. Senators not running for re-election already exceed the number who didn’t seek re-election in both 2018 (three) and 2020 (four). The chart below shows when U.S. House members have announced they’re not running for re-election compared with the previous two cycles:

Keep reading

Deadline passes for secretary of state to verify remaining signatures in Newsom recall 

Yesterday—June 22—was the deadline for the California Secretary of State to verify that enough valid signatures remain in the recall campaign targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to move the effort forward. Voters who signed petitions had until June 8 to request that county election offices remove their names from the petition. 

If at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall process will proceed to a budgeting phase where the California Department of Finance will estimate the recall election’s cost. Recall organizers originally submitted 1,719,943 valid signatures. 

Based on the remaining procedural steps required by state law for the recall campaign, an election is likely to take place in October or November 2021. The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials wrote on June 14 to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) requesting that a recall election not take place before Sept. 14 due to supply chain issues relating to printing ballots and procuring envelopes.

A recall election of Newsom would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether he should be recalled as governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election.

Keep reading 

Maine voters to decide ballot initiative on electric transmission corridor

Voters in Maine will decide a ballot initiative on Nov. 2 prohibiting the construction of electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region of the state. The measure would also require a two-thirds vote of each state legislative chamber to approve electric transmission line projects defined as high-impact. The ballot initiative would define high-impact electric transmission lines as those that are 50 miles or more in length or are outside of a statutory or petitioned corridor, among other criteria.

The Upper Kennebec Region is an area of about 800,000 acres in the northern part of the state that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry described as “a largely natural landscape that in large part is also a working landscape, where commercial forestry is the predominant land use.”

The New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) began construction May 13 on a 145-mile long high-voltage transmission line project from hydroelectric plants in Quebec to electric utilities in Massachusetts and Maine. Construction began after the U.S. Department of Energy provided a presidential permit for the NECEC project on Jan. 15. The ballot initiative would prohibit the construction of these lines retroactive to Sept. 16, 2020. 

Proponents of the ballot initiative submitted 95,622 signatures on Jan. 21, of which 80,506 signatures were valid. Proponents needed to submit 63,067 valid signatures—or 10 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election—to qualify the measure for the ballot. This is the only statewide ballot measure that has been approved for Maine voters to decide this year. Nationwide, voters have or will decide 28 statewide ballot measures this year in seven states. Fifty-four statewide ballot measures are certified for the 2022 ballot in 26 states.

Keep reading



NYC and other mayoral elections in 2021

Welcome to the Tuesday, June 22, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Reviewing recent mayoral election results in two state capitals
  2. Texas supreme court justice resigns, announces candidacy for attorney general
  3. Register for our June 23 briefing about our 2021 Mid-Year Recall Report

Reviewing recent mayoral election results in two state capitals

Voters in New York City—the nation’s largest city—will decide primary elections today for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, all 51 city council districts, and all five borough presidents. In yesterday’s Brew, we previewed the mayoral and city comptroller races, and we’ll provide results updates as New York election officials release them.

New York City will use ranked-choice voting in municipal elections for the first time this year after voters adopted it via ballot measure in 2019. Election officials are not expected to complete tabulating results from the June 22 primaries until early July due to deadlines for submitting absentee ballots.

In addition to covering municipal elections in the 100 largest cities in the country, Ballotpedia also covers races for mayors, city council members, and district attorneys in each state capital. This includes today’s partisan primaries for the mayor and all 16 seats on the city council in Albany, and the mayor and three city court judges in Buffalo.

Ballotpedia is covering 43 mayoral elections and municipal contests in 22 counties and 71 cities this year. Sixteen state capitals are holding mayoral elections this year, including 12 that fall outside of the top 100 cities. 

The mayors of 63 of the country’s 100 largest cities are Democrats. This does not include the mayors of the 32 state capitals that are outside of the top 100 cities by population.

Here’s a roundup of results from two recent mayoral elections in state capitals:

Jackson, Miss.

Voters re-elected Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) on June 8. Lumumba received 69% of the vote, defeating Jason Wells (R) and three independent candidates. Lumumba was first elected mayor in 2017. 

Voters also re-elected five incumbent council members in the city’s seven districts. The partisan composition of the Jackson City Council is six Democrats and one Republican.

Harrisburg, Pa.

At-large city councilwoman Wanda Williams (D) defeated incumbent mayor Eric Papenfuse (D) and three other candidates to win the city’s Democratic mayoral primary on May 18. Williams won by 56 votes over Papenfuse, 29% to 28%, and will face Timothy Rowbottom (R) in the Nov. 2 general election. Papenfuse was first elected in 2013, defeating Dan Miller (R), 50% to 32%. Papenfuse did not have a Republican opponent when winning re-election in 2017.

