Tagelections to watch

Arlington mayoral election heads to runoff

Jim Ross and Michael Glaspie advanced to a runoff from the seven-candidate field in the general election for mayor of Arlington, Texas, on May 1, 2021. Ross received 47.9% of the vote and Glaspie received 21.3% of the vote. Marvin Sutton, the third-place finisher, received 15.1% of the vote. The runoff election will take place on June 5. According to pre-general campaign finance filings, Glaspie and Ross led in fundraising, raising $47,537 and $264,712, respectively as of April 23, 2021.

Incumbent Jeff Williams (R) could not seek re-election due to term limits, leaving the position open. Mayoral elections in Arlington are nonpartisan, meaning candidates appeared on the ballot without party affiliations. 

Ross owns a law firm and a local restaurant. He previously worked as an officer with the Arlington Police Department and served on the board of directors for the Arlington Police Foundation. He received endorsements from Mayor Williams (R) and former Mayor Richard Greene. He was also endorsed by four of the city’s police unions.

Glaspie was a member of the Arlington School Board from 1991 to 2008. He represented at-large District 8 on the Arlington City Council from 2012 to 2019. When he left office due to term limits, Glaspie had been serving as Arlington’s mayor pro tempore. He received endorsements from former Mayor Elzie Odom and The Dallas Morning News.

Fort Worth mayoral election heads to runoff

Deborah Peoples and Mattie Parker advanced to a runoff from a 10-candidate field in the nonpartisan general election for mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, on May 1, 2021. Peoples received 33.6% of the vote and Parker received 30.8% of the vote. Brian Byrd, the third-place finisher, received 14.7% of the vote. The runoff election will take place on June 5.

Incumbent Mayor Betsy Price announced on January 5, 2021, that she would not run for re-election. Mayoral elections in Fort Worth are nonpartisan, meaning candidates appeared on the ballot without party affiliations. 

Peoples is the Chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party and previously worked as a business executive. She was endorsed by U.S. House Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), The Collective PAC, Grassroots Law Project, and Higher Heights PAC. As of April 21, she raised $286,180 and spent $238,351.

Parker is an educator and previously worked as the chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council. She was endorsed by Mayor Price, former Mayor Mike Moncrief, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Dallas Morning News. As of April 21, she raised $1,033,304 and spent $834,823.

Ann Zadeh, Daniel Caldwell, Mylene George, Mike Haynes, Cedric Kanyinda, Steve Penate, and Chris Rector also ran in the election. They made up the largest mayoral candidate field in at least a decade.

Filing deadline approaches in Lansing, Michigan

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Lansing, Michigan, is on April 27, 2021. Prospective candidates may file for mayor and the following positions on the eight-seat city council: the Ward 2 seat, the Ward 4 seat, and two at-large seats. 

The primary is scheduled for August 3, 2021, and the general election is scheduled for November 2. 

Ballotpedia comprehensively covers elections in the 100 largest cities in the United States by population. We also cover elections for mayor, city council, and district attorney in state capitals outside of the 100 largest cities. Lansing is the capital city of Michigan. 

Additional Reading:

Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District special election to be held April 24

Troy Carter (D) and Karen Peterson (D) are running in a special runoff election to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House on April 24, 2021. Carter and Peterson received the most votes in March 20 special primary election. They advanced to the general runoff under Louisiana’s majority-vote system, which stipulates that if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election.

Carter and Peterson have both emphasized their experience and careers as lawmakers during the campaign. “Throughout my career I’ve remained laser focused on the simple ways to improve people’s day to day lives – like guaranteeing access to COVID-19 vaccine, equality pay for women, criminal justice reform and fighting for a living wage,” said Carter. Peterson said “After Katrina hit, I told the truth, held people accountable, and fought to help our families and our businesses rebuild. And that’s what I’ll do in Congress to lead us out of this pandemic.”

Both candidates support legalizing recreational marijuana, ending cash bail, forgiving student debt loans for up to $50,000, and a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and water. Both support increasing the federal minimum wage, but disagree on how high. Carter supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, while Peterson said she would support raising it to $20 per hour. The candidates also differ on health care policy, with Carter supporting a public option allowing people to choose between a government-funded plan and private insurance and Peterson supporting a Medicare for All universal health care plan.

Carter raised $610,000 in the period from March 1 to April 4 compared to Peterson’s $362,000. Both candidates garnered noteworthy endorsements in recent weeks, with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) endorsing Peterson and Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams (D) endorsing Carter.

The special election will fill the vacancy left by Cedric Richmond (D). On November 17, 2020, then President-elect Joe Biden (D) announced that Richmond would join his administration as a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richmond was first elected in 2010, and in the November 3, 2020 elections, he won with 63.9% of the vote. Since 2000, the seat has been occupied by a Democrat in all years except 2008-2010, when it was occupied by Joseph Cao (R).

Additional Reading:

Early voting begins in special Congressional election in Texas

On April 19, early voting began in a special election to fill the seat representing Texas’ 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. The special election will fill the vacancy left by Ronald Wright (R), who died from complications related to COVID-19. The election will take place on May 1, with a runoff taking place later in the month if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

With 23 candidates running in the special election, the Texas Tribune said the race was likely to head to a mid-summer runoff between the top two vote-getters. The Tribune identified seven prominent candidates in the race—three Democrats and four Republicans. Those candidates are: Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), Lydia Bean (D), Shawn Lassiter (D), Susan Wright (R), Jake Ellzey (R), Brian Harrison (R), Sery Kim (R).

Each of the Republican candidates has campaigned on the issues of firearm policy, immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border, business growth through deregulation, and abortion. They can be distinguished by the endorsements they have received.

