Tagmunicipal elections

Ballotpedia to cover 2,449 local seats on November 3

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There are 2,336 local seats on the ballot this November in America’s 100 largest cities based on population, the 200 largest school districts based on student enrollment, and Washington, D.C. Ballotpedia is also covering a cumulative 113 seats in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. Incumbents are on the ballot for 1,869 seats out of the total 2,449 seats Ballotpedia is covering. Mayoral offices account for 118 seats. With 98 incumbent mayors in November 3 races, 20 mayorships will be won by non-incumbents. 

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Signatures submitted for recall effort in Avon, Colorado

An effort in Avon, Colorado, to recall Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilmembers Amy Phillips and Tamra Underwood was initiated in August 2020. Recall organizers had until October 12 to submit 496 valid signatures for each official. There were about 600 signatures submitted against Hymes and Underwood on the day of the deadline. On October 19, Avon Town Clerk Brenda Torres announced that not enough valid signatures had been submitted. Torres found 425 signatures valid in the recall effort against Underwood. There were 445 signatures validated against Hymes. Recall organizers have until November 3 to challenge Torres’ decision.

The recall against Phillips was found invalid because she is up for re-election on November 3.

The recall effort was initiated in response to the Avon Town Council deciding to leave in place a 2% real estate transfer tax, which collects $2.5 million annually. In a press release sent to Vail Daily, the recall committee organizing the effort said that the tax “puts Avon property sellers at a huge disadvantage when compared to our neighboring communities.”

In response to the recall effort, Hymes said, “Two of the people involved in this recall ran for election last time. They could have run candidates in the 2020 election, but they didn’t think they could succeed, so they’re choosing this backdoor way. They are wasting an enormous amount of town resources in pursuit of this.”

Underwood said about the recall effort, “I essentially find it nothing but an intimidation and bullying tool to discourage people from running for council in Avon, in particular female people running for council in Avon.”

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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Both candidates in Los Angeles’ District Attorney election complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey

Incumbent Jackie Lacey and George Gascón are running in the nonpartisan general election for Los Angeles District Attorney. Both candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey. Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.

When asked what areas of public policy they were most passionate about, the candidates’ responses included:

Lacey: “The single biggest issue facing our criminal justice system and our County is how we deal with people suffering from mental illness within the court system. […] I founded and lead the pioneering Criminal Justice Mental Health Project in LA County, which has set priorities for a comprehensive mental health diversion plan that provides alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.”

Gascón: “I am committed to ending mass incarceration. […] While serving as District Attorney of San Francisco, I worked tirelessly to reduce jail and prison populations, and tackle bias by keeping demographic information about suspects from prosecutors as they decide whether to bring charges.”

We asked the candidates, “What was your very first job? How long did you have it?”

Lacey: “My first job was as a sales clerk at a local Sears. I worked there for two years as a minimum wage employee. The experience was grueling at times, to say the least! I continued to work jobs like this in order to help get me through college and eventually law school.”

Gascón: “In high school, I worked 20 hours a week as a “box boy” at a local supermarket. Though only 14 at the time, I pretend to be 16 to satisfy the minimum age requirement. As it was a union job, I actually made more than my parents did, allowing me to help support my family.”

In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.

To read the candidates’ responses and learn more about the race, click here: 

District Attorney election in Los Angeles County, California (2020)

To read more about Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey or if you are a candidate who would like to submit a survey, click here:

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection



John Mina wins Democratic nomination for a full term as Orange County Sheriff

Orange County, Florida, Sheriff John Mina (D) defeated four challengers to win the Democratic nomination for his first full term in an August 18 primary. As of 8:00 p.m. on election night, Mina had received 44.4% of the vote, followed by Andrew Darling with 19.2% and Jose Lopez with 15.7%.

Mina, a former Orlando chief of police, was first elected in 2018 to complete the remainder of Jerry Demings’ (D) term as sheriff after Demings won election as mayor of Orange County. He says during his first two years in office, crime rates fell and officers recorded fewer instances of use of force.

Mina faces independent write-in candidates Tim Lucas Adams and Winston Johnson in the November general election. No Republican candidate filed for the office.


Monique Worrell wins Democratic nomination for Orange County State Attorney

Monique Worrell won the Democratic nomination for Orange County State Attorney in a primary on August 18. As of 9:00 p.m. on election night, Worrell had received 42% of the vote to Belvin Perry Jr.’s 32% and Deborah Barra’s 20%.

Worrell, an attorney and former law professor, had endorsements from vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (D) and incumbent Aramis Ayala (D), who is not seeking re-election. Worrell will face independent Jose Torroella in the November general election.


Garza defeats incumbent Moore in Travis County, Texas, District Attorney runoff

José Garza defeated incumbent Margaret Moore in the Democratic primary runoff for Travis County District Attorney in Texas. Garza received 68% of the vote to Moore’s 32%.

The race attracted national attention after Garza received endorsements from U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Moore was endorsed by the Austin American-Statesman and Austin Mayor Stephen Adler (D).