Keep reading

Texas supreme court justice resigns, announces candidacy for attorney general 

Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman resigned on June 11 and announced yesterday—June 21—that she would seek the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general next year. Incumbent Ken Paxton (R) has served as Texas’ attorney general since 2014 and ran unopposed in the Republican primary for attorney general in 2018.

Former Gov. Rick Perry (R) appointed Guzman to the Court in 2009. Guzman was the first Hispanic woman appointed to the state’s highest court. Upon winning election in 2010, she became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in Texas.

In Texas, the governor appoints a replacement to fill state supreme court vacancies, subject to state Senate confirmation. Appointees serve until the next general election when they must run in partisan races for a full term.

Guzman’s replacement will be Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) fifth nominee to the nine-member supreme court. All eight current members of the court identify as Republicans. Perry appointed three of the court’s current justices, and John Devine (R) was elected in 2012.

Keep reading 

Register for our June 23 briefing about our 2021 Mid-Year Recall Report

Last week, Ballotpedia published our Mid-Year Recall Report, summarizing the 164 recall efforts against 262 officials we’ve tracked this year. These are the most recall efforts we’ve tracked through this point in the year since 2016. 

As we highlighted in last week’s trivia question, school board members drew more recall petitions in the first half of this year than any other office for the first time since 2015. Forty-eight percent of officials who faced recall campaigns so far this year were school board members. And for the fifth time in the past six years, California had the most officials facing recall elections of any state.

We’re hosting a live briefing tomorrow—June 23 at 11 a.m. Central Time— to discuss this year’s recall efforts, including where recalls are happening and what officials are being targeted. In addition, we’ll provide the latest news in the ongoing recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and results from the recall elections already held so far this year.

This briefing is sure to fill up, so be sure to secure your spot and register today. And if you can’t attend live, we’ll send you a link to the recording after it’s complete so you can watch it on your schedule.

Keep reading



Tomorrow: NYC meets RCV

Welcome to the Monday, June 21, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Voters in New York to decide local primaries on June 22
  2. Ohio House of Representatives expels former speaker Larry Householder
  3. COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

Summer is officially here! Thanks for starting your mornings with a taste of the Daily Brew. 

Voters in New York to decide local primaries on June 22

June is a busy month for primaries in battleground elections this year. New Jersey and Virginia held primary elections for state executive and legislative offices on June 8. And voters across New York state will decide primaries for local offices on June 22, including races in New York City. Let’s take a closer look at two on the ballot—mayor and comptroller.

New York City Mayor

Thirteen Democrats and two Republicans are running for their respective parties’ nomination for mayor of New York City. The winners of these primaries will advance to the general election on Nov. 2. 

Incumbent Bill de Blasio (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits. De Blasio was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017 with 66% of the vote. Four of the last six New York City mayors have been Democrats.

New York City’s primary will feature the first use of ranked-choice voting for a mayoral race in the city’s history after residents approved the method in a 2019 ballot measure, 74% to 26%. Voters will be able—but not required—to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference. A candidate must receive a majority of votes cast to win the election, and votes for eliminated candidates are redistributed based on the next preference on the ballot. 

The following six candidates have received the most media attention and noteworthy endorsements in the Democratic primary:

  • Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president
  • Kathryn Garcia, former New York City sanitation commissioner
  • Raymond McGuire, former Wall Street executive
  • Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller
  • Maya Wiley, former mayoral counsel
  • Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers founder Fernando Mateo and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa are running in the Republican primary. 

The top issues in this race are crime, policing, affordable housing, jobs, and healthcare. Click here to read about each candidate’s policy proposals on these issues. Election officials are not expected to complete tabulating results from the June 22 primaries until early July due to deadlines for submitting absentee ballots.

New York City Comptroller

Ten candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for comptroller. The comptroller’s duties include performing audits of city agencies and managing five public pension funds—which totaled $253 billion in assets as of March 2021.

The following seven candidates are leading in endorsements and fundraising:

  • Brian Benjamin, state senator
  • Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, former CNBC financial analyst
  • Zachary Iscol, former Marine and nonprofit founder
  • Corey Johnson, New York City Council speaker
  • Brad Lander, New York City Council member
  • Kevin Parker, state senator
  • David Weprin, state assemblyman

Daby Carreras was the only Republican candidate who filed to run for comptroller and will advance to the general election as that party’s nominee.

Other New York state races

Voters will also decide primary elections in New York City for public advocate and all 51 city council seats, along with the city’s five borough presidents, two borough district attorneys, and local judges. Ballotpedia is also covering party primaries on Tuesday for the mayor and all 16 seats on the city council in Albany, and the mayor and three city court judges in Buffalo.

