Taglocal elections

Voters approve Nebraska county supervisor recall election

A recall election against Doris Karloff (R), District 2 representative of the seven-member Saunders County Board of Supervisors in Nebraska, was held on Dec. 14. A majority of voters cast ballots in favor of the recall to remove Karloff from office.

The recall effort was started by Rhonda Carritt, a resident of Wahoo, Nebraska, which is represented by Karloff on the county board of supervisors. Carritt said Karloff was not representing “the best interests of the district.” Carritt confirmed with the Wahoo Newspaper that the recall was related to a solar farm project in the county among other things.

Karloff’s son went into contract with the company starting the solar farm. Because of that connection, Karloff said she abstained from all discussions on the permit and did not vote on any actions related to the solar farm. “I have tried to do my best to make sure that I was doing everything legally correct,” Karloff said.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had to collect 573 signatures in 30 days. Recall supporters submitted the signatures by the deadline, and the county verified 581 signatures, allowing the recall to be put on the ballot.

Karloff won re-election to a four-year term in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. She defeated three other Republicans in the primary on May 12, and she ran uncontested in the general election.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 165 recall efforts against 263 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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Pillsbury wins Dover City Council special election

The city of Dover, D.E., held a nonpartisan special election for District 1 on the city council on Nov. 16. The filing deadline for this election was Nov. 1.

Julia Pillsbury defeated Brandy Walker in the special election with 53.5% of the vote. According to unofficial results, Pillsbury received 272 votes to Walker’s 236. The special election was called after Matthew Lindell resigned from his seat on the nine-seat city council after deciding to move from the district. Lindell served from 2017 to 2021.

Dover is the capital city of Delaware and the second-largest city in the state. It had an estimated population of 39,403 in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Ballotpedia covers elections for mayor, city council, and district attorney in all capital cities in the U.S.

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Election results in Clallam County, Wa.

The cities of Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks, in Clallam County, Wa., held general elections for 26 municipal offices on Nov. 2. The primaries were held Aug. 3. The top two vote-getters in each race advanced to the general election. Races in which fewer than three candidates filed to run appeared only on the general election ballot.

Results of the races are pending. The Clallam County Auditor’s office releases updated vote totals on a daily basis until all ballots are counted. As of Nov. 5, the Auditor’s office estimated it had 50 ballots left to count and that it had counted a total of 27,045 ballots. Voter turnout was 47.31%.

Clallam County is located in the northwestern corner of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. It has the nation’s longest unbroken record of voting for the winning presidential candidate, going back to 1980. Since 1920, voters in the county backed the winning presidential candidate in every election except 1968 and 1976. 

Port Angeles

Port Angeles, the county seat, had eight offices up for election in 2021, including four city council seats and two seats on the school board. Six of those races were contested and two were uncontested. 

Incumbents were on the ballot in seven of the eight races, including in all four city council races. As of Nov. 5, all incumbents look to have won re-election. In two city council races, the margins separating the candidates are below 5% but the incumbents are leading in votes. 

Here are the results:

  • City Council Position No. 1: Incumbent LaTrisha Suggs faced challenger Adam Garcia. As of Nov. 5, Suggs leads Garcia by 2.54% (159 votes).
  • City Council Position No. 2: Incumbent Mike French defeated challenger John Madden, winning 58.92% of the vote to Madden’s 40.82%.
  • City Council Position No. 3: Incumbent Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin ran for re-election against challenger Jena Stamper. As of Nov. 5, Schromen-Wawrin leads Stamper by 1.87% (117 votes).
  • City Council Position No. 4: Incumbent Kate Dexter defeated challenger John W. Procter, winning 53.43% of the vote to Procter’s 46.28%.
  • School District Director Position No. 1: Incumbent Sarah Methner defeated challenger Lola Moses, winning 54.23% of the vote to Moses’ 44.97%.
  • School District Director Position No. 2: Mary Herbert defeated Gabi Johnson. Herbert won 56.98% of the vote to Johnson’s 42.64%.

Two seats up for election in Port Angeles in 2021 were uncontested: Port of Port Angeles Commissioner District No. 1 and Port of Port Angeles Commissioner District No. 2. Only the incumbents—Colleen McAleer and Steven Burke—filed to run. They were re-elected.


Sequim had eleven offices up for election, including five of seven city council seats. Seven of those races were contested.

Incumbents appeared on the ballot in eight races, including in all five city council races. Five incumbents won re-election. Incumbents lost in three of the five city council races. 

