Tagelections

An update on NYC comptroller election results

Voters in New York City may be waiting at least a couple weeks to find out who the Democratic nominee for city comptroller is—along with nominees for other offices on the ballot, including mayor and city council. 

The city Board of Elections is scheduled to begin running ranked-choice voting tabulations on June 29—the day it must receive absentee ballots by—for votes cast in person and will include votes cast by mail in the tabulations starting July 6, according to the Associated Press. Voters have until July 9 to resolve any issues that may be present with their absentee ballots, NY1 reported.

City Councilman Brad Lander had received 31% of the votes the board had counted and reported as of June 23. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson received 23%. Former CNBC financial analyst Michelle Caruso-Cabrera was third, based on these incomplete results, with 14%. State Sen. Brian Benjamin was fourth with 8%. 

Lander ran as a progressive, emphasizing endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with The New York Times editorial board. Johnson said he’d balanced three city budgets as council speaker. Several unions in the city endorsed him. Caruso-Cabrera described herself as a Latina political outsider with the financial experience for the job. She ran against Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Benjamin highlighted his experience working for a housing developer and in financial management before joining the state legislature. Two former city comptrollers endorsed him.

With ranked-choice voting, the lowest-performing candidate of the 10 who ran will be eliminated from the running once all votes are in, and his or her votes will be redistributed to those voters’ second-choice candidates, if they selected second choices. That process will continue until one candidate reaches more than 50%. Voters were allowed to rank up to five candidates in the June 22 primaries.  

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Special election to be held July 13 in Wisconsin Assembly district

A special election is being held on July 13 for District 37 of the Wisconsin State Assembly. Pete Adams (D), William Penterman (R), and Stephen Ratzlaff Jr. (I) are running in the general election. Penterman advanced past the June 15 Republican primary in a field of eight candidates. Adams was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The winner of the special election will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant on April 23 after John Jagler (R) was sworn into the Wisconsin State Senate. He won a special election for state Senate District 13 on April 6. Jagler had represented District 37 since 2013. He won re-election in 2020 with 56% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 60-38 majority in the Wisconsin Assembly with one vacancy. Wisconsin has a divided government, and 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.

As of June, 39 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 17 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Wisconsin held 19 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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California secretary of state determines there are enough signatures for recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom to proceed

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced that the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) had enough signatures following the removal period to move forward. She directed the state Department of Finance to begin its cost analysis for the election.

Voters who signed the recall petitions had until June 8 to request their signature’s removal. Forty-three signatures were removed during the removal period, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures on the petitions, more than the 1,495,709 required to trigger a recall.

Based on the remaining procedural steps required by state law, an election is likely to take place in October or November 2021. Political analysts and legislators have speculated that an election could take place as early as August, while the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials wrote a letter to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) requesting that a recall not take place before September 14, citing supply chain issues with paper and envelopes given the unknown number of candidates. Kounalakis is the official responsible for setting the date of the recall election.

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of 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, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.



India Walton defeats four-term incumbent Byron Brown in Buffalo Democratic mayoral primary

India Walton (D), a nurse and community activist, defeated four-term incumbent Byron Brown (D) and Le’Candice Durham (D) in the Democratic primary for Mayor of Buffalo, New York, on June 22, 2021. According to unofficial results, Walton received 52% of the vote followed by Brown and Durham with 45% and 3%, respectively.

The New York Times‘ Luis Ferré-Sadurní described the race as an upset, saying the outcome “could upend the political landscape in New York’s second-biggest city and signal the strength of the party’s left wing.”

Brown was first elected Mayor of Buffalo in 2005 and won re-election three times. Before his defeat in 2021, Brown had won the four preceding Democratic primaries by an average of 26.5 percentage points. In 2021, he ran with the support of the Erie County Democratic Committee and multiple local labor unions including the Buffalo Central Labor Council.

Walton received endorsements from progressive organizations including Our Revolution and the local and national branches of the Democratic Socialists of America. She also received an endorsement from the Working Families Party of New York, which, until 2021, had endorsed Brown in all of his previous runs for mayor.

Since no Republicans filed to appear on the primary ballot, it is likely Walton will advance to the general election without major party opposition. If elected, Walton would become Buffalo’s first female mayor. She would also become the first socialist mayor of a large American city since 1960.

Learn more about the mayoral race in Buffalo here.



Candidate filing deadline for municipal offices in Annapolis, Maryland, is June 26

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Annapolis, Maryland, is on June 26. Prospective candidates may file for mayor and for all eight seats on the city council.

The primary is scheduled for Sept. 21, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Ballotpedia comprehensively covers the 100 largest cities in the United States by population. Our coverage also includes mayors, city councils, and district attorneys in the 32 state capitals that are not already part of our largest cities coverage. Annapolis is the capital of Maryland.

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Recall election for metropolitan district board in Colorado to be held June 29

A recall election seeking to remove three members of the Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District No. 2 board in Colorado is being held on June 29. Members John V. Hill, Anna Maria Ray, and David Garton Jr. are on the ballot.

When listing their reasons, recall supporters said that the district was in payment default for bond debt and that the board “contracted with its own developer-management entity which has failed to satisfactorily maintain the non-potable water system for irrigation.” They also said there were numerous conflicts of interest.

In response to the recall effort, Hill said the Great Recession hit the development hard. He said that the district was in default for bond debt because the development was only half-built. Because of that, property tax revenue to pay off the bond was only half of what it was meant to be and could not cover the bond payments. 

Recall supporters had until Feb. 25 to collect 300 signatures in the district to get the recall on the ballot. They collected 378 signatures.

At the time the recall effort started, the board had four members—Hill, Ray, Garton, and Scott Green—and one vacant seat. Green resigned from the board in February 2021. The remaining board members appointed Erin Gallimore and Nicholas Viau—both members of the recall committee—to the vacant seats.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 231 recall efforts against 289 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

Additional reading:

Ballotpedia’s Mid-Year Recall Report (2021)

Recall campaigns in Colorado

Political recall efforts, 2021

Special district recalls



California secretary of state announces gubernatorial recall candidates must release tax records

On June 15, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced that candidates in an election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would be required to release five years’ worth of tax records to run. The California Supreme Court previously struck down portions of a 2019 law that pertained to presidential candidates but left the sections related to gubernatorial candidates.

The law specifies that it applies to candidates “on a direct primary election ballot.” Weber’s office ruled that it applied to the potential recall election, while Politico noted that several legal experts disagreed with Weber’s ruling and that candidates could file lawsuits in response.

Representatives for the campaigns of former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) and former Rep. Doug Ose (R) said the campaigns would comply with the ruling. A spokesperson for Newsom said that the governor would also release his records, even though the governor would not technically be a candidate on the recall ballot.

The state legislature approved and Newsom signed the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act in July 2019. It required candidates for president or governor to file copies of their IRS returns for the five most recent years at least 98 days before a primary election. In a November 2019 decision in Patterson v. Padilla, California Supreme CourtChief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye wrote for a unanimous court that the law was “in conflict with the Constitution’s specification of an inclusive open presidential primary ballot.”

Organizers of a campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) turned in 1,719,943 valid signatures, exceeding the 1,495,709 required to trigger a recall election. Organizers turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 filing deadline. Voters who signed the petition had until June 8 to request removal from the petition. The California secretary of state has until June 22 to verify that enough signatures remain to move the recall forward.



Virginia gubernatorial candidates seek to define themselves, one another as the general election begins

Campaigns for Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R) in the election for Governor of Virginia released new adsshortly after the major-party nominating contests came to a close in recent weeks.

Following Youngkin’s nomination on May 10, former Gov. McAuliffe released an ad titled “Virginia Forward” where he compared Youngkin to former President Donald Trump (R), saying, “Youngkin wants to bring Trump’s extremism to Virginia.” McAuliffe went on to say he would defend policies from his administration including the expansion of Medicaid, protections for reproductive rights, and the expansion of voting rights.

After McAuliffe won the Democratic primary on June 8, Youngkin released an ad titled “Time For Change” featuring one of McAuliffe’s Democratic primary opponents, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, criticizing the former governor’s tenure. At the end of the ad, Youngkin described himself as “a new kind of leader to bring a new day to Virginia.” A second ad—”A New Day”—reiterated this theme with Youngkin saying he would create jobs, improve education, and make communities more safe.

Two satellite groups—the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV)—also released ads following the nomination contests. The DGA associated Youngkin with Trump and said his main priority was, “telling the same Big Lie Trump tells about the last election and trying to restrict your right to vote in the next.” The RPV’s ad used a speech given by McAuliffe interspersed with a series of news clips from the previous eight years on topics including rates of violent crime, changes to public school curricula, and a transportation company’s decision to move out of Virginia.

