TagMayoral elections

Sept. 14 mayoral primary in Cleveland is first in 20 years with no incumbent

The primary election for Cleveland, Ohio, is on Sept. 14. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on June 16.

Candidates filed for mayor and the 17 wards of the city council. The general election will also include four seats on the Cleveland Municipal Court.

Seven candidates are running for the mayoral seat: Justin Bibb, Ross DiBello, Basheer Jones, Kevin Kelley, Dennis J. Kucinich, Zack Reed, and Sandra Williams. The race is nonpartisan, but all seven candidates identify as Democrats.

The incumbent, Frank Jackson, is not seeking re-election. Jackson was first elected in 2005 and is Cleveland’s longest-serving mayor to date. The 2021 election will mark the first mayoral election in Cleveland without an incumbent since 2001.

Cleveland is the second-largest city in Ohio and the 48th-largest city in the United States.

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17 candidates file for Minneapolis mayoral election

The filing deadline passed to run for elected office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed on Aug. 10. Candidates filed for the following offices:

  1. Mayor 
  2. City Council (Wards 1-13)
  3. Board of Estimate and Taxation
  4. Park and Recreation Commissioner At Large (3 seats)
  5. Park and Recreation Commissioner (Districts 1-6)

Seventeen candidates filed for the mayoral election, including incumbent Jacob Frey (D). Frey was first elected mayor in 2017. He served on the city council before becoming mayor. He was first elected to the Minneapolis City Council in 2013. 

Ward 9 and Ward 10 are the only seats on the city council with no incumbents running. 

There will be no primary held. Minneapolis will utilize a ranked-choice voting system for the general election that is scheduled for Nov. 2. 

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the 46th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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Nov. 2 candidates for Topeka mayor and city council determined in Aug. 3 primary

The primary for the Topeka mayor and District 3 council seat in Kansas was held on Aug. 3. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 2. The filing deadline to run passed on June 1.

Five candidates competed in the mayoral race. Mike Padilla and Leo Cangiani both advanced to the general election. Padilla received 3,990 votes, and Cangiani received 1,803. Daniel Brown, John Lauer, and Patrick Klick received less than 1,000 votes each and will not move on to the general election. The current mayor of Topeka, Michelle De La Isla, announced she would not be running for another term in March 2021. 

Sylvia Ortiz and Regina Platt advanced from the primary for the District 3 council seat, defeating William Hendrix, David Johnson, and Lana Kombacher. The primaries for Districts 1, 5, 7, and 9 on the city council were canceled, but they will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

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Duggan and Adams advance from Detroit, Michigan mayoral primary

Incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan and Anthony Adams advanced from Detroit, Michigan’s mayoral primary on Aug. 4, 2021. Duggan received 72.4% of the vote and to Adams’ 10%. Tom Barrow received 6% of the vote followed by Myya Jones with 5%. No other candidate received more than 2%.

Before becoming mayor, Duggan was president and CEO of Detroit Medical Center from 2004 to 2012. He was assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County from 1985 to 1986, deputy Wayne County executive from 1987 to 2000, and Wayne County prosecutor from 2001 to 2003. Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) with 55% of the vote to Napoleon’s 45%. In 2017, he was re-elected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) with 71.6% of the vote to Young’s 27.8%. Duggan said that, if re-elected in 2021, he would “work every day to continue to make sure every neighborhood has a future and every Detroiter has a true opportunity to achieve your dreams.”

Adams was an attorney as of the primary and served as deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Adams said his “extensive leadership experience, unwavering commitment, and enlightened skill-set uniquely position him to move the city of Detroit forward” and that he was “committed to serving the ordinary people of Detroit and not Special Interest Groups.”

Economic development and public safety were major issues in the race. Duggan said he would work with the city council and manufacturers to bring more high-paying jobs into the city. Adams said he would support a universal basic income plan and an income-based water billing system and emphasized early intervention as a means to reduce crime. Barrow also supported a water affordability program for Detroit residents and said neighborhood revitalization projects should focus on a broader area and not just downtown.

The city of Detroit uses 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.

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Recent polls, satellite spending in Seattle’s mayoral and council races

Seattle voters have just over one week to cast their ballots in the Aug. 3 top-two primaries. A poll released July 16 showed a plurality of voters unsure who they’d choose for mayor and the two at-large city council seats. The Northwest Progressive Institute poll, conducted by Change Research, showed 32% undecided for the mayoral race, 50% undecided for the position 9 council seat, and 55% undecided for the position 8 seat. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 4.3 percentage points.