New Jersey to hold primary election on July 7

The statewide primary election for New Jersey is on July 7, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed on March 30, 2020. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices:

• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (12 seats)
• State Senate District 25 (special election)
• State House District 25 (special election)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• Essex County
• Hudson County

New Jersey’s primary election was postponed from June 2 to July 7 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

New Jersey’s primary is the 30th to take place in the 2020 election. The next primary is on July 14 in Maine.

Additional reading:
https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_election_in_New_Jersey,_2020
https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections_in_New_Jersey,_2020
https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey_state_legislative_special_elections,_2020
https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_municipal_elections,_2020#New_Jersey



Louisiana to hold special elections July 11

Ballotpedia will be covering three special elections on July 11 in Louisiana. Offices on the ballot include a state House seat located in the Jefferson and Lafourche parishes and two judicial positions in Baton Rouge. A general election is scheduled on August 15, 2020, in case no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the special primary election. Early voting for the July 11 election ends at 6 p.m. on July 4.

In state House District 54, six candidates are running to replace Reggie Bagala (R). James Cantrelle (R), Dave Carskadon (R), Kevin Duet (R), Phil Gilligan (R), Donny Lerille (R), and Joseph Orgeron (R) are facing off in the election. Bagala died on April 9 from coronavirus-related health complications. He was first elected to the position in 2019 with 58.2% of the vote.

Baton Rouge is holding special elections for the Division C seat on the City Court and for the Division M-Section 2 seat on the state’s 19th Judicial District Court. The special primary election was originally scheduled to take place on April 4, with a general to be held May 9, if necessary. The dates were moved amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Greg Cook (D), Donald Dobbins (D), Whitney Greene (R), Jonathan Holloway, Sr. (D), and Johnell Matthews (D) will face off in the special primary election for the vacant City Court seat. The special election became necessary when Judge Tarvald Smith vacated the seat after being elected to the 19th Judicial District Court in 2019.

Yvette Alexander (D), Tiffany Foxworth (D), Eboni Johnson-Rose (D), and Jennifer Moisant (D) are running in the special primary election for the Division M-Section 2 seat on the 19th Judicial District Court. The special election became necessary when Judge Beau Higginbotham vacated the seat after being elected to the Division C-Section 3 seat on the 19th Judicial District Court in 2019.

Additional reading:
https://ballotpedia.org/Louisiana_state_legislative_special_elections,_2020
https://ballotpedia.org/City_elections_in_Baton_Rouge,_Louisiana_(2020)
https://ballotpedia.org/Political_incumbents,_candidates,_and_government_officials_diagnosed_with_COVID-19_or_quarantined_due_to_the_coronavirus_pandemic,_2020



Colorado sheriff recall on June 30 ballot

A recall election seeking to remove Lance FitzGerald from his position as the Ouray County Sheriff in Colorado is being held on June 30, 2020. Justin Perry (unaffiliated) and Ted Wolfe (R) are running to replace FitzGerald. The election is being conducted by mail-in ballot. Voters received their ballots by June 11 and must return them by 7 p.m. on June 30.

The recall effort began in January 2020. FitzGerald was targeted for recall after he was arrested on DUI allegations on November 27, 2019. The Ouray County Republican and Democratic parties created a recall committee together to lead the effort. The recall petition stated that citizens did not have confidence that the sheriff could “uphold the duties and responsibilities of his elected position.” FitzGerald did not respond to the recall effort.

FitzGerald was sworn into office in January 2019. He ran as an unaffiliated candidate and defeated a Republican, Joel “BB” Burk, by 11 votes.

Recall supporters had 60 days to collect 768 signatures from eligible Ouray County voters. They submitted 1,082 petition signatures in March 2020. The county verified 914 of the signatures in April 2020, allowing the recall to move forward. FitzGerald had 15 days to file a protest against the recall petition. If he had, a hearing over the recall petition would have been held. Because he did not, the recall election was scheduled.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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Voters decide municipal and school board races in Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia

Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia, held nonpartisan general elections for municipal and school board offices on May 19, 2020.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

Mayor of Chesapeake
• Incumbent Richard West defeated Lenard Myers, Steffanie Aubuchon, and Palmer Smith.

Chesapeake City Council
• Don Carey III and incumbents S.Z. Ritter and Robert Ike won at-large seats on the nine-member council.

Chesapeake School Board
• Angie Swygert and incumbents Samuel Boone, Victoria Proffitt, and Tom Mercer won at-large seats on the nine-member school board.

Mayor of Norfolk
• Incumbent Kenny Alexander ran unopposed.

Norfolk City Council
• Incumbents Andria McClellan and Angelia Williams Graves won re-election to their city council seats in Superwards 6 and 7, respectively. Both ran unopposed.

Norfolk School Board
• Incumbents Noelle Gabriel and Rodney Jordan won re-election to the school board in Superwards 6 and 7, respectively.

Norfolk and Chesapeake are the second- and third-most populous cities in Virginia and the 80th- and 90th-most populous in the U.S.

Together, the Norfolk and Chesapeake school districts served a total of 71,422 students during the 2017-2018 school year.

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