Challengers defeated a decade-high four incumbents in the June 8 primaries for Virginia’s House of Delegates. Those incumbents are:
• Charles Poindexter (R) – House District 9
• Mark Levine (D) – House District 45
• Lee Carter (D) – House District 50
• Steve Heretick (D) – House District 79
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.
Two of the four incumbents—Levine and Carter—also appeared on statewide primary ballots. Levine was a candidate for lieutenant governor and Carter was a candidate for governor. Both lost in their respective statewide primaries, as well.
The Democratic primary in House District 86 between incumbent Del. Ibraheem Samirah and Irene Shin is too close to call as of June 11.
In addition to the four incumbents defeated in primary elections, six incumbents—one Democrat and five Republicans—did not seek re-election, meaning at least ten newcomers will be elected to the 100-person chamber in November.
Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the chamber following its flip in 2019. Fifty Democratic incumbents and 39 Republicans are slated to appear on general election ballots in November.
The primary election for Norfolk and Richmond in Virginia was on June 8. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2.
In Richmond, Antionette Irving defeated William Burnett in the Democratic primary for sheriff. Irving earned 55% of the vote to Irving’s 45%. No Republican candidates filed to run.
In the Democratic primary for Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney, Ramin Fatehi won with 61% of the vote, defeating Megan Zwisohn and Amina Matheny-Willard. The Republican primary was canceled as no candidates filed to run.
Primary elections for other local offices were canceled after fewer than two candidates filed. The major party filing deadline passed on March 25.
Norfolk and Richmond are the 80th- and 100th-largest cities in the U.S. by population. They are the second-largest and fourth-largest cities in Virginia, respectively.
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.
Mattie Parker defeated Deborah Peoples in the Fort Worth mayoral runoff election on June 5, 2021. Parker received 54% of the vote to Peoples’ 46%. Parker and Peoples advanced to the runoff from the general election on May 1, 2021. Incumbent Mayor Betsy Price (R) did not run for re-election.
Prior to the election, Parker worked in education and as the chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council. She received endorsements from incumbent Mayor Price, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Price was first elected in 2011, and then re-elected in 2015 and 2019. In 2019, Price won with 56% of the vote, and Peoples was the runner-up with 42%. Prior to Price’s 2011 win, Fort Worth had not elected an openly Republican mayor in twenty years. In the 2020 and 2016 presidential elections, Joe Biden (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) won the city with 52% and 56% of the vote, respectively.
Heading into 2021, the mayors of 25 of the country’s 100 largest cities, including Fort Worth were affiliated with the Republican Party. The mayors of 64 of the 100 largest cities were affiliated with the Democratic Party.
To read more about the mayoral runoff election in Fort Worth, click here:
Attorney Jim Ross defeated former city councilor Michael Glaspie in the general election runoff for mayor of Arlington, Texas, on June 5, 2021. Ross received 54.4% of the vote to Glaspie’s 45.6%. This was the first mayoral election in Arlington since 2003 without an incumbent on the ballot. Mayor Jeff Williams (R) was term-limited and unable to seek re-election.
Ross received an early endorsement from Williams and described his campaign as a continuation of the incumbent’s tenure. On his campaign website, Ross wrote, “as Mayor Williams approaches the end of his last term in office, the big question is, ‘Where do we go from here?’ The answer is simple, FORWARD!”
Before entering the election, Ross owned a law firm and Mercury Chophouse, a local restaurant. He previously worked as a police officer with the Arlington Police Department and served on the board of directors for the Arlington Police Foundation. In addition to his endorsement from Williams, Ross received endorsements from Arlington’s four police unions.
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:
Ballotpedia compared the performance of Joe Biden (D) and Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 presidential election to Democratic and Republican Senate candidates in each state.
Thirty-five U.S. Senate elections were held in the general election. Biden outperformed Chris Janicek (D) in Nebraska, Sara Gideon (D) in Maine, and the cumulative vote total for Democratic Senate candidates in Louisiana by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 27.0%, 22.5%, and 15.8%, respectively.
Biden underperformed Steve Bullock (D) in Montana, Doug Jones (D) in Alabama, and Mike Espy (D) in Mississippi by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 10.7%, 8.0%, and 7.0%, respectively.
The following map shows the percentage difference between Biden and Democratic Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Biden overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Biden underperformed.
