Tagelections to watch

Ballotpedia is covering general elections in eight Oregon school boards on May 18

The general election for eight school boards in Oregon is on May 18. These districts do not hold primary elections for school board races. The filing deadline to run passed on March 18. 

School board candidates are competing in the following districts:

• Beaverton School District

• Centennial School District 28J

• David Douglas School District

• Parkrose School District 3

• Portland Public Schools

• Reynolds School District 7

• Salem-Keizer Public Schools

• Scappoose School District 1J

These eight districts served a total of 161,240 students during the 2018-2019 school year.

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Gov. Greg Abbott sets runoff in Texas’ 6th Congressional District for July 27

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the special runoff election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District will take place on July 27, 2021. The two candidates in the runoff are Jake Ellzey (R) and Susan Wright (R). Since they are both Republicans, the seat will not change party hands as a result of the election.

Ellzey and Wright advanced from a 23-candidate special election on May 1. Wright received 19.2% of the vote while Ellzey received 13.8% of the vote. Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), the Democratic candidate to receive the most votes, received 13.4% of the vote. She missed qualifying for the runoff by 354 votes.

The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on February 7, 2021. Susan Wright is Ronald Wright’s widow. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed her on April 26. The filing deadline was March 3, 2021.

Eight candidates file to run in two Georgia state House special elections

Candidates interested in running in the special elections for Georgia House of Representatives Districts 34 and 156 had until May 7 to file. The general election in both districts is scheduled for June 15. If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the general election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a general runoff election. The runoff, if necessary, will be held on July 13. The winners of the special elections will serve until January 2023.

In the District 34 special election, Sam Hensley Jr. (D), Priscilla Smith (D), David Blinkhorn (R), Devan Seabaugh (R), and Chris Neill (L) filed to run. The special election became necessary after Bert Reeves (R) resigned his seat on April 30 to become Georgia Institute of Technology’s vice president of university relations. Reeves served in the state House from 2015 to 2021.

In the District 156 special election, Wright Gres (D), Leesa Hagan (R), and Wally Sapp (R) filed to run. The special election became necessary when Greg Morris (R) resigned his seat on April 13 to join the Georgia Department of Transportation’s State Transportation Board. Morris served in the state House from 1999 to 2021.

Georgia 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. Republicans control the Georgia House of Representatives by a margin of 101 to 77, with two vacancies.

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Charlie Crist announces he’s running for governor of Florida

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D) announced he is running for governor of Florida on May 4. Crist is the first Democrat to declare he’s challenging incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who was first elected in 2018. Crist currently represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District and served as governor of Florida as a Republican from 2007 to 2011. 

As reported in The Hill, Crist said when announcing his candidacy, “we can build a Florida for all Floridians. We can create a society that values every person. We can break the fever of division and hatred that has afflicted our politics.”

Crist began his political career serving as a Florida state senator as a Republican from 1993 to 1999. He also served as Florida’s state education commissioner and then its attorney general before running for governor in 2006. Rather than running for a second term as governor, Crist mounted a campaign for Senate in 2010, losing to Marco Rubio (R). 

Crist became an independent after his loss to Rubio in the Republican primary, and became a Democrat in 2012. In 2014, Crist ran for governor, losing to Rick Scott (R). He was elected to the U.S. House in 2016 from Florida’s 13th congressional district. 

Crist is the 11th member of the U.S. House to announce they are retiring or running for another office. Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

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Special election primary to be held on May 18 in California Assembly district

A special election primary is being held on May 18 for District 54 of the California State Assembly. Isaac Bryan (D), Dallas Denise Fowler (D), Heather Hutt (D), Samuel Morales (D), Cheryl Turner (D), and Bernard Senter (No party preference) are running in the primary. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, he or she will win the election outright. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates will advance to a special general election on July 20. The winner will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D) was elected to the state Senate in a special election primary on March 2. She had represented District 54 since 2018.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 58-19 majority in the California Assembly with one independent member and two vacancies. California has a Democratic 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 May, 38 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. California held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Here’s how Virginia Republicans will select their statewide nominees on May 8

Republicans in Virginia will be meeting on Saturday to pick their statewide nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. The Republican Party of Virginia chose to hold an unassembled convention rather than a primary, meaning delegates, voters who registered to participate in the convention, will decide the nominees.

Conventions in Virginia typically take place with delegates meeting at a single location, but due to coronavirus restrictions, the party developed a new set of rules for 2021. Here’s a breakdown:

• The convention is taking place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 8, 2021.

• Delegates will meet at 39 different locations across the state. Each delegate represents a voting unit and may only vote at the polling place assigned to his or her given voting unit.

• There are 125 voting units. These units mainly correspond with each of the state’s 95 counties and 38 independent cities.

• Over 53,000 delegates registered to participate in the convention, a record number.

Delegate votes are weighted. The state party allocated a set number of votes to each voting unit, which will, in turn, be divided among the delegates assigned to that voting unit. For example, if the party allocated 100 votes to a unit and 100 delegates participate, each delegate would have one vote. If 200 delegates participate in that voting unit, each would have half a vote.

• The convention will use ranked-choice voting, an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots rather than voting for just one candidate. If one candidate wins a majority of voters’ first-preference votes, they win outright. Otherwise, the bottom-placing candidate is eliminated and their votes are distributed among their voters’ next choices. The process is repeated until one candidate wins a majority.

• This is the Republican Party of Virginia’s second election using ranked-choice voting. The party previously used the system to select its chairman in 2020. This will be the first time the state party uses the system in a candidate election.

All ballots will be counted by hand. After the convention, the ballots will be delivered to a central location and counting will begin on Sunday. Party chairman Rich Anderson (R) said they are prepared to count until the following Thursday, but he expects counting to be finished by the following Tuesday.

Republicans last won a statewide race in Virginia in 2009, when Bob McDonnell (R) was elected governor. Virginia became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats won control of both the state House and Senate.

To learn more about the 2021 convention process in Virginia, click here: https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia_gubernatorial_election,_2021_(May_8_Republican_convention)#Conventions_in_Virginia_.282021.29

Learn more about the races up for election on Saturday using the links below:

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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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. 

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