  • City Council Position No. 2: Challenger Kathy Downer defeated incumbent Sarah Kincaid, winning 69.61% of the vote to Kincaid’s 30.23%
  • City Council Position No. 3: Challenger Vicki L. Lowe defeated incumbent Mike Pence. She won 68.17% of the vote to Pence’s 31.71%.
  • City Council Position No. 4: Incumbent Rachel Anderson defeated challenger Daryl Ness, winning 67.63% of the vote to Ness’ 32.25%.
  • City Council Position No. 5: incumbent Brandon Janisse defeated challenger Patrick Day, winning 65.86% of the vote to Day’s 33.86%.
  • City Council Position No. 6: Lowell Rathbun defeated incumbent Keith A. Larkin. Rathbun won 65.28% of the vote to Larkin’s 34.57%.
  • School District Director at Large, Position No. 4: Kristi Schmeck defeated Virginia R. Sheppard. This race is a multi-county race that includes both Clallam County and Jefferson County. Schmeck won 55.93% of the overall vote, while Sheppard won 42.72%.
  • Fire District #3, Commissioner Position No. 1: Jeff Nicholas defeated Duane Chamlee. This race is a multi-county race that includes both Clallam County and Jefferson County. Nicholas won 64.78% of the overall vote, compared to Chamlee’s 34.82%.

Four races in Sequim were uncontested. The Sequim School District Director District No. 2 was the only one that didn’t feature an incumbent. Patrice Johnston was elected to that seat. In the other uncontested races—Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 1, Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 2, and Sunland Water District Commissioner Position No. 3—the incumbents won re-election. Those incumbents are Ray L. Henninger, Frank Pickering, and Alan Frank, respectively.


Seven offices were up for election in Forks. Three of those races were contested.

Incumbents appeared on the ballot in six races, two of which were contested. All incumbents won re-election in Forks. 

  • Forks City Council Position No. 2: Clinton W. Wood defeated Josef Echeita, winning 65.98% of the vote. Echeita won 33.86%.
  • Forks City Council Position No. 3: Incumbent Joe Soha defeated challenger Sarah Holmes. Soha won 66.99% of the vote to Holmes’ 32.03%.
  • Forks Mayor: Incumbent Tim Fletcher defeated challenger Steve Wright, winning 84.6% of the vote to Wright’s 12.7%.

Four races in Forks were uncontested—Quillayute Valley School District Director District No. 2, Quillayute Valley School District Director District No. 4, Quillayute Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Position No. 1, and Fire District #6 Position No. 3. The incumbents—Kevin Hinchen, Ron Hurn, Donald Grafstrom, and Tom Rosmond, respectively—won re-election.

To read more about elections in Clallam County, including analyses of the county’s presidential and statewide voting record, click here.

Bibb wins Cleveland mayoral race

Justin Bibb (D) defeated City Council President Kevin Kelley (D), to win the mayoral election in Cleveland, Ohio. This was the first mayoral election in Cleveland without an incumbent on the ballot since 2001.

Bibb, who is 34, will become the second-youngest mayor in Cleveland’s history. Describing his campaign, Bibb said, “now is the time for bold, new, dynamic, visionary leadership and not the failed politics and policies of the past.” Kelley, who has served on the city council since 2005, highlighted his experience, saying, “Every candidate will talk about change. The question is: who knows how to and who has a record of making change?”

Bibb’s victory marks the first time since the 1962 election of Ralph Locher (D) where Clevelanders have elected a mayor with no prior electoral experience.

Bibb received endorsements from former mayors Jane Campbell (D) and Michael White (D), who served from 2002 to 2006 and 1990 to 2002, respectively. He also received endorsements from Our Revolution Ohio and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

Seventeen of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population held general elections for mayor on Nov. 2. In total, 28 top-100 cities are electing mayors in 2021. Heading into election day, 63 top-100 mayors were affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 were affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, six identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and one mayor has not responded to inquiries about his partisan affiliation.

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Where things stand in Seattle’s elections

Seattle, Washington, held elections for mayor, two at-large city council seats, and city attorney on Nov. 2. Ballots needed to be postmarked by that day to be counted in the election. King County Elections will continue counting ballots until results are certified on Nov. 23.

The following are preliminary results reported on election night.


  1. Bruce Harrell: 65%
  2. Lorena González: 35%

City Council Position 8

  1. Teresa Mosqueda (incumbent): 53%
  2. Kenneth Wilson: 47%

City Council Position 9

  1. Sara Nelson: 60%
  2. Nikkita Oliver: 40%

City Attorney

  1. Ann Davison: 58.7%
  2. Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: 41.3%

According to The Seattle Times, “In Seattle races, ballots that arrive and are tallied later tend to favor left-lane candidates. In their crowded Aug. 3 primary, Harrell’s nine point lead over González on election night narrowed to less than two points by the time all of the votes were tabulated.”

