Pureval, Mann advance to general election for Cincinnati mayor

Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval and councilman and former mayor David Mann advanced from the May 4 primary for mayor of Cincinnati. The two will meet in the general election on Nov. 2. The other four candidates in the primary election were Gavi Begtrup, Herman Najoli, Raffel Prophett, and Cecil Thomas.

Pureval received 39.1% of the vote and Mann received 29.1%. Thomas received 16.4%, Begtrup received 9.6%, Prophett received 3.5%, and Najoli received 2.3%.

Although the elections for and position of the mayor are officially nonpartisan, the candidates running were affiliated with political parties. Both Pureval and Mann are Democrats. The last Republican to serve as mayor was Willis Gradison, who left office in 1971.

The mayor serves as the city’s chief executive and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, and appointing departmental directors. He or she presides over council meetings, proposes legislation for discussion, and holds the power to appoint or remove committee heads, but does not have the authority to vote. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels.

Austin voters approve five of eight measures, including a sit-lie ordinance, changes to police oversight office, ranked-choice voting

On May 1, voters in Austin approved five measures and defeated three.

Proposition A was approved 81% to 19%. It requires the city and firefighters association to participate in binding arbitration.

Proposition B was approved 58% to 42%. It prohibits and creates criminal penalties for sitting, lying down, sleeping outdoors, and soliciting money at certain times and in certain areas of the city.

Proposition C was approved 63% to 37%. It gave the city council authority to determine who appoints the Office of Police Oversight. Currently, the director of the Office of Police Oversight is appointed by and reports to the city manager. Proponents of Proposition C said that it would allow the city council to make the office more independent.

Proposition D was approved 66.5% to 33.5%. It moves mayoral elections to presidential election years.

Proposition E was approved 58% to 42%. It establishes ranked-choice voting for city elections if ranked-choice voting is allowed by state law. Currently, Texas cities hold runoff elections when no candidate reaches the required majority vote threshold for victory. According to the Austin Law Department, ranked-choice voting is not permitted under Texas state law. A spokesperson for the department said, “Ranked-choice voting would not be implemented in Austin until or unless the Texas Constitution was amended and/or until the state Legislature amended the Texas Election Code to allow it.”

Proposition F was defeated 14% to 86%. It would have changed the city from a council-manager system, with the city manager as the chief executive officer, to a strong mayor-council system, with the mayor as the chief executive officer.

Proposition G was defeated 43% to 57%. It would have added a city council member and a new council district. Proposition F and G were designed to work together to keep the city council the same size since the mayor is currently a member of the city council but Proposition F would have removed the mayor from the city council.

Proposition H was defeated 43% to 57%. It would have created a public campaign finance system that provided up to two $25 vouchers to each registered voter to contribute to the campaigns of any qualified candidate.

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Ballotpedia covering elections across 22 counties and 70 cities in 2021

Ballotpedia covers local elections in America’s 100 largest cities by population and in the counties that overlap those cities. 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. 

In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 70 cities, including 43 mayoral elections. Click here for more information!

Costa Constantinides resigns from New York City Council

Costa Constantinides resigned from the New York City Council on April 9 after announcing he would leave to take a position as CEO of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens on March 31. Constantinides had served as the District 22 representative since 2013. His current term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021.

The New York City Council is the city’s primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, overseeing the use of municipal properties, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies, and ordinances.

The New York City Council is composed of 51 members, each of whom are elected in partisan elections by the city’s fifty-one districts. The current partisan composition is 45 Democrats and three Republicans with three vacancies. The city’s charter requires Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) to schedule a special election to fill the vacancy left by Constantinides’ departure.

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District court allows recall effort against New Mexico county commissioner to move forward

New Mexico Twelfth District Judge Manuel Arrieta ruled in favor of an effort to recall Couy Griffin (R) from his position as the District 2 representative on the Otero County Commission on April 8. If Griffin does not appeal the decision to a higher court, recall supporters will be given 90 days to collect approximately 1,661 signatures to get the recall on the ballot. 

New Mexico allows recalls at the county level for “malfeasance or misfeasance in office or violation of the oath of office by the official concerned.” Those actions must have occurred during the official’s current term of office in order for a recall effort to be approved to circulate petitions.

Recall supporters said Griffin had used the office for personal gain. Griffin said the allegations against him were baseless and politically motivated.

Griffin, who founded the organization Cowboys for Trump, was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17, for his alleged role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,” according to the Alamogordo Daily News. Griffin was released from federal prison on Feb. 5.

After Griffin was arrested, District 1 Commissioner Gerald Matherly (R) and District 3 Commissioner Vickie Marquardt (R) called for his resignation as did New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas (D). Griffin said he would not resign. He said he was accused of crimes but not convicted. “I just want those that have already come to the conclusion that I’m guilty, I just again ask you to put the brakes on a little bit and let the legal process take place,” Griffin said.

Griffin was elected to the three-member commission in 2018, defeating Democratic candidate Christopher S. Jones with 65% of the vote.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 226 recall efforts against 272 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.

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