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.
Although the elections for and position of the mayor are officially nonpartisan, the candidates running were affiliated with political parties. Bovo is affiliated with the Republican Party. He will succeed term-limited Republican Mayor Carlos Hernandez.
The mayor serves as the city’s chief executive officer and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors, and overseeing the city’s day-to-day operations. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels.
Hialeah is one of 17 of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population that held general elections for mayor on Nov. 2.
Seventeen of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population and 10 state capitals outside of the top-100 cities are holding general elections for mayor on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
In these 27 cities, 26 incumbent mayors are Democrats, and one is a Republican. Fourteen of these incumbents are not on the general election ballot: 10 did not run for re-election, and four lost in primaries. Between 2014 and 2020, 18% of top-100 incumbent mayors that sought re-election were defeated.
In total, 28 top-100 cities and 12 state capitals outside the top-100 cities are electing mayors in 2021. Eleven of these cities have already held their mayoral elections. Two cities will hold general elections after Nov. 2.
One of the 11 mayoral elections held so far this year resulted in an office changing partisan control. In Anchorage, Alaska, David Bronson (R) was elected to succeed nonpartisan acting mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, who assumed office following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz (D).
One other party change has taken place this year. In April, North Las Vegas, Nevada, Mayor John J. Lee announced that he was changing his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.
Currently, 63 top-100 mayors are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are 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.
The mayors of 39 capital cities are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Three are Republicans, one is independent, and two are nonpartisan. Five capital mayors have not yet responded to inquiries.
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.
Seattle holds city elections on Nov. 2 for mayor, two at-large city council seats, and other local offices. Recent polling, campaign finance data, and satellite spending provide insight into these races just over one week out.
City Council President Lorena González and former City Council President Bruce Harrell face each other in the mayoral election. A recent Change Research poll showed Harrell with 48% support to González’s 32%, and 18% of respondents were undecided. The margin of error was 4.1%.
In the Change Research poll for city council position 9—the seat González currently holds—Sara Nelson received 41% support to Nikkita Oliver’s 37%. Twenty-one percent were undecided.
The council position 8 poll showed Mosqueda with 39%, Wilson with 31%, and “Not sure” with 26%.
In the mayoral race, Harrell has raised $1.2 million, and González has raised $900,000. My Northwest reported that the combined $2.1 million is the highest amount raised by two general election candidates of any mayoral contest since at least 2005. The second-highest was in 2017, when Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon raised $1.6 million combined.
For position 9 on the council, Nelson has raised $510,000 to Oliver’s $400,000. Mosqueda has raised $255,000 and Wilson, $80,000, in the position 8 race.
The two highest-spending groups in the mayoral race are Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future, which has spent around $1 million supporting Harrell and opposing González, and Essential Workers for Lorena, which has spent around $900,000 supporting González and opposing Harrell.
The National Association of Realtors has spent around $100,000 and the Seattle Fire Fighters PAC has spent around $50,000 supporting Harrell.
Those two groups have also spent in the position 9 council race—a combined $130,000 supporting Nelson. Civic Alliance for a Prosperous Economy has spent almost $50,000 supporting Oliver. This group was active in the 2019 council elections—see our coverage, linked below, for more details on that activity.
Satellite spending in the position 8 council race has not reached $1,000.
The city of Forks, in Clallam County, Wash., is holding municipal elections on Nov. 2, 2021. The mayor’s office is one of those seats up for election. The mayor serves a four-year term alongside five city council members.
Candidates submitted statements to the Washington Secretary of State when they filed a Declaration of Candidacy for use in the Voter’s Pamphlet. Responses are republished here. They have not been altered in any way.
Tim Fletcher (incumbent): “I am a WestEnd original. My family’s homestead still stands in the Hoh River Valley and I am also a tribal elder, which helps to find a clearer path to make our community more inclusive.
I will continue to work with new and established businesses to keep our city business friendly and find ways to bring back and keep timber related jobs.
I will continue to encourage the building of housing for workers that need short/long term places to live. This could be new homes for families of all sizes or working couples just starting out that need a basic starter home.
And with the community’s continued support, I will work for the future of Forks when it comes to making decisions about our community’s infrastructure as we plan for the growth of Forks.”
Steve Wright: “I’m a 35 year old disabled Native American veteran. I served in the US Army and US Air Force, I graduated from Evergreen State College with a degree in agrobiology and grant writing. I am a nature conservationist and agrobiologist; you can usually find me in the forest foraging for mushrooms, fishing, or farming with my children. I studied agrobiology extensively. I practice sustainable agriculture and offer assistance to anyone wanting to farm sustainably.
I am a medical patient. I use cannabis to alleviate my pain from service-connected injuries, and nausea from PTSD. I believe in protecting patients and legalizing psilocybin mushrooms for mental health treatments.
I believe political parties facilitate the consolidation of power and aide in shielding their members from criticism. I believe there is no fixing the two-party dominant system, and joining a political party would contribute to the problem. I believe candidates should stand on their own in publicly funded elections.
I believe we deserve healthcare without restriction and debt, college without debt, an infrastructure that is sustainable and ecologically safe, equitable justice, and an economy that works for everyone.”
Clallam County is holding municipal elections in its three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks— in 2021. Twenty-six offices are up for election in those cities. Click here to read more about those elections.
In Boston’s Oct. 13 mayoral debate, At-Large City Councilors Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu each argued that her record and vision make her the best candidate to lead the city.