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Wu wins Boston mayoral race

Michelle Wu defeated Annissa Essaibi George in the nonpartisan mayoral election in Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 2. As of 11:15 p.m. ET, Wu had 61% of the vote to Essaibi George’s 39%. Both candidates are at-large city councilors.

Wu called the race a “choice about whether City Hall tackles our biggest challenges with bold solutions or we nibble around the edges of the status quo.” She highlighted her prioritization of climate issues and her support for rent control to provide short-term relief for renters. Wu’s endorsers included The Boston Globe, Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and several unions.

Following the primary, Essaibi George said, “I want progress to be made — real progress — not just abstract ideas that we talk about. … Instead of just advocating and participating in academic exercises and having lovely conversations as mayor, I will do these things.” She emphasized her background as a teacher and her opposition to decreasing the police department budget. Essaibi George’s endorsers included The Boston Herald, former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, and several unions.

Former incumbent Marty Walsh left office in March 2021 to become secretary of labor in President Joe Biden’s (D) Cabinet. Kim Janey (District 7)—the city council president at the time—succeeded Walsh. Janey ran in the primary, placing fourth. Janey endorsed Wu in the general election.

The Boston Globe‘s Laura Crimaldi wrote, “Although census figures show about 65 percent of city residents identify as people of color, the upcoming election will be the first in Boston history that won’t result in a white man becoming mayor.” Wu’s parents immigrated from Taiwan.

Ken Welch wins St. Petersburg, Florida, mayoral election

Ken Welch defeated Robert Blackmon in the general election for mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida. This was the first open race for mayor of St. Petersburg since 2009. Welch, a Pinellas County Commissioner from 2000 to 2020, was endorsed by incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman (D). Though the race is officially nonpartisan, Welch is a registered Democrat. The last Republican to serve as mayor of St. Petersburg was Bill Foster from 2010 to 2014. 

Welch and Blackmon were the two top finishers in the Aug. 24 primary with 39.1% and 28.6% of the vote, respectively. They advanced to the general election since no candidate won more than 50% of the vote. 

According to campaign finance reports through Oct. 28, Welch raised $503,336 and spent $462,588, while Blackmon raised $307,990 and spent $291,526. 

St. Petersburg is one of 17 of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population that held general elections for mayor on Nov. 2. In total, 28 top-100 cities are electing mayors in 2021. Heading into election day, 63 top-100 mayors were affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 were affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, six identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and one mayor has not responded to inquiries about his partisan affiliation.

Voter registration deadline for Boston’s city elections is Oct. 13

Those who want to vote in Boston’s Nov. 2 city elections must be registered to do so by Wednesday, Oct. 13. Voters who have moved need to re-register with their current address. Bostonians may register online, by mail, or in person by bringing their form to Boston City Hall. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked on or before Oct. 13.

Boston will vote for mayor and 13 city council seats next month. Nine council seats are elected by district and four are elected citywide. Three council seats are uncontested. There are five open council seats up for election. Four city councilors ran in the Aug. 3 mayoral primary. The two who advanced to the general, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu, are at-large city councilors.

Boston will have its first elected female mayor after this year’s election. Acting Mayor Kim Janey is the first woman to hold the office. She succeeded Marty Walsh, who resigned to become secretary of labor in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet in March. Janey was city council president at the time.

Early in-person voting will take place from Oct. 23 to Oct. 29. Those wishing to vote by mail must return their postcard application for a mail-in ballot by Oct. 27.

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Denver voters to decide 13 ballot measures on Nov. 2, including 5 citizen initiatives

Thirteen ballot measures are on the ballot in Denver on Nov. 2, 2021. The Denver City Council referred eight of the measures to the ballot. The referrals include five bond measures totaling $450 million proposed by Mayor Michael Hancock. Initiative proponents put five measures on the ballot through signature petition drives. Two of the initiatives, Initiated Ordinances 303 and 304 were proposed by Garrett Flicker, chair of the Denver Republican Party.

Summaries of the 13 measures are below:

Initiated Ordinance 300: Increases the Denver retail marijuana sales tax (1.5% as of 2021) by $7 million annually to fund pandemic research, preparedness, and recovery

Initiated Ordinance 301: Requires voter approval for commercial or residential development on city parklands or lands under conservation easement

Initiated Ordinance 302: Amends the definition of “conservation easement” to apply only to those that have been approved by the Division of Conservation and that have received an income tax credit certificate; requires voter approval for residential or commercial construction on city parklands or property protected by a conservation easement with exceptions for limited construction on conservation easement properties

Initiated Ordinance 303: Bans camping on private property without written permission from the property owner, requires the city to enforce unauthorized camping, and allows the city to establish up to four authorized camping locations on public property with lighting, running water, and restroom facilities to support the homeless population of the city