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Ohio House of Representatives expels former speaker Larry Householder 

The Ohio House of Representatives voted 75-21 to expel former House Speaker Larry Householder (R) from the chamber on June 16. Forty-two Republicans and 33 Democrats voted in favor of expulsion. Twenty-one Republicans and one Democrat voted against. Republican members of the Ohio House—the party that last held the seat—will select a new member to fill the vacancy resulting from the expulsion.

Householder was arrested on July 21, 2020, and charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering scheme. He allegedly participated in a $60 million bribery case related to the legislative passage of a $1.5 billion funding bill for two nuclear power plants. Householder pleaded not guilty to the charges. Four other people, including former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, were also arrested. 

Householder served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1997 to 2004 and was elected again in 2016. He became Speaker of the House in 2019 after defeating sitting House Speaker Ryan Smith (R). The Ohio House of Representatives voted 90-0 to remove Householder as speaker on July 30, 2020. He remained in office as a member of the House following his arrest and won re-election in November 2020 against four write-in candidates.

Householder is the fourth state legislator to be expelled this year, after Luke Simons (R-N.D.), Rick Roeber (R-Mo.), and Mike Nearman (R-Ore.). 

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COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

  • Election changes:
    • The Tennessee Supreme Court declined to stay a lower court order that had extended absentee voting eligibility to all voters during the pandemic.
    • The United States Supreme Court declined to reinstate a district court order that had expanded absentee voting eligibility in Texas.
    • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed legislation authorizing county clerks to mail absentee ballot applications automatically to all registered, mailable voters in the general election.
  • Federal government responses:
    • President Trump (R) restricted the issuance of certain visas permitting immigrants to work in the United States, citing the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Mask requirements:
    • The governors of Nevada and Washington issued mandates requiring individuals to wear face-coverings in indoor and outdoor public spaces.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that travelers arriving in their states from states with a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days. The infection rate was based on a seven-day rolling average of the number of infections per 100,000 residents. At the time, eight states met that threshold.

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Juneteenth becomes 12th federal holiday

Welcome to the Friday, June 18, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. President Biden signs legislation establishing Juneteenth as 12th federal holiday
  2. We want to hear from you!
  3. #FridayTrivia: What office has been the target of the most recall efforts so far in 2021? 

President Biden signs legislation establishing Juneteenth as 12th federal holiday

President Joe Biden (D) signed legislation yesterday, June 17, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth.com describes the day as “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.” 

Federal law now establishes 11 annual federal holidays: New Year’s Day, the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Inauguration Day is a legal public holiday every four years for federal employees in the Washington, D.C., area.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill establishing June 19 as a legal public holiday called Juneteenth National Independence Day on June 15. The House approved the legislation the next day, 415-14. All 14 members who opposed the bill are Republicans. The new law establishing the holiday takes effect this year, meaning that federal employees will be off today since June 19 is a Saturday. 

Juneteenth is also called Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day. The National Museum of African American History and Culture describes Juneteenth as “our country’s second independence day.” The holiday’s name comes from combining June and nineteenth.

On June 19, 1865, roughly two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, Union Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news of the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Granger officially established Union control of Texas and delivered a federal order declaring that all slaves were free. The first official Juneteenth was celebrated in Texas on June 19, 1866. 

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as either an official holiday or a day of historical importance. Texas, where the holiday originated, was the first state to pass legislation recognizing Juneteenth in 1980. The most recent state to do so was Hawaii on June 16. South Dakota is the only state that has not passed legislation formally recognizing Juneteenth. Previous presidents, including Barack Obama (D) and Donald Trump (R), recognized Juneteenth before it became a federal holiday.

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We want to hear from you! 

Can you take a moment to let us know how we’re doing with the Brew

We’d love to hear from you about the types of stories you enjoy, what you would like to see more of, and any other feedback you might have. Just reply to this email or click on the link below to let me know your thoughts. 

One of the reasons the Brew is so special is because of you—our readers. And we appreciate that you invite us into your email inbox each morning.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to help us keep improving the Daily Brew!

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#FridayTrivia: What office has been the target of the most recall efforts so far in 2021?

In Tuesday’s Brew, we shared Ballotpedia’s Mid-Year Recall Report, which summarizes the 164 recall efforts against 262 officials we’ve tracked in 2021. These are the most recall efforts we’ve tracked through this point in the year since 2016.

Ballotpedia has been cataloging recall efforts for all elected officials since 2009, and we’ve published mid-year and year-end summary reports since 2016. This report is full of interesting statistics, charts, and maps from the first six months of the year and, in my opinion, is a great source for this week’s #FridayTrivia question. 

Today’s question is, what office has been the target of the most recall efforts this year?

