Kim Janey was sworn in as the nonpartisan acting mayor of Boston on March 22. Janey became acting mayor after former Mayor Martin Walsh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the secretary of labor in President Joe Biden’s (D) administration. Janey is the first Black person and the first woman to serve as Boston mayor.
Janey will serve as acting mayor through the next election on Nov. 2. Janey has not yet announced whether she will run for re-election.
Janey will remain a non-participating member of the Boston City Council, representing District 7. Janey was elected to the council in 2017.
Boston is one of the 100 largest cities by population in the United States. Of the mayors of the country’s 100 largest cities, there are currently 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto faces three challengers in the Democratic primary on May 18, 2021, according to the unofficial list published by Allegheny County on March 9. No Republican candidates were listed. Peduto’s challengers include current state Rep. Edward Gainey, Tony Moreno, and Michael Thompson.
The winner of the Democratic primary will advance to the general election on Nov. 2. Independent candidates have until Aug. 2 to file for the seat. Unless an independent candidate files, the May 18 Democratic primary winner will be unopposed in the general election.
The city of Pittsburgh utilizes a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body while the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive.
Ballotpedia is covering 43 mayoral elections in 2021. Between 2014 and 2020, 68.2% of incumbent mayors sought re-election; of these, 17.6% were defeated in their bids for re-election.
Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer advanced from the St. Louis mayoral primary on March 2 and will run against each other in the general election on April 6. Jones received 25,374 votes, while Spencer received 20,649 votes. Lewis Reed and Andrew Jones, the other two candidates in the primary, received 17,162 and 6,422 votes, respectively.
This election was the first one that used approval voting in the city’s history. Candidates of all political affiliations ran in the election without partisan labels and voters could choose any number of candidates to vote for. This voting method was approved by voters in November 2020 as Proposition D.
Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) is not running for re-election. Both Tishaura Jones and Spencer are affiliated with the Democratic Party. The last 10 mayors of St. Louis have all been Democrats. The last time a Republican held the mayor’s office was Aloys Kaufmann, who served as mayor from 1943 to 1949.
On March 2, St. Louis, Missouri, will hold a mayoral primary using an electoral system called approval voting for the first time in the city’s history. Candidates of all political affiliations will appear on the ballot without partisan labels and voters may choose any number of candidates to vote for. The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to the general election on April 6. Voters approved the method through the passage of Proposition D in November 2020.
Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) is not running for re-election. Four candidates are running in the primary: 2017 mayoral candidate Andrew Jones, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Aldermen President Lewis Reed, and Alderwoman Cara Spencer. Each has a partisan affiliation: A. Jones ran as a Republican in 2017, and the other three candidates have previously run for office as Democrats.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch endorsed both Spencer and Reed. T. Jones was endorsed by Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page, Democracy for America, and the state council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Spencer was endorsed by former Mayor Vincent Schoemehl Jr. and former Aldermanic President James Shrewsbury.
Through Feb. 22, Spencer raised the most money of all the candidates ($356,000), followed by T. Jones ($333,000), Reed ($271,000), and A. Jones ($20,000).
Candidates have each made crime a key priority in this campaign. A. Jones said that the city’s violent crime problem made it harder for the city to attract new businesses and retain existing ones, so addressing crime would improve safety while also improving the city’s business climate. T. Jones said she supported restructuring the police department’s budget to reallocate funding for mental health services, job training programs, and treating substance abuse. Reed’s campaign website called for a focus on violent crime, using a strategy called focused deterrence with groups most likely to commit violent crimes. Spencer, citing her background in mathematics and modeling, said she would implement a data-driven strategy for crime reduction in the city.
The city of St. Louis utilizes 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 filing deadline for candidates interested in running for mayor and city council member in Arlington, Texas, was February 12, 2021. The nonpartisan general election is scheduled for May 1.
Eight candidates—Doni Anthony, Kelly Burke, former city councilmember Michael Glaspie, Cirilo Ocampo Jr., Jim Ross, District 3 city councilmember Marvin Sutton, Jerry Warden, and Dewayne Washington—filed to replace Jeff Williams as mayor. Williams was elected as mayor of Arlington in 2015 and is unable to run for re-election in 2021 due to term limits.
In total, 15 candidates filed to run for four seats on the Arlington City Council.
Tamiko Brown, Nikkie Hunter, Alixis Lupien, Diana Saleh, and Dora Tovar filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Marvin Sutton was elected to the seat in 2019. He filed to run for mayor instead of running for re-election.
Incumbent Andrew Piel will face Hunter Crow, Billy McClendon Jr., Nehal Mehta, Anne Nwaefulu, and Cheyenne Zokaie in the general election. Piel was elected to this seat in 2019.
Rebecca Boxall and Kennedy Jones filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Ignacio Nunez was elected to this seat in 2019. He did not file for re-election.
Incumbent Barbara Odom-Wesley will face Chris Dobson in the general election. Odom-Wesley was elected to the seat in 2019.
Arlington is the 50th largest city by population in the United States. Thirty-one mayoral elections are being held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2021. As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.
The city of Jackson, Mississippi, will hold a partisan primary for mayor on April 6, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was February 6. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in the primary election, a primary runoff election will be held on April 27 between the top two candidates. The general election is scheduled for June 8.
Incumbent Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Patty Patterson, and Kennetha Wilson are running in the Democratic primary. Ponto Downing and Jason Wells are running in the Republican primary. Independent candidates Shafeqah Lodree, Charlotte Reeves, and Les Tannehill will appear on the general election ballot.
Lumumba was elected the 53rd mayor of Jackson in 2017. He defeated incumbent Tony Yarber and seven other candidates in the May 2, 2017, Democratic primary election with 55% of the vote. He went on to win the general election with 92.9% of the vote.
Ballotpedia will also be covering the eight Jackson City Council seats that are on the ballot in 2021. Seven incumbents have filed for re-election.
The city of Anchorage, Alaska, will hold a nonpartisan general election for mayor on April 6, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was January 29. If no candidate receives at least 45% of the vote in the general election, a runoff election will be held on May 11 between the top two candidates.
Fourteen candidates filed to run for the open seat: Anna Anthony, David Bronson, Jeffrey T. Brown, Darin Colbry, Forrest Dunbar, Bill Evans, Bill Falsey, Heather Herndon, Jacob Kern, George Martinez, Reza Momin, Mike Robbins, Albert Swank Jr., and Joe Westfall.
Austin Quinn-Davidson became the acting mayor of Anchorage on October 23, 2020, following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz. In the statement announcing his resignation, Berkowitz said, “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”
As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, will hold a nonpartisan top-two primary election for mayor on March 2, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was January 4, 2021.
Four candidates filed to run for the open seat: 2017 mayoral candidate Andrew Jones, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Aldermen President Lewis Reed, and Alderwoman Cara Spencer.
Candidates of all political affiliations will run in the primary election without partisan labels. Andrew Jones ran as a Republican candidate in 2017 and Tishaura Jones, Reed, and Spencer have previously run for office as Democrats.
Voters may choose any number of candidates to vote for and the two candidates that receive the most votes will advance to the general election. This method of voting is called approval voting. This is the first election cycle in the city using this primary election method following the approval of Proposition D on November 3, 2020.
Incumbent Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) announced on Nov. 18, 2020, that she would not seek re-election. Krewson became the city’s first female mayor after winning election on April 4, 2017, with more than 67 percent of the vote.
The last 10 mayors of St. Louis have all been Democrats. The last time a Republican held the mayor’s office was Aloys Kaufmann, who was mayor from 1943 to 1949.
Mayoral elections were held in 29 of the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2020. Seven party changes took place as a result of these elections. Five offices held by Republican incumbents and two offices held by Democratic incumbents changed partisan control:
Scottsdale, Arizona: Independent David Ortega won the open seat. Incumbent Jim Lane (R) was term-limited.
Irvine, California: Democrat Farrah Khan defeated incumbent Christina Shea (R).
San Diego, California: Democrat Todd Gloria won the open seat. The incumbent, Kevin Faulconer (R), was term-limited.
Stockton, California: Republican Kevin Lincoln II defeated incumbent Michael Tubbs (D).
Honolulu, Hawaii: Independent Rick Blangiardi won the open seat. Democratic mayor Kirk Caldwell was term-limited.
El Paso, Texas: Democrat Oscar Leeser defeated incumbent Donald Margo (R).
Corpus Christi, Texas: Nonpartisan Paulette Guajardo defeated incumbent Joe McComb (R).
In 15 of the 29 cities that held elections in 2020, the incumbent was Republican at the start of 2020. Twelve incumbents were Democratic, one was independent, and one was nonpartisan. Due to the number of seats up for election held by each party, the Republican Party was in a greater position of relative risk than the Democratic Party, when considering the number of mayoral offices each party will hold once mayors elected in 2020 are sworn in. More than half of the cities with Republican mayors at the start of the year held elections in 2020.
Democratic mayors oversaw 64 of the 100 largest cities at the beginning of 2020, 61 at the start of 2019, 63 at the start of 2018, 64 at the beginning of 2017, and 67 at the start of 2016.
In most of the nation’s largest cities, mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan, though many officeholders and candidates are affiliated with political parties. 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.
The general runoff election in Corpus Christi, Texas, was held on December 15, 2020. In the nonpartisan mayoral race, Paulette Guajardo defeated incumbent Joe McComb, earning 56% of the vote to McComb’s 44%.
The general election in Corpus Christi was held on November 3. If no candidate earned a majority of the vote in the general election, the top two vote-getters advanced to a runoff.
Corpus Christi also held runoffs for two city council seats. Billy Lerma won the District 1 race, earning 56% of the vote and defeating Rachel Ann Caballero. In the District 4 race, incumbent Greg Smith won re-election, defeating Kaylynn Paxson by a margin of 63% to 37%. City council elections in Corpus Christi are nonpartisan.
Corpus Christi is the eighth-largest city in Texas by population and the 59th-largest in the United States.