In the mayoral primary, 20% of respondents said they supported former council president Bruce Harrell, 12% said they supported current council president Lorena González, and 10% backed Chief Seattle Club executive director Colleen Echohawk. The 12 other candidates running received less than 10% support among poll respondents.

For the position 9 council seat, attorney and Creative Justice executive director Nikkita Oliver received 26% support, Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson received 11%, and González’s chief of staff Brianna Thomas received 6%, with the four other candidates polling at 3% or less.

For the position 8 council seat, incumbent Teresa Mosqueda polled at 26%, with Kate Martin at 6%, nine other candidates below that percentage, and 55% unsure.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission reported more than $600,000 in satellite spending toward the mayoral race as of July 21:

  • Essential Workers for Lorena had spent $430,000 supporting González; 
  • Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future had spent $120,000 supporting Harrell; and 
  • Seattle United for Progressive Change had spent $70,000 supporting Farrell. 

The Progressive Equity PAC had spent $21,000 supporting Thomas in the position 9 council election.

Total satellite spending for the 2017 election cycle—the last time the city held elections for the two at-large council seats and for mayor—was around $1.3 million. In 2019, when the seven district council seats were up for election, satellite spending topped $4 million.



Adams leads New York’s Democratic mayoral primary by 0.8 percentage points, according to new unofficial results

Eric Adams leads Kathryn Garcia by a margin of 0.8 percentage points—about 7,100 votes—in the eighth round of unofficial ranked-choice voting tabulations in the June 22 Democratic mayoral primary for Mayor of New York City. The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) released this third set of unofficial tabulations on July 13. It includes all but 55 pending mail-in ballots. The BOE said it expects to certify results the week of July 19. 

After the BOE released its second set of unofficial tabulations last week, Garcia and Maya Wiley—who was in third—conceded the race to Adams.

This was the first mayoral primary in the city’s history to use ranked-choice voting. Adams, Republican Curtis Sliwa, and eight third-party candidates are running in the November 2 general election. The general election will use plurality voting as opposed to ranked-choice.



Voters to decide mayoral, city council primaries on Aug. 3 in Topeka, Kan.

The city of Topeka, Kan., will hold a nonpartisan primary election on Aug. 3 for mayor and city council. The top two vote-getters in the races will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.

Daniel Brown, Leo Cangiani, Patrick Klick, John Lauer, and District 5 city council member Mike Padilla are running for mayor of Topeka. Mayor Michelle De La Isla announced in March that she would not be seeking re-election in 2021. She has served as Topeka’s mayor since January 2018.

Five city council seats will also be on the ballot in 2021. The only district to require a primary election will be in District 3, where incumbent Sylvia Ortiz is facing four challengers. William Hendrix, David Johnson, Lana Kombacher, and Regina Platt have all filed to run. Ortiz has served on the city council since 2005. The following four races are going directly to the general election:

*District 1: Incumbent Karen Hiller will face Lindsay Jackson in the general election. Hiller has served on the city council since 2009.

*District 5: Marcus Clark, Ariane Davis, and Brett Daniel Kell are running for this open seat. Incumbent Mike Padilla is running in the mayoral race. He has served on the city council since 2018.

*District 7: Incumbent Neil Dobler is running against Joel Campbell in the general election. Dobler was appointed to the city council in 2019.

*District 9: Incumbent Michael Lesser and Gregory Bland Jr. are facing off in the general election. Lesser has served on the council since 2018.

The city of Topeka had a population of 125,310 in 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections, in 2021.

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United States municipal elections, 2021



Lander leads Johnson, 52% to 48%, in unofficial ranked-choice voting results for New York’s Democratic comptroller primary

The New York City Board of Elections released its first unofficial round of ranked-choice voting tabulations for the June 22 primary on Wednesday. In the Democratic primary for comptroller, Brad Lander had 51.9% of the vote after 10 rounds of tabulation, followed by Cory Johnson at 48.1%. Around 21,000 votes separated Lander and Johnson. 

Results included early and election day votes and did not include absentee ballots. More than 207,000 absentee ballots were distributed in the Democratic primary. 

In the 9th round, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera was eliminated, having 144,665 votes (22% of the total) at that stage. Johnson picked up 42,499 votes between the 9th and 10th rounds, and Lander gained 22,747.

The board is expected to release a second round of unofficial tabulations on July 6. Official tabulations are not expected until the week of July 12, due to the deadlines for voters to submit absentee ballots and fix ballot issues.

The board initially released RCV tabulations on Tuesday but later issued a statement saying it had erroneously counted 135,000 sample ballot images as votes. The board released revised tabulations Wednesday.

Voters were allowed to rank up to five candidates on their ballots. Ten candidates ran in the Democratic comptroller primary.



India Walton defeats four-term incumbent Byron Brown in Buffalo Democratic mayoral primary

India Walton (D), a nurse and community activist, defeated four-term incumbent Byron Brown (D) and Le’Candice Durham (D) in the Democratic primary for Mayor of Buffalo, New York, on June 22, 2021. According to unofficial results, Walton received 52% of the vote followed by Brown and Durham with 45% and 3%, respectively.

The New York Times‘ Luis Ferré-Sadurní described the race as an upset, saying the outcome “could upend the political landscape in New York’s second-biggest city and signal the strength of the party’s left wing.”

Brown was first elected Mayor of Buffalo in 2005 and won re-election three times. Before his defeat in 2021, Brown had won the four preceding Democratic primaries by an average of 26.5 percentage points. In 2021, he ran with the support of the Erie County Democratic Committee and multiple local labor unions including the Buffalo Central Labor Council.

Walton received endorsements from progressive organizations including Our Revolution and the local and national branches of the Democratic Socialists of America. She also received an endorsement from the Working Families Party of New York, which, until 2021, had endorsed Brown in all of his previous runs for mayor.

Since no Republicans filed to appear on the primary ballot, it is likely Walton will advance to the general election without major party opposition. If elected, Walton would become Buffalo’s first female mayor. She would also become the first socialist mayor of a large American city since 1960.

Learn more about the mayoral race in Buffalo here.



Detroit to hold mayoral primary on Aug. 3

Ten candidates are running in a nonpartisan primary election for mayor of Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 3. Media coverage has focused on incumbent Mike Duggan and challengers Anthony Adams and Tom Barrow. Kiawana Brown, Myya Jones, Jasahn Larsosa, Charleta McInnis, Danetta Simpson, Art Tyus, and Dallias Wilcoxon are also running. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2.

Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) 55% to 45%. In 2017, he was reelected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) 71.6% to 27.8%.

Before becoming mayor, Duggan was president and CEO of Detroit Medical Center from 2004 to 2012. He was assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County from 1985 to 1986, deputy Wayne County executive from 1987 to 2000, and Wayne County prosecutor from 2000 to 2001. Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed (D) have endorsed Duggan. Duggan said that, if re-elected, he would “work every day to continue to make sure every neighborhood has a future and every Detroiter has a true opportunity to achieve your dreams.”

Adams is an attorney and was deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Adams said his “extensive leadership experience, unwavering commitment, and enlightened skill-set uniquely position him to move the city of Detroit forward” and he is “committed to serving the ordinary people of Detroit and not Special Interest Groups.”

Barrow is a practicing certified public accountant, led the civic group Citizens for Detroit’s Future, and was an advocate for changes to the municipal election system. This is Barrow’s fifth mayoral run and the second time he has competed against Duggan. In his four previous campaigns, Barrow advanced from the primary to the general election three times: in 1985, 1989, and 2009. Barrow said he would run a campaign based on local pride: “Detroit is in my DNA. Detroit is a city I love and respect deeply. People know that I care, that I will look out for them and will protect them and not allow them to be misused.”

Economic development and public safety have been major issues in the race. Duggan said he would work with the city council and manufacturers to bring more high-paying jobs into the city. Adams said he would support a universal basic income plan and an income-based water billing system and emphasized early intervention as a means to reduce crime. Barrow also supported a water affordability program for Detroit residents and said neighborhood revitalization projects should focus on a broader area and not just downtown.

The city of Detroit uses 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 mayor is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and committee members and overseeing the city’s day-to-day operations. The mayor also possesses veto powers, though the Detroit city charter establishes procedures whereby city council may override mayoral vetoes under certain circumstances.

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