Essaibi George said she has a track record of working with the people of Boston to get things done. She said, “This work is too important to simply do behind a podium at city hall. It has to be done in community.”
Wu said she had also done work in the community and that the city needs “not just to keep having the same conversations and meetings over and over again, but to take action that gets at root causes.”
Essaibi George emphasized her goal to create more opportunities for people to buy homes and her plan to invest more in the Boston Housing Authority. Wu discussed the city’s role in directing resources to people and simplifying processes for building affordable housing. The candidates argued about rent control, which Essaibi George opposes and Wu supports.
On policing, Essaibi George said she believes in investing in and not defunding the police department and that the department should be reflective of the city’s population. Wu said the department’s structure and culture need reforming and that the city needs nonpolice forms of response for certain types of issues.
Candidates also discussed their ideas for the public school system and for Mass and Cass—the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, where a number of people are living outside.
The election is Nov. 2. Wu was first elected to the city council in 2013. Essaibi George was elected in 2015.
Boston’s mayoral candidates received new endorsements following the Sept. 14 primary election.
Michelle Wu, who received the most votes in the seven-candidate primary field at 33.4%, has been endorsed by gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D), state Rep. Liz Miranda (D), and SEIU 1199, which represents healthcare workers.
Annissa Essaibi George received recent endorsements from the local sprinkler fitters union and IBEW Local 103, which represents electrical workers. Essaibi George was second in the primary with 22.5%.
Essaibi George had several union endorsements heading into the primary, along with backing from former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross. Wu also had several endorsements from unions as well as state legislators.
Media outlets have described Wu as more progressive and Essaibi George as more moderate. The candidates themselves have not been campaigning with those labels.
Essaibi George said she does “not neatly fit in a box.” She said after election night that she wants “progress to be made — real progress — not just abstract ideas that we talk about.” Wu said, “In city government, it’s about getting things done, not being judged on a scorecard of whether you said yes or no on certain things.” She described the race as “a choice about whether City Hall tackles our biggest challenges with bold solutions or we nibble around the edges of the status quo.”
The candidates offer different backgrounds, policy areas of emphasis, and positions on issues including housing and policing. For more information, see our coverage below.
Three of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population—Boston, Massachusetts, Cleveland, Ohio, and Toledo, Ohio—held mayoral primaries on Sept. 14. Three top-100 cities have mayoral primaries still ahead: Durham, North Carolina (Oct. 5), Hialeah, Florida (Nov. 2), and New Orleans, Louisiana (Nov. 13).
Twenty-eight top-100 cities will elect mayors in 2021. While most of these cities will hold general elections on Nov. 2, nine top-100 cities have already held mayoral elections this year, and two cities—New Orleans, Louisiana, and Hialeah, Florida—will hold elections later in November.
Since 2014, the number of mayoral elections in top-100 cities per year has ranged from 23 to 36.
In 2020, mayoral elections were held in 29 top-100 cities, and seven offices changed partisan control. In 2019, 31 top-100 cities elected mayors, resulting in four party changes.
Of the nine mayoral elections held so far this year, one has resulted in an office changing partisan control: In Anchorage, Alaska, David Bronson (R) was elected to succeed nonpartisan acting mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, who assumed office following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz (D).
Currently, 63 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, six 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. 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.
Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George advanced from Boston’s mayoral primary election Tuesday night. As of Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST, Wu received 33.4% of the vote to Essaibi George’s 22.5%. Eight candidates were on the ballot.
Wu and Essaibi George are both at-large city councilors. They defeated fellow city councilors Andrea Campbell and Kim Janey (who received 19.7% and 19.5% of the vote, respectively) along with three other candidates to advance to the Nov. 2 general election. Janey is also the city’s acting mayor, having succeeded Marty Walsh in March 2021 when he became secretary of labor in President Joe Biden’s (D) administration.
Media outlets have described Essaibi George as the more moderate of the leading candidates in the primary and Wu as one of the more progressive candidates. A former teacher and a member of the council since 2016, Essaibi George has emphasized her opposition to defunding the police and has discussed housing, schools, and public safety as priority issues. Wu has highlighted her climate plan, including a Boston Green New Deal, and her support for rent control. Wu has been on the city council since 2014.
Either will be the first woman to serve as Boston’s mayor. Essaibi George and Wu have emphasized that they are the children of immigrants. Wu’s parents are Taiwanese. Essaibi George’s mother is from Poland and her father, from Tunisia.
Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley advanced from Cleveland, Ohio’s mayoral primary Tuesday night. Bibb led with 27.1% and Kelley had 19.4% as of 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Dennis Kucinich was third with 16.5%.
Mayor Frank Jackson (D) chose not to seek election to a fifth four-year term. November’s general election will be the first without a mayoral incumbent on the ballot in Cleveland in 20 years.
Jackson endorsed Kelley in the primary. Kelley is president of the Cleveland City Council and has served on the council since 2005. Several unions are among his other endorsers. Bibb is a chief strategy officer with a technology firm. His endorsers include Our Revolution Ohio and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Public safety and police oversight have been key issues in the race. Bibb supports and Kelley opposes the Community Police Commission and Police Oversight Initiative on the general election ballot. The initiative would, in part, create a Community Police Commission, which would serve as the final authority on whether certain disciplinary action against an officer is sufficient.