Susan Wright, the widow of Ronald Wright, was endorsed by five members of Congress, the state party executive committee, and the mayor of Forth Worth.

Kim, a former official with the Small Business Association, received the endorsement of two Korean-American Republican members of Congress, and is Korean-American herself. Those were rescinded in early April following comments she made about immigration from China, however.

Harrison, the chief of staff to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, has touted endorsements from more than 100 members of the Trump administration, including Azar, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon. Ellzey, a 20-year Navy veteran, received endorsements from former Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Farm Bureau, and the War Veterans Fund.

Each of the three Democrats has emphasized what they call working class economic issues, education, and expanding affordable medical care as key parts of their platform.

Bean, a former teacher, received endorsements from the county and state AFL-CIO and the local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Lassiter, also a teacher, was endorsed by two local school board members, a former state board of education member, the 314 Action Fund, and the Voter Protection Project. Sanchez, a communications consultant, was endorsed by state Rep. Michelle Beckley, two Arlington City Council members, and the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

In the 2020 general election, Wright defeated Stephen Daniel (D) 53-44, while Trump carried the district 51-48. Wright won re-election in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote and in 2016 with 58 percent of the vote.

Special election primary to be held in New Hampshire House district

A special election primary is being held on April 20 for the Merrimack 23 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Christopher Lins and John Martin are running in the Republican primary. Muriel Hall is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is taking place on June 8, and the winner of this special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Samantha Fox (D) resigned on Jan. 12. Fox had represented the district since 2018.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 212-186 majority in the New Hampshire House with two vacancies. New Hampshire has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of April, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

Additional Reading:

Stothert and Neary advance to the general election for mayor of Omaha

Incumbent Jean Stothert (R) and RJ Neary (D) advanced from the top-two mayoral primary in Omaha, Nebraska, held on April 6, 2021. The two will advance to the general election on May 8, 2021.

According to unofficial results, Stothert received 57% of the vote followed by Neary with 16%. The remaining candidates, Jasmine Harris (D), Kimara Snipes (D), Mark Gudgel (D), and Jerome Wallace Sr. (D) received 14%, 9%, 5%, and 0.1% of the vote, respectively.

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. According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Stothert had $380,301 on hand.

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. According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Neary had $73,960 on hand.

Omaha is located primarily in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. During the 2020 presidential election, the district voted for Joe Biden (D) after voting for Republicans Mitt Romney (R) and Donald Trump (R) in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Over that time, the presidential election margin in the district shifted 13.7 percentage points from Republicans to Democrats. Romney won by 7.1 points, which decreased to a 2.2-point victory for Trump. Biden won by 6.6 percentage points in 2020.

For more information on the primary and the candidates, click here:

Mayoral election in Omaha, Nebraska (2021)

Anchorage mayoral race remains undecided

Preliminary results from Anchorage’s April 6 mayoral election show Dave Bronson and Forrest Dunbar in the lead. As of 4:30 p.m. Alaska Time on April 7, Dunbar had 33% of the vote and Bronson had 32%. A candidate needs 45% of the vote to win election as mayor. If no candidate receives 45% of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a May 11 runoff.

The city will continue to accept mail-in ballots from local voters through April 16 and from overseas voters through April 20, although only ballots postmarked by April 6 will be accepted. Deputy Municipal Clerk Erika McConnell said that it will take time to process the large volume of ballots.  

Fifteen candidates were on the ballot. Media attention focused on six: Bronson,  Dunbar, Bill Evans, Bill Falsey, George Martinez, and Mike Robbins. These candidates also led in endorsements and fundraising. Anna Anthony, Jeffrey T. Brown, Darin Colbry, Heather Herndon, Jacob Kern, Reza Momin, Albert Swank Jr., Jacob Versteeg, and Joe Westfall also ran.

Economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was a central issue in the race. Dunbar and Falsey said they support maintaining safety measures enacted by the Anchorage Assembly, such as a mask mandate and business restrictions, while Bronson, Evans, and Robbins said they supported reconsidering or removing restrictions. Homelessness and crime were also topics of debate, with candidates divided over homelessness prevention methods as well as shelter funding and locations.

Austin Quinn-Davidson, the current mayor, did not run for a full term. Quinn-Davidson became acting mayor after Ethan Berkowitz (D) resigned from office on October 23, 2020, due to what he described as “unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”

Additional Reading:

Special election to be held in Oklahoma Senate district

A special election is being held on April 6 for District 22 of the Oklahoma State Senate. Molly Ooten (D) and Jake Merrick (R) are running in the general election.

The seat became vacant after Stephanie Bice (R) was elected to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District on Nov. 3, 2020. Bice had represented the district since 2015. She won re-election in 2018 with 68.3% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 38-9 majority in the Oklahoma Senate with one vacancy. Oklahoma has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of March, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

Additional Reading:

Wisconsin general election to be held April 6

The statewide general election for Wisconsin is on April 6. The primary was held on Feb. 16, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 5. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices: 

• Superintendent of Public Instruction

• Special elections for state Senate District 13 and Assembly District 89

• Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas: 

• Dane and Milwaukee Counties

• The cities of Madison and Milwaukee

• DeForest Area School District

• Madison Metropolitan School District

• McFarland School District

• Middleton-Cross Plains School District

• Milwaukee Public Schools

• Sun Prairie Area School District

• Verona Area School District

Milwaukee is the 31st-largest city in the United States by population, while Madison is the 82nd. The seven school districts holding elections on April 6 served 132,027 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Wisconsin has a divided government where no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Assembly and Senate, while Governor Tony Evers is a Democrat.

Additional Reading: