Taglocal elections

Incumbents advance in Wichita City Council primary races

Voters in Wichita, Kan., held a nonpartisan primary election on Aug. 3 for two seats on the city council. The general election will be held on Nov. 2.

Of the three city council seats on the ballot in 2021, only two required a primary election. In the race that did not require a primary election, District 1 incumbent Brandon Johnson and Myron Ackerman will face off in the general election. Johnson was elected to the city council in 2017.

In the District 3 race, incumbent Jared Cerullo and Mike Hoheisel advanced past the primary by defeating Jason Carmichael, Jerome Crawford, Ian Demory, Cindy Miles, and Tevin Smith. According to unofficial results, Cerullo and Hoheisel received 29% and 27% of the vote, respectively. Cerullo was appointed to the city council in March 2021 to replace James Clendenin. Clendenin resigned on Dec. 31, 2020, after being censured for his role in an attempt to falsely accuse Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple (D) of sexual harassment.

In the District 6 primary, incumbent Cindy Claycomb and Maggie Ballard defeated Martin Garcia, Loren John Hermreck, Dereck Reynolds, and Andy Speck. Claycomb received 41% of the vote, and Ballard received 44%. Claycomb was elected to the city council in 2017.

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and the 49th-largest city in the U.S. by population. It had an estimated population of 389,938 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 68 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Filing deadline approaches to run for municipal office in Minneapolis, St. Paul

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota is on Aug. 10. Prospective candidates may file for:

The nonpartisan general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Elections for all five offices will use ranked choice-voting. A ranked-choice voting system is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are, respectively, the first- and second-largest cities in Minnesota, and the 46th- and 65th-largest in the U.S. by population.



Two races to be decided in Aug. 3 primary in Topeka, Kan.

The nonpartisan primary for Kansas’ capital city, Topeka, is on Aug. 3. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on June 1.

Candidates filed for mayor and Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of the city council. Mayor Michelle De La Isla is not seeking re-election. Five candidates filed to replace her: Daniel Brown, Leo Cangiani, Patrick Klick, John Lauer, and Mike Padilla.

Municipal primaries in Kansas are canceled if three or fewer candidates file for each seat. District 3 is the only city council district to appear on the primary ballot after five candidates filed for the seat; all other city council seats automatically advanced to the general election.

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. Please note that there may be more offices on the ballot in this capital city than those listed above. 

Ballotpedia is also covering the primaries in Wichita, Kan., scheduled for the same day.

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Primary election set for Aug. 3 in Tucson, Arizona

The municipal primary in Tucson, Arizona, is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2021. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on April 5.

Candidates filed for three seats on the six-seat city council. In Ward 3, Kevin Dahl will face Juan Padres in the Democratic primary. In the Ward 6 Democratic primary, Andres Portela and Miranda Schubert are challenging incumbent Steve Kozachik. No Republican candidates qualified for the ballot in these races, but voters can still choose to write in a candidate’s name.

Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona and the 33rd-largest city in the United States by population.

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Recall effort to move forward in Avon, Colorado

A recall election against Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilwoman Tamra Underwood is expected to be on the ballot in November 2021. The recall effort was initiated in August 2020 in response to the Avon Town Council deciding to leave in place a 2% real estate transfer tax, which collects $2.5 million annually.

Recall organizers had until Oct. 12, 2020, to submit 496 valid signatures for each official. There were about 600 signatures submitted against Hymes and Underwood on the day of the deadline. On Oct. 19, Avon Town Clerk Brenda Torres announced that not enough valid signatures had been submitted. Torres found 425 signatures valid in the recall effort against Underwood. There were 445 signatures validated for the Hymes recall.

Recall organizers and town officials disputed the number of signatures required for the recall effort. Torres’ calculations had undervotes counting towards the signature requirement. An undervote occurs when the number of choices selected by a voter in an election is less than the maximum number allowed for that election. An undervote also occurs when no vote is cast. Including undervotes put the signature requirement at 496 signatures, while leaving out the undervotes dropped that number down to 330 signatures.

On June 23, District Court Judge Russell Granger ruled that enough signatures had been submitted against Hymes and Underwood to put the recall elections on the ballot. The following day, members of the Avon Town Council voted 3-2 to appeal Granger’s decision. After holding a public discussion on July 13, the appeal was withdrawn with a 3-2 vote in the town council. The recall election can be scheduled after a certificate of sufficiency is submitted. Town officials expect that certificate to be filed ahead of the town council meeting on Aug. 10.

In response to the recall effort, Hymes said, “Two of the people involved in this recall ran for election last time. They could have run candidates in the 2020 election, but they didn’t think they could succeed, so they’re choosing this backdoor way. They are wasting an enormous amount of town resources in pursuit of this.”

Underwood said about the recall effort, “I essentially find it nothing but an intimidation and bullying tool to discourage people from running for council in Avon, in particular female people running for council in Avon.”

Councilwoman Amy Phillips was also targeted for recall, but that effort was found invalid because Phillips was up for re-election in November 2020.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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Recent polls, satellite spending in Seattle’s mayoral and council races

Seattle voters have just over one week to cast their ballots in the Aug. 3 top-two primaries. A poll released July 16 showed a plurality of voters unsure who they’d choose for mayor and the two at-large city council seats. The Northwest Progressive Institute poll, conducted by Change Research, showed 32% undecided for the mayoral race, 50% undecided for the position 9 council seat, and 55% undecided for the position 8 seat. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 4.3 percentage points.

In the mayoral primary, 20% of respondents said they supported former council president Bruce Harrell, 12% said they supported current council president Lorena González, and 10% backed Chief Seattle Club executive director Colleen Echohawk. The 12 other candidates running received less than 10% support among poll respondents.