A recent poll of 550 likely voters shows a close race. The poll, commissioned by CNanalytics and conducted by JMC Analytics, showed McAuliffe receiving support from 46% of respondents to Youngkin’s 42%, a difference within the poll’s ± 4.2 margin of error. The remaining 12% of the respondents were either undecided or did not respond. No third party candidates were included in the poll, though at least one candidate, Princess Blanding (I), will also appear on the general election ballot.

Every four years, the Virginia gubernatorial election is one of the first major statewide elections following the presidential election. Since 1977, the state has elected a governor from the opposite party of the president in every election except for 2013 when McAuliffe was elected governor following Barack Obama’s (D) re-election. In more recent years, Democrats have won four of the five most recent gubernatorial elections and all thirteen statewide elections in Virginia since 2012.

The gubernatorial election will determine Virginia’s trifecta status. Virginia became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 for the first time since 1994 after Democrats won majorities in the House of Delegates and the state Senate. A McAuliffe victory could continue the Democratic trifecta if Democrats also retain a majority in the House of Delegates. A Youngkin victory would make Virginia a divided government since the Democrat-controlled Senate is not holding elections this year.

Learn more about the Virginia gubernatorial election here.



Detroit to hold mayoral primary on Aug. 3

Ten candidates are running in a nonpartisan primary election for mayor of Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 3. Media coverage has focused on incumbent Mike Duggan and challengers Anthony Adams and Tom Barrow. Kiawana Brown, Myya Jones, Jasahn Larsosa, Charleta McInnis, Danetta Simpson, Art Tyus, and Dallias Wilcoxon are also running. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2.

Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) 55% to 45%. In 2017, he was reelected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) 71.6% to 27.8%.

Before becoming mayor, Duggan was president and CEO of Detroit Medical Center from 2004 to 2012. He was assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County from 1985 to 1986, deputy Wayne County executive from 1987 to 2000, and Wayne County prosecutor from 2000 to 2001. Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed (D) have endorsed Duggan. Duggan said that, if re-elected, he would “work every day to continue to make sure every neighborhood has a future and every Detroiter has a true opportunity to achieve your dreams.”

Adams is an attorney and was deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Adams said his “extensive leadership experience, unwavering commitment, and enlightened skill-set uniquely position him to move the city of Detroit forward” and he is “committed to serving the ordinary people of Detroit and not Special Interest Groups.”

Barrow is a practicing certified public accountant, led the civic group Citizens for Detroit’s Future, and was an advocate for changes to the municipal election system. This is Barrow’s fifth mayoral run and the second time he has competed against Duggan. In his four previous campaigns, Barrow advanced from the primary to the general election three times: in 1985, 1989, and 2009. Barrow said he would run a campaign based on local pride: “Detroit is in my DNA. Detroit is a city I love and respect deeply. People know that I care, that I will look out for them and will protect them and not allow them to be misused.”

Economic development and public safety have been major issues in the race. Duggan said he would work with the city council and manufacturers to bring more high-paying jobs into the city. Adams said he would support a universal basic income plan and an income-based water billing system and emphasized early intervention as a means to reduce crime. Barrow also supported a water affordability program for Detroit residents and said neighborhood revitalization projects should focus on a broader area and not just downtown.

The city of Detroit uses a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive. The mayor is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and committee members and overseeing the city’s day-to-day operations. The mayor also possesses veto powers, though the Detroit city charter establishes procedures whereby city council may override mayoral vetoes under certain circumstances.

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New York City primaries for mayor, city comptroller to be held on June 22

Primaries for the mayor and comptroller of New York City will be held on Tuesday, June 22. The winners will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.

Thirteen Democrats and two Republicans are running in the primaries for mayor of New York City. Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits.

The primary election will feature the first use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) for a mayoral primary in the city’s history. Voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference.

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

• 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

The top issues in this race are crime, policing, affordable housing, jobs, and healthcare.

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

De Blasio was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017 with 66% of the vote. Including de Blasio, four of the previous six mayors were Democrats.

The Democratic primary for New York City comptroller is also being held on June 22. Ten candidates are running for the office, whose duties include performing audits of city agencies and managing five public pension funds. As of March 2021, the funds totaled $253 billion in assets.

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

The Republican primary was canceled, and Daby Carreras advanced as the Republican nominee for New York City comptroller.

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