  1. City council members
  2. Governors
  3. Mayors
  4. School board members


NJ, VA state legislative primaries saw decade-high numbers of defeated incumbents

Welcome to the Thursday, June 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. New Jersey, Virginia state legislative primaries saw decade-high numbers of defeated incumbents
  2. Redistricting review: Opponents file suit over new IL districts; three states hold public redistricting hearings
  3. Don’t miss our briefing: Union Membership Three Years After Janus

New Jersey, Virginia state legislative primaries saw decade-high numbers of defeated incumbents

New Jersey and Virginia held state legislative primaries on June 8. We crunched the numbers and found that both legislatures saw a decade-high number of incumbents defeated. 

New Jersey


Challengers defeated three members of New Jersey’s General Assembly, a decade-high number for the legislature. Before 2021, only one state legislative incumbent had lost in a primary election within the preceding decade: Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R) in 2019. No incumbent state senator has lost in a primary since 2003.

The incumbents who lost primaries are:

  • Serena DiMaso (R) – Multi-member District 13
  • BettyLou DeCroce (R) – Multi-member District 26
  • Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D) – Multi-member District 31 (Chiaravalloti unofficially withdrew from the race before the primary, but his name remained on the ballot.) 

All four state Senate incumbents facing primary challenges won.

In addition to the three primary defeats, five Democrats and three Republicans did not run for re-election in the General Assembly, meaning at least 11 newcomers will be elected to the 80-person chamber in November. In the state Senate, one Democrat and three Republicans did not run for re-election, guaranteeing at least four newcomers.

The charts below show the total number of incumbents by party for both chambers of the New Jersey State Legislature in green. The yellow bars show the number of incumbents who will not advance to the general election either due to primary defeat or retirement. The total number of incumbents by party are shown in parentheses.

New Jersey is one of 15 Democratic trifectas, meaning Democrats currently control both chambers of the state legislature as well as the governorship. Democrats currently hold a 52-28 majority in the General Assembly and a 25-15 majority in the state Senate.

Virginia

Challengers defeated five members of the Virginia House of Delegates, also a decade-high number. These House incumbents were the first to lose in primaries since 2015 when two incumbents lost to challengers. Two incumbents also lost in the 2013 primaries, and none lost in 2011.

The defeated incumbents are:

• Charles Poindexter (R) – District 9

• Mark Levine (D) – District 45

• Lee Carter (D) – District 50

• Steve Heretick (D) – District 79

• Ibraheem Samirah (D) – District 86

Two of the five incumbents—Carter and Levine—also ran in primaries for statewide offices. Carter ran for governor, and Levine ran for lieutenant governor. Both lost in their respective statewide primaries, as well.

In addition to the five incumbents defeated in primary elections, six incumbents—one Democrat and five Republicans—did not seek re-election, meaning at least 11 newcomers will be elected to the 100-person chamber in November.

This is the first election since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the House of Delegates. Following the 2019 elections, Democrats flipped control of both the House and the state Senate, creating the state’s first Democratic trifecta since 1994. Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the House and a 21-19 majority in the Senate. 

Redistricting review: Opponents file suit over new IL districts; three states hold public redistricting hearings

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit on June 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois challenging the state legislative district maps that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed into law on June 4. MALDEF alleges that the maps violate the ‘one-person, one-vote’ standard mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment because the American Community Survey data used for redistricting in lieu of census data is, MALDEF argues, “inadequate for that purpose.” MALDEF is asking that the court enjoin use of the newly-enacted maps. This lawsuit is similar to one filed by Republican lawmakers on June 4.

Additionally, lawmakers or commissions in three states held public hearings this week on redistricting. Click the links to learn about these and future hearings:  

Georgia: Georgia lawmakers announced a schedule for public redistricting hearings, the first of which took place virtually on June 15. Ten more public hearings are scheduled, with the next taking place in Atlanta on June 28 and the last taking place virtually on July 30. 

Maryland: The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission held its second public hearing virtually on June 16 and is expected to hold at least six more public hearings between now and July 28. 

Michigan: The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission conducted two public hearings, one on June 15 and one on June 17, both in Detroit. The commission is scheduled to conduct four more hearings before July 1. 

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Don’t miss our briefing: Union Membership Three Years After Janus

This month marks three years since the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. What kind of effect has Janus had on public-sector union membership? In our June 30 briefing, we’ll dive into the data. We’ll discuss the complexities associated with tracking public-sector union membership, describe our methodology for gathering data, and review the numbers for several states. 

The briefing will take place on Wednesday, June 30, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time. As always, if you can’t make it during that time, we’ll send you a recording after it’s complete. Click the link below to grab your spot!

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