TagMayoral elections

Eight candidates running for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida

Eight candidates are running in the general election for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, on March 21, 2023. All candidates run in the general election regardless of party affiliation. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff on May 16, 2023.

Donna Deegan (D), Audrey Gibson (D), LeAnna Cumber (R), Daniel Davis (R), and Al Ferraro (R) have led the field in media coverage and fundraising. Incumbent Mayor Lenny Curry (R) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

The Florida Times-Union’s Nate Monroe wrote that Jacksonville’s mayoral election system is “a recipe that complicates conventional electoral math and can lead to surprises, and it makes larger fields with multiple viable candidates, as this year appears to feature, difficult to handicap.”

Deegan and Gibson are the only two Democrats who filed to run. Deegan is a philanthropist, author, and local television news anchor. Gibson represented Jacksonville in the Florida State Senate from 2016 to 2022, after serving in the Florida House of Representatives from 2002 to 2010.

Cumber, Davis, and Ferarro represent three of the four Republicans who filed to run. Cumber is a business owner and member of the Jacksonville City Council, representing District 5. Davis is the chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. Ferraro is a business owner and member of the Jacksonville City Council, representing District 2.

Frank Keasler (R), Omega Allen (I), and write-in candidate Brian Griffin (I) are also running.

Jacksonville has had a Republican mayor since Curry was first elected in 2015, making it the most populous American city represented by a Republican mayor. In 2015, Curry defeated then-incumbent Alvin Brown (D) 51% to 49% in the May runoff election. The 2019 mayoral election was decided in the March general election, with Curry receiving 58% of the vote over Anna Lopez Brosche’s (R) 24%, Omega Allen’s (I) 11%, and Jimmy Hill’s (R) 8%.

As of January 2023, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 62 Democrats, 26 Republicans, three independents, and seven nonpartisans. Two mayors’ partisan affiliations were unknown. Based on 2020 population estimates, 76.1% of the population of the top 100 cities lived in cities with Democratic mayors, and 16.23% lived in cities with Republican mayors at the start of 2022.



Four top-100 mayoral offices changed party control in 2022

Twenty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population held mayoral elections in 2022. Mayoral offices changed partisan control in four of those races, resulting in no net change in the number of offices held by Republicans and Democrats. Once all mayors elected in 2022 are sworn in, Democrats will hold 62 top-100 mayoral offices, Republicans will hold 26, independents will hold three, and nonpartisan mayors will hold seven. One current mayor and one mayor-elect have not responded to Ballotpedia’s inquiries about their partisan affiliation.

Mayoral offices in the following cities flipped as a result of the 2022 elections:

  • In Anaheim, California, Ashleigh Aitken (D) defeated Acting Mayor Trevor O’Neil (R) and two other candidates on Nov. 8. Former mayor Harry Sidhu (R) resigned in May 2022.
  • In Chula Vista, California, City Councilman John McCann (R) defeated Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) in the election to succeed term-limited mayor Mary Salas (D) on Nov. 8.
  • In Henderson, Nevada, Michelle Romero (R) was elected to succeed incumbent Debra March (D), who ran for lieutenant governor of Nevada. Romero won the June 14 primary outright with 76% of the vote.
  • In North Las Vegas, Nevada, City Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown (D) defeated state Sen. Patricia Spearman (D) in the election to succeed outgoing mayor John J. Lee (R) on Nov. 8. Lee was first elected mayor in 2013 as a Democrat and switched parties in 2021.

In Laredo, Texas, Victor Treviño defeated Mercurio Martinez III in the Dec. 17 runoff to succeed outgoing mayor Pete Saenz (I). Ballotpedia has not been able to determine Treviño’s partisan affiliation.

In cities where mayoral elections are nonpartisan, Ballotpedia uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.



Eleven candidates running for mayor of Chicago in 2023

Eleven candidates are running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois, in the February 28, 2023, general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place on April 4, 2023. The filing deadline for this election was November 28, 2022.

Incumbent Lori Lightfoot, Jesus Garcia, and Brandon Johnson have received the most media attention and endorsements. The other candidates are Kambium Buckner, Frederick Collins, Ja’Mal Green, Sophia King, Johnny Logalbo, Roderick Sawyer, Paul Vallas, and Willie Wilson.

Lightfoot was elected mayor in 2019. Lightfoot won 17.5% of the vote in a 14-candidate field in the general election. In the runoff, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle 74% to 26%. Lightfoot has campaigned on her record as mayor, saying she “led the city through the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic with tough, fair leadership — all while keeping or overdelivering on campaign promises.” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis (D), Robin Kelly (D), and Bobby Rush (D), two city aldermen, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Lightfoot. Lightfoot is affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Garcia was elected to the U.S. House as a Democrat in 2018. Before serving in Congress, he was a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Illinois Senate, and the Chicago City Council. Garcia said his time at multiple levels of government would help him serve as mayor. “Mark my words: my values and my commitment to build a better, more inclusive Chicago has never waivered. I’m the only candidate in the race with the experience of serving the city at every level of government,” he said. Four members of the state legislature, two city aldermen, and three railroad unions endorsed Garcia.

Johnson was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners as a Democrat in 2018. He was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools and an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). Johnson highlighted his experience in education and said he is “the only candidate who has been a leader in our communities in the fights for fully funded public schools, affordable housing, green jobs and access to mental health care.” U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez (D), two city aldermen, the CTU, and Service Employees International Union endorsed Johnson.

Although elections are officially nonpartisan, candidates are typically affiliated with one of the major political parties. Among the candidates, there are eight affiliated with the Democratic Party, one affiliated with the Republican Party, and two independents. The last Republican mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, left office in 1931.



Watson defeats Israel in Austin mayoral runoff election

Photo of the skyline of Austin, Texas

Kirk Watson defeated Celia Israel in the December 13, 2022, nonpartisan general runoff election for mayor of Austin, Texas. Watson received 50.4% of the vote to Israel’s 49.6%.

According to KUT Public Media‘s Audrey McGlinchy, “Tuesday’s race was tight. Israel beat out Watson by just 17 votes among Travis County voters, which represent the vast majority of Austin. But in Williamson and Hays counties, where just a fraction of Austinites live, voters went overwhelmingly for Watson, ultimately helping him clinch the race. He won by the smallest margin in an Austin mayoral race since at least the late 1960s, according to election records.”

Israel and Watson, who have both served in the state legislature as Democrats, were the top-two vote-getters in the Nov. 8, 2022, general election. Israel received 40% of the vote and Watson received 35% of the vote. To win, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote. Incumbent Stephen Adler did not run for re-election.

Watson served in the Texas State Senate, representing District 14 as a Democrat, from 2007 to 2020. He served as the mayor of Austin from 1997 to 2001. Watson ran his record as mayor, saying, “I have a proven record of success in getting big things done for Austin and we’re in a point in time we’re no longer becoming a big city — we’re a big city and we need to do big things.” Watson’s campaign focused on housing affordability. Watson proposed changing the city’s development review process to make it faster to build more housing and temporarily halving development fees. Watson’s housing policy plan includes a plank to allow City Council members to propose district-specific housing policies: “What my plan does is it says ‘let’s ask the districts what they want to do in order to get us more housing,’ not to block off any housing.” Watson has also campaigned on expanding childcare options and improving transportation.

Israel serves in the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 50 as a Democrat. She assumed office in 2014. Israel said, “I have a reputation for having an open door and open mind, and I have the experience and tenacious leadership to help us find common ground at every opportunity.” Israel made housing affordability a central focus of her campaign. Israel said the city should use its unutilized public space to build more housing: “Austin could be doing more with its public space. It owns 6,000 tracts of land. That could be teacher housing, 911 operator housing, police housing.” Israel also campaigned on providing rental relief to renters, reducing parking requirements and increasing density, and making it easier for people to build accessory dwelling units on their property. Israel’s campaign has also focused on transportation and mobility, including pushing to “create bus lanes, and build protected bike lanes and sidewalks so everyone has a safe, affordable, and pollution-free option of moving around Austin.”

Israel and Watson disagreed on how to spend a $250 million housing bond voters approved on November 8, 2022. Israel said the city should “partner with a nonprofit who’s going to work to take our unhoused off the streets first and put them in a dignified place.” Watson said, “So one of my priorities would be to work with the private industry, the private developers as they’re developing their projects, bring in that public money, so we would be able to together be able to buy down those units.”

The winner of the 2022 election will serve a two-year term, instead of the traditional four. In 2021, Austin voters approved Proposition D, a measure aligning mayoral elections with presidential election years. Following the 2024 election, the mayor will serve a four-year term.

Austin has a Democratic mayor. As of December 2022, 64 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 24 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, seven identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and one mayor’s affiliation is unknown. While most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party.

The city of Austin utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives.



Karen Bass, Rick Caruso advance to general in Los Angeles mayoral election

Karen Bass and Rick Caruso advanced from the nonpartisan primary for mayor of Los Angeles, California, on June 7, 2022. Since neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the two will participate in a November 8 general election. Incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti could not run for re-election due to term limits. Since 1933, every open election for Los Angeles mayor has advanced to a general election.

At the time the race was called, Caruso had received 41% of the vote and Bass had received 38%.

The New York Times’ Jennifer Medina wrote that the race “has focused on voters’ worries about public safety and homelessness in the nation’s second-largest city” and could “become a test of whether voters this year favor an experienced politician who has spent nearly two decades in government or an outsider running on his business credentials.”

Speaking to Axios, Caruso Senior Advisor Peter Ragone said, “Los Angeles is in a crisis: Homeless, crime and corruption are uncontrolled. This is a moment for someone like Rick to come in and clean up City Hall.” Bass spokeswoman Anna Bahr said, “Voters have a choice in this race — between a billionaire real estate developer who has never built a single unit of affordable housing despite 50,000 people living on our streets, and a Black community organizer who has spent her life running toward this city’s crises and solving them.”

Regarding public safety, a Caruso campaign ad said, “As Police Commission president, [Caruso] took on city hall politicians and cut crime 30%. As mayor, Caruso won’t defund the police. He’ll invest in making L.A. safer with 1,500 new officers, increase youth crime prevention, and crack down on illegal guns and retail theft.”

Bass said she would invest in programs to address causes of crime, establish an Office of Community Safety “to develop a neighborhood-specific strategy to re-envision public safety, and ensure that the needs of individual communities are met,” and hire police officers and civilian workers in police departments to add 250 officers to patrol.

Caruso is the founder and chief executive officer of a retail complex development company. He also served on Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power Commission, as the president of Los Angeles’ Police Commission, and on the USC Board of Trustees.

Bass was first elected to public office in 2004 to serve in the California State Assembly. She served in the Assembly from 2005 to 2010 and was speaker from 2008 to 2010. Bass was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and currently represents California’s 37th Congressional District.

Craig Greiwe, Alex Gruenenfelder, John Jackson, Andrew Kim, Gina Viola, Mel Wilson, and Kevin de León also ran in the primary. Joe Buscaino unofficially withdrew from the race on May 12 and endorsed Caruso, Mike Feuer unofficially withdrew on May 17 and endorsed Bass, and Ramit Varma unofficially withdrew on May 23 and endorsed Caruso. Buscaino, Feuer, and Varma still appeared on the primary ballot.

This is the first even-year election for Los Angeles mayor since the 2015 passage of Charter Amendment 1, which shifted city elections to even-numbered years beginning in 2020.



Nine candidates running in Los Angeles’ mayoral primary election

Nine candidates are running in the June 7, 2022, primary for mayor of Los Angeles, California. Incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) could not run for re-election due to term limits.

Karen Bass (D) and Rick Caruso (D) have led the field in media coverage and fundraising. Though the election is officially nonpartisan, both candidates are registered Democrats. Caruso announced he changed his party registration from no party preference to Democrat in January 2022. Bass has held elected office as a Democrat since 2005.

Bass was first elected to public office in 2004 to serve in the California State Assembly. She served in the Assembly from 2005 to 2010 and was speaker from 2008 to 2010. Bass was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and currently represents California’s 37th Congressional District. In a campaign ad, Bass said, “I’m running for mayor to meet today’s challenges: crime, homelessness, and the soaring cost of housing.”

Caruso is the founder and chief executive officer of a retail complex development company. He has also served on Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power Commission, as the president of Los Angeles’ Police Commission, and on the USC Board of Trustees. In a campaign ad, Caruso said, “I’m running for mayor because the city we love is in a state of emergency: rampant homelessness, people living in fear for their safety, and politicians at city hall just in it for themselves.”

Public safety has been a top issue in the race. A Caruso campaign ad said, “As Police Commission president, [Caruso] took on city hall politicians and cut crime 30%. As mayor, Caruso won’t defund the police. He’ll invest in making L.A. safer with 1,500 new officers, increase youth crime prevention, and crack down on illegal guns and retail theft.” 

Bass said she would hire police officers and civilian workers in police departments to add at least 250 officers to patrol, invest in programs to address causes of crime, and establish an Office of Community Safety “to develop a neighborhood-specific strategy to re-envision public safety, and ensure that the needs of individual communities are met.”

Craig Greiwe, Alex Gruenenfelder, John Jackson, Andrew Kim, Gina Viola, Mel Wilson, and Kevin de León are also running in the primary. Joe Buscaino unofficially withdrew from the race on May 12 and endorsed Caruso, Mike Feuer unofficially withdrew on May 17 and endorsed Bass, and Ramit Varma unofficially withdrew on May 23 and endorsed Caruso. Buscaino, Feuer, and Varma will still appear on the primary ballot.

A candidate can win the election outright with more than 50% of the vote in the primary. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two vote-getters will advance to a November 8 general election. Since 1933, every open election for Los Angeles mayor has advanced to a general election. Heading into the election, the last time a candidate won an open election for mayor outright in the primary was in 1929. 

This is the first even-year election for Los Angeles mayor since the 2015 passage of Charter Amendment 1, which shifted city elections to even-numbered years beginning in 2020.



Nine candidates running in Los Angeles’ mayoral primary election

Nine candidates are running in the June 7, 2022, primary for mayor of Los Angeles, California. Incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) could not run for re-election due to term limits.

Karen Bass (D) and Rick Caruso (D) have led the field in media coverage and fundraising. Though the election is officially nonpartisan, both candidates are registered Democrats. Caruso announced he changed his party registration from no party preference to Democrat in January 2022. Bass has held elected office as a Democrat since 2005.

Bass was first elected to public office in 2004 to serve in the California State Assembly. She served in the Assembly from 2005 to 2010 and was speaker from 2008 to 2010. Bass was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and currently represents California’s 37th Congressional District. In a campaign ad, Bass said, “I’m running for mayor to meet today’s challenges: crime, homelessness, and the soaring cost of housing.”

Caruso is the founder and chief executive officer of a retail complex development company. He has also served on Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power Commission, as the president of Los Angeles’ Police Commission, and on the USC Board of Trustees. In a campaign ad, Caruso said, “I’m running for mayor because the city we love is in a state of emergency: rampant homelessness, people living in fear for their safety, and politicians at city hall just in it for themselves.”

Public safety has been a top issue in the race. A Caruso campaign ad said, “As Police Commission president, [Caruso] took on city hall politicians and cut crime 30%. As mayor, Caruso won’t defund the police. He’ll invest in making L.A. safer with 1,500 new officers, increase youth crime prevention, and crack down on illegal guns and retail theft.” 

Bass said she would hire police officers and civilian workers in police departments to add at least 250 officers to patrol, invest in programs to address causes of crime, and establish an Office of Community Safety “to develop a neighborhood-specific strategy to re-envision public safety, and ensure that the needs of individual communities are met.”

Craig Greiwe, Alex Gruenenfelder, John Jackson, Andrew Kim, Gina Viola, Mel Wilson, and Kevin de León are also running in the primary. Joe Buscaino unofficially withdrew from the race on May 12 and endorsed Caruso, Mike Feuer unofficially withdrew on May 17 and endorsed Bass, and Ramit Varma unofficially withdrew on May 23 and endorsed Caruso. Buscaino, Feuer, and Varma will still appear on the primary ballot.

A candidate can win the election outright with more than 50% of the vote in the primary. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two vote-getters will advance to a November 8 general election. Since 1933, every open election for Los Angeles mayor has advanced to a general election. Heading into the election, the last time a candidate won an open election for mayor outright in the primary was in 1929. 

This is the first even-year election for Los Angeles mayor since the 2015 passage of Charter Amendment 1, which shifted city elections to even-numbered years beginning in 2020.



Twenty-four top 100 cities holding mayoral elections in 2022

Twenty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population are holding mayoral elections in 2022. In 15 of those cities, the incumbent is a Democrat. Five incumbents are Republicans, one is independent, and three are nonpartisan.

Two of those cities hold partisan elections, and the rest hold nonpartisan elections. In cities where mayoral elections are nonpartisan, Ballotpedia uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

Currently, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the top 100 cities is 62 Democrats, 26 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans. One mayor has not responded to inquiries about his partisan affiliation.

In 2021, 28 of the top 100 cities held mayoral elections, and two offices changed partisan control: one as a result of an election, and one as the result of a mayor switching parties. Once mayors elected in 2021 assumed office, the mayors of 63 of the country’s 100 largest cities were affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 were Republicans, four were independent, six were nonpartisan, and one was unknown. Ahead of the 2022 election cycle, Ballotpedia updated our list of top 100 cities based on data from the 2020 census, swapping out Birmingham, Alabama, which had a Democratic mayor at the time, and San Bernardino, California, with a Republican mayor, for Santa Clarita, California, with a Republican mayor, and Spokane, Washington, with a nonpartisan mayor.

Ballotpedia provides comprehensive coverage of elections on the ballot in America’s 100 largest cities by population each year, along with elections in counties that overlap with them. We also cover elections for mayors, city council members, and district attorneys in each state capital. Eleven state capitals are holding mayoral elections in 2022, including eight capitals that fall outside of the top 100 cities. In nine of those 11 capitals, the incumbent is a Democrat, and two incumbents are Republicans.



Previewing Milwaukee’s April 5 special mayoral election

The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is holding a special general election for mayor on April 5, 2022. Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Robert Donovan advanced from a February 15 primary with 42% and 22% of the vote, respectively. Seven candidates ran.

The special election was called after Mayor Tom Barrett resigned on Dec. 22, 2021, to become the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Corrinne Hess wrote the special election “could mean a historic change for Milwaukee. Wisconsin’s largest city could have its first elected Black mayor, or with Donovan, have a conservative leader for the first time.”

The office is officially nonpartisan. Johnson said he is a Democrat. When Donovan ran for mayor in 2016, a campaign spokesman described him as independent. When asked in February 2022 if he thought Milwaukee would elect a conservative mayor, Donovan said, “I think the times are to the point where people are open to looking at some changes.”

Johnson first joined the Milwaukee Common Council in 2016 and was elected council president by his peers in 2020. Johnson says he has personally experienced the city’s struggles with violence and crime. Johnson emphasizes his public safety plan, which he says is comprehensive and includes measures to prevent violence. Johnson said he led on securing funds for 200 additional police officers. He criticized Donovan’s public safety plan as being outdated.

Donovan served on the council from 2000 to 2020. He lost the 2016 mayoral election to Barrett 30% to 70%. Donovan has discussed his 20 years on the council and his past chairmanship of the Public Safety Committee and the Anti-Graffiti Policy Committee. Donovan has highlighted his public safety plan, including increasing police staffing and foot and bicycle patrols, and criticized Johnson by saying the city experienced its worst bout of violence during Johnson’s time as council president.

The city charter states the council president serves as acting mayor in the event of a vacancy.

Ballotpedia is covering 32 mayoral elections in 2022—24 in the 100 largest U.S. cities by population and eight in state capitals falling outside the 100 largest cities. At the start of this year, 62 of the 100 largest cities’ mayors were Democrats, 26 were Republicans, and 11 were independent or nonpartisan. One mayor’s affiliation was unknown.

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Incumbent David Holt wins Oklahoma City mayoral election

The nonpartisan mayoral election for Oklahoma City, Okla., was held on Feb. 8. The candidate filing deadline was Dec. 8.

Incumbent David Holt defeated Frank Urbanic, Carol Hefner, and Jimmy Lawson. Holt received 59.8% of the votes. Though the office is nonpartisan, Holt has identified as a Republican.

The runoff election, scheduled for April 5, was canceled after Holt won the general election outright.

Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma and the 27th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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