Initiated Ordinance 304: Lowers the sales and use tax rate in Denver from 4.81% to 4.5% and limits the aggregate sales and use tax in Denver to 4.5%; requires the city to reduce sales and use taxes if Denver voters approve other tax increases to maintain the 4.5% cap

Referred Question 2A: Authorizes Denver to issue $104.04 million in bonds for repairs, improvements, and additions to the Denver Facilities System, such as at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Zoo

Referred Question 2B: Authorizes Denver to issue $38.6 million in bonds for repairs, improvements, and additions to the Denver Housing and Sheltering System

Referred Question 2C: Authorizes Denver to issue $63.32 million in bonds for repairs, improvements, and additions (such as a new walkway in downtown Denver) to the Denver Transportation and Mobility System

Referred Question 2D: Authorizes $54.07 million in bonds for repairs, improvements, and additions to the Denver Parks and Recreation System

Referred Question 2E: Authorizes Denver to issue $190 million in bonds for repairs, improvements, and additions (such as a new multi-use arena for concerts and sporting events) to the National Western Campus Facilities System

Referred Question 2F: Repeals Ordinance No. 2020-0888, known as the Group Living Ordinance, which amended the Denver Zoning Code and regulations concerning residential care facilities, corrections facilities locations, and the number of unrelated adults who can live together in one house

Referred Question 2G: Transfers the power to appoint the Independent Monitor to The Office of the Independent Monitor, which is responsible for disciplinary investigations concerning the Denver police and sheriff’s departments, from the mayor to the Citizen Oversight Board

Referred Question 2H: Changes the odd-year general election date for Denver from the first Tuesday of May to the first Tuesday in April

Ballots are set to be mailed to Colorado voters beginning on Oct. 8. Ballots must be received by the Denver Elections Division by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 2). The Elections Division recommends mailing ballots out by Oct. 25 to ensure they will be received by the deadline or dropping them off at one of the 24-hour ballot drop boxes located throughout the city, which opened on Oct. 8. In-person polling places in Denver will begin opening on Oct. 18. Voters in line by 7 p.m. on election day will be able to vote.

In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering local measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and all state capitals, including those outside of the top 100 largest cities. Ballotpedia is also covering all local ballot measures in California.

Denver voters will also see the three statewide initiatives that were certified for the Nov. 2 ballot.

  • Proposition 119 would create an out-of-school education program and increase the marijuana sales tax rate to partially fund the program.
  • Proposition 120 would reduce property tax rates and authorize the state to retain $25 million in revenue above the state’s TABOR spending cap for five years, which it would otherwise be required to refund to taxpayers.
  • Amendment 78 would transfer the power to appropriate custodial funds (state revenue not generated through taxes) from the state treasurer to the state legislature.

Measures that can go on the statewide ballot in Colorado during odd years are limited to topics that concern taxes or state fiscal matters arising under TABOR, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

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Sequim: The longest-tenured officeholders up for re-election in Sequim, Wash.

Six incumbents are running for re-election in Sequim, Wash., in the Nov. 2 general election. In total, eleven offices are up for election in the city.

In Sequim, three of those incumbents are city councilmembers, two are port commissioners, and one is on the Port Angeles School Board.

  • Sarah Kincaid, Sequim City Council Position No. 2
  • Mike Pence, Sequim City Council Position No. 3
  • Rachel Anderson, Sequim City Council Position No. 4
  • Ray L. Henninger, Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 1
  • Frank Pickering, Park and Recreation Commissioner Position No. 2
  • Alan Frank, Sunland Water District Commissioner Position No. 3

Park and Recreation Commissioner Frank Pickering is the longest-serving incumbent running for re-election in Sequim. Pickering was first elected in 2013, and re-elected in 2017. He is running unopposed in the general election for the No. 2 seat.

Park and Recreation Commissioner Ray Henninger is the next longest-serving incumbent running for re-election in Sequim. He was appointed to the position on Oct. 10, 2018, after the previous incumbent retired. Henninger, like fellow commissioner Pickering, will not face a challenger in the general election.

Sunland Water District Commissioner Alan Frank was appointed to the position on Jan. 1, 2020. He is running unopposed in the general election.

Sequim city councilmembers Pence and Kincaid were both appointed on April 27, 2020. Pence is running against challenger Vicki L. Lowe, while Kincaid is running against challenger Kathy Downer. Councilmember Anderson was appointed on February 16, 2021. She is running against Daryl Ness.

Five races in Sequim— two school board seats, two city council seats, and one seat on Fire District #3— do not feature an incumbent.

Sequim is located in Clallam County, Wash. Clallam County is holding municipal elections in its three cities— Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks. Twenty-six offices are up for election in those cities. In 19 of those races, an incumbent is running for re-election.

To read more about elections in Clallam County, click here.