Trump outperformed Allen Water (R) in Rhode Island, Bryant Messer (R) in New Hampshire, and Lauren Witzke (R) in Delaware, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 19.2%, 11.4%, and 7.5%, respectively.
Trump underperformed Susan Collins (R) in Maine, Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota, and Ben Sasse (R) in Nebraska, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 14.6%, 5.7%, and 4.7%, respectively.
The following map shows the percentage difference between Trump and Republican Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Trump overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Trump underperformed.
The statewide primary for Pennsylvania was held on May 18. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. Four state legislative special general elections were also on the ballot.
Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:
Four state legislative special elections
State Senate Districts 22 and 48 and state House Districts 59 and 60. One Democratic candidate won election in Senate District 22. The other three seats were won by Republican candidates. No seats were flipped.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court (one seat)
Democrat Maria McLaughlin was unopposed and advanced to the general election. She faces Republican Kevin Brobson, who defeated two challengers in the primary. Justice Thomas Saylor (R) was not able to file for retention due to Pennsylvania’s mandatory retirement age.
Pennsylvania Superior Court (one seat)
Democrat Timika Lane advanced after defeating two challengers in the primary. Republican Megan Sullivan advanced unopposed.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (two seats)
Democrat Lori A. Dumas was one of two projected winners in the Democratic primary. Democratic candidates Amanda Green-Hawkins and David Spurgeon were too close to call for the second seat as of May 20. Republicans Andrew Crompton and Stacy Wallace advanced to the general election without opposition.
Ballotpedia also covered local elections in the following areas:
In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, voters approved a ballot initiative to prohibit solitary confinement in the county jail. The ballot initiative received 70% of the vote. In Pittsburgh, which is also located in Allegheny County, voters approved a ballot initiative to prohibit the police from executing warrants without knocking or announcing themselves. It received 81% of the vote.
Ballotpedia has tracked five local ballot measures in 2021 concerning
the powers and structure of oversight commissions;
police and incarceration practices;
law enforcement department structure and administration;
reductions in or restrictions on law enforcement budgets;
law enforcement training requirements; or
body and dashboard camera footage.
Ballotpedia identified 20 local police-related ballot measures on the ballot for the election on November 3, 2020, that qualified following the death of George Floyd.
On May 18, Pennsylvania voters approved two constitution amendments on the governor’s emergency powers, which were a point of conflict between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf during the coronavirus pandemic. According to unofficial results on May 19, both Question 1 and Question 2 received 54% of the statewide vote.
Voters also approved the other two statewide measures on the ballot by votes of 71%-29% and 72%-28%, respectively.
Question 1 allows the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass a resolution, which would not require the governor’s signature, to extend or terminate the governor’s emergency declaration. Question 2 limits the governor’s declaration to 21 days unless the legislature votes on a concurrent resolution to extend the order.
The Legislature passed a concurrent resolution to end the governor’s coronavirus emergency declaration in June 2020. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the governor could veto the concurrent resolution. On July 14, Gov. Wolf vetoed the resolution. A two-thirds vote in the legislature would have been required to overturn the veto.
Pennsylvania will join four other states—Alaska, Kansas, Michigan, and Minnesota—that require a legislative vote to extend or terminate a governor’s emergency declaration after a specific number of days. In Kansas, the requirement is 15 days after the order is first issued. In Michigan, the requirement is 28 days. In Alaska and Minnesota, the requirement is 30 days.
Ballotpedia did not identify ballot measure committees that supported or opposed the constitutional amendments. Americans For Prosperity and The Commonwealth Foundation—both 501(c) organizations—spent about $150,000 through independent expenditures to support Question 1 and Question 2.
The Pennsylvania amendments were the first in the country to address the governor’s emergency powers since the pandemic began. In 2021 or 2022, at least six other states will vote on at least seven other ballot measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions. In November, Texans will vote on a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state or any political subdivision from limiting religious services or organizations.
The approval of Pennsylvania Question 1 and Question 2, as well as Question 3, continues the trend of successful constitutional amendments in the state since 1989. Between 1989 and 2020, 15 constitutional amendments were approved. Pennsylvanians could see more constitutional amendments on the ballot in November. Potential measures that have passed in one chamber of the legislature include amendments to have gubernatorial candidates select their lieutenant gubernatorial running mates and to reorganize the election of state judges and justices into districts.