For the position 9 council seat, attorney and Creative Justice executive director Nikkita Oliver received 26% support, Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson received 11%, and González’s chief of staff Brianna Thomas received 6%, with the four other candidates polling at 3% or less.

For the position 8 council seat, incumbent Teresa Mosqueda polled at 26%, with Kate Martin at 6%, nine other candidates below that percentage, and 55% unsure.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission reported more than $600,000 in satellite spending toward the mayoral race as of July 21:

  • Essential Workers for Lorena had spent $430,000 supporting González; 
  • Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future had spent $120,000 supporting Harrell; and 
  • Seattle United for Progressive Change had spent $70,000 supporting Farrell. 

The Progressive Equity PAC had spent $21,000 supporting Thomas in the position 9 council election.

Total satellite spending for the 2017 election cycle—the last time the city held elections for the two at-large council seats and for mayor—was around $1.3 million. In 2019, when the seven district council seats were up for election, satellite spending topped $4 million.



Seattle city attorney primary to take place August 3, 2021

Incumbent Pete Holmes, Ann Davison, and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy are running in a nonpartisan primary election for city attorney of Seattle, Washington, on August 3, 2021. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021. According to a survey conducted by Crosscut, a nonprofit news site, the top issues for voters are housing and homelessness, police and public safety, taxes and the economy, and urban planning and transportation.

Holmes won re-election in 2017 against challenger Scott Lindsay with 75% of the vote. In a poll conducted by Change Research for the Northwest Progressive Institute from July 12 through July 15, 53% of voters were undecided in the race. Sixteen percent of respondents backed Holmes, 14% back Davison, and 14% back Thomas-Kennedy. The poll’s margin of error was 4.3%.

As of July 19, Holmes led in fundraising with $92,691, followed by Thomas-Kennedy with $16,102 and Davison with $7,014.

After attending Yale College and the University of Virginia School of Law, Holmes worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council and was a business litigation attorney before being elected city attorney in 2009. According to the Fuse Progressive Voters Guide, which endorsed Holmes, his priorities are “passing stronger gun laws, reducing excessive force on the part of the Seattle Police Department, vacating marijuana charges, and keeping people housed post-pandemic, among other policies.” Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz (D), State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti (D), King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and a number of state senators and representatives also endorsed Holmes.

Davison is a Seattle attorney and arbitrator and attended Willamette University College of Law and Baylor University. Davison said the city needs “balanced leadership that makes us smart on crime: proactive not reactive” and said she would “focus on improving efficiencies within division in regards to zoning” and “transform existing Mental Health Court to specialized Behavioral Health Court for cases that involve mental health, substance use disorder or dual diagnosis.” Former governor Dan Evans (R), former King County Prosecutor Chris Bayley (R), former Seattle Municipal Judge Ed McKenna, and the Seattle Times endorsed Davison.

Thomas-Kennedy is a former public defender and criminal and eviction attorney and attended Seattle Community College, the University of Washington, and Seattle University School of Law. She is running on a platform of decriminalizing poverty, community self-determination, green infrastructure, and ending homeless sweeps. Her campaign website says “Every year the City Attorney chooses to prosecute petty offenses born out of poverty, addiction and disability. These prosecutions are destabilizing, ineffective, and cost the City millions each year.” The Seattle newspaper The Stranger endorsed Thomas-Kennedy.

In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City’s management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.

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Candidate filing deadline to pass on July 26 in Hialeah, Fla.

Candidates interested in running for mayor and three city council seats in Hialeah, Fla., have until July 26 to file. The primary election will be held on Nov. 2. If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the primary election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a general election. The general election, if necessary, will be held on Nov. 16.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández is ineligible to run for re-election in 2021 due to term limits. He has served as the city’s mayor since 2011. Mayoral elections in Hialeah are nonpartisan, but media outlets have reported that Hernandez is affiliated with the Republican Party.

The city council seats currently held by Group V incumbent Carl Zogby, Group VI incumbent Paul Hernandez, and Group VII incumbent Katharine Cue-Fuente are on the ballot in 2021. Zogby has served on the city council since 2017. Hernandez was appointed to the city council in 2010, and Cue-Fuente was appointed in 2008. Cue-Fuente is ineligible to run for another term due to term limits.

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida. It had an estimated population of 233,339 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 68 cities, including 40 mayoral elections.

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Dane County holds special election July 13

The special election for Dane County Board of Supervisors District 19 in Wisconsin is on July 13, 2021. A primary was scheduled for June 15, but it was not needed. The filing deadline to run passed on May 21. Two candidates, Kristen Morris and Timothy Rockwell, are on the ballot.

The special election became necessary when Teran Peterson resigned from the board on April 30 after moving out of the district.

The District 19 race is the third special election to the Dane County Board of Supervisors since the board’s last regular election on April 7, 2020. A fourth special election to the board will be held for District 20 on Aug. 10. All 37 board of supervisor seats will be up for regular election in April 2022.

Dane County had a population of 516,284 in 2014, according to the United States Census Bureau. 

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Voters to decide Concord City Council special election on July 13

The city of Concord, New Hampshire, is holding a nonpartisan special election on July 13 for Ward 4 on the city council. The filing deadline for the special election passed on May 14. The winner of the special election will have to run for re-election in Nov. to retain the seat.

Edith Chiasson, Karen McNamara, and Connor Spern are facing off in the special election. The special election became necessary after Meredith Hatfield resigned from her seat in April to move out of Concord. She had served on the city council since she won a special election for Ward 4 in June 2019.

Concord is the third-largest city in New Hampshire. It had an estimated population of 43,627 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Ballotpedia will also be covering the Concord mayoral race and 12 city council seats on the Nov. 2 ballot. The filing deadline for those races is Sept. 13. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.

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