Special primary elections to be held on August 3 in Michigan State Senate Districts 8 and 28

The special primary elections for Michigan State Senate District 8 and 28 are on Aug. 3. The major party candidate filing deadline passed on April 20, and the filing deadline for minor party and independent candidates is Aug. 4. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

District 8

In the Democratic primary, John Bill and Martin Genter are competing to advance to the general election. In the Republican primary, Mary Berlingieri, Bill Carver, Kristi Dean, Grant Golasa, Pamela Hornberger, Terence Mekoski, and Douglas Wozniak are competing to advance to the general election.

Andrew Kamal is running as an independent in the general election.

The special election for District 8 was called after Peter Lucido (R) left office after being elected Macomb County Prosecutor on Nov. 3, 2020. The seat has been vacant since Lucido resigned on Dec. 31. Lucido had served since 2019. 

District 28

Keith Courtade and Gidget Groendyk are competing in the Democratic primary to advance to the general election. In the Republican primary, Tommy Brann, Kevin Green, and Mark Huizenga are competing to advance to the general election.

The special election for District 28 was called after Peter MacGregor (R) left office after being elected Kent County Treasurer on Nov. 3, 2020. The seat has been vacant since MacGregor resigned on Dec. 31. MacGregor had served since 2015.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 20-16 majority in the Michigan State Senate. Michigan has a divided government, and no political party holds astate government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. 

As of July 2021, 46 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 18 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Since 2010, Michigan has held 16 state legislative special elections. 

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Democratic, Republican candidates advance unopposed to special election in Tennessee state House district

The special primary election for Tennessee House of Representatives District 29 is on July 27. DeAngelo Jelks is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and Greg Vital is running unopposed in the Republican primary. The candidates will advance to the general election, scheduled for Sept. 14.

The special election was called after Mike Carter (R) died from cancer on May 15. Carter served from 2012 to 2021.

The filing deadline to run for the seat passed on June 17.

Tennessee has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the Tennessee House of Representatives by a margin of 73 to 26.

A closer look at major-party donations in the Virginia gubernatorial election

Candidates for governor of Virginia filed campaign finance reports on July 15, 2021, providing new totals in the race. The major-party candidates—Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R)—have both raised roughly $20 million for their respective campaigns, according to the most recent reports. 

A closer look at the sources of those campaign contributions shows that 94% of McAuliffe’s contributions—$19.2 million—have come from direct, itemized donations totaling more than $100. Youngkin lent his campaign $12 million, which makes up 61% of his total campaign contributions.

Itemized donations are those where information about the donor is provided in the campaign finance report including his or her name and address. Using the state data provided by the candidates’ reports, Ballotpedia found that a majority of McAuliffe’s itemized contributions—$11.2 million—came from donors outside of Virginia. The majority of Youngkin’s itemized contributions—$5.0 million—came from zip codes in Virginia. For both candidates, the largest single source of donations outside of Virginia is Washington, D.C.

An analysis of the zip codes for itemized Virginian donations shows that four of McAuliffe’s five largest sources are located in Fairfax County, in the state’s northeast, and one is located in Albemarle County, which surrounds the University of Virginia. To date, McAuliffe’s largest source of itemized donations—$1.5 million—is located in Alexandria, Va.

Three of Youngkin’s five largest sources of itemized Virginia donations are located in the independent city of Virginia Beach, in the state’s southeast. The remaining two zip codes are located in Fairfax County, and Henrico County, which includes the region surrounding the state’s capital: Richmond. Youngkin’s largest source of itemized donations—$547,675—is located in Virginia Beach, Va.

Virginians will elect a new governor in the Nov. 2 general election. Democrats have won four of the five most recent gubernatorial elections and all thirteen statewide elections since 2012. Two recent polls have shown the race about even with McAuliffe and Youngkin receiving support within the respective margins of errors. In addition to the major-party candidates, Princess Blanding, the Liberation Party candidate, will also appear on the general election ballot. She has raised $20,604 as of June 30 and has $7,739 on hand according to the most recent campaign finance reports.

To learn more about the Virginia gubernatorial election, click here.

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

Eleven candidates running in Republican special primary for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District

Eleven candidates are running in the Republican primary to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on August 3, 2021. The special general election, which will be held November 2, 2021, was called after Steve Stivers (R) resigned his seat in the House to become the President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, effective May 16, 2021. Mike Carey, Bob Peterson, and Jeff LaRe have led in endorsements and media attention.

Carey’s campaign has focused on his experience in the United States Army (where he served from 1989 to 1999), and his status as a self-described conservative outsider. President Donald Trump (R) endorsed him.

LaRe’s campaign has focused on his background in law enforcement and security services, as well as his experience serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, where he assumed office in 2019. As of the 2021 election, LaRe is the executive vice president of a security services company, the Whitestone Group, where he began working in 2000. Former Rep. Steve Stivers (R) endorsed LaRe.

Peterson’s campaign has focused on his farming background and experience serving in the Ohio state legislature, first in the House from 2011 to 2012, and then in the Senate where he assumed office in 2012 and served as the president pro tempore during the 133rd, 132nd, and the second half of the 131st General Assemblies. Peterson earned his B.S. in agriculture from Ohio State University, and his professional experience includes managing Peterson Family Farm. Ohio Right to Life PAC endorsed him.

Also running in the primary are John Adams, Eric M. Clark, Thad Cooperrider, Ruth Edmonds, Ron Hood, Tom Hwang, Stephanie Kunze, and Omar Tarazi.

The general election is rated Strong Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. The Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Greg Betts and Allison Russo in the general election.

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Kenyatté Hassell wins Democratic nomination in special primary runoff for Alabama House District 78

A special Democratic primary runoff for District 78 in the Alabama House of Representatives was held on June 22, 2021. Kenyatté Hassell defeated Donald Williams and advanced to the general election.

The general election is scheduled for September 7. The filing deadline passed on March 23. Hassell will be running against Loretta Grant (R).

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2, 2021. Hatcher served from 2018 to 2021. 

The September 7 special election will mark the fifth Alabama state legislative special election this year and the third special election for the state house of representatives. Ben Robbins (R) defeated Fred Crum (D) in the January 19 special election for House District 33. Virginia Applebaum (D) and April Weaver (R) will compete for Senate District 14 and Sheridan Black (D) will face Kenneth Paschal (R) in House District 73 on July 13.

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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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New York City primaries for mayor, city comptroller to be held on June 22

Primaries for the mayor and comptroller of New York City will be held on Tuesday, June 22. The winners will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.

Thirteen Democrats and two Republicans are running in the primaries for mayor of New York City. Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits.

The primary election will feature the first use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) for a mayoral primary in the city’s history. Voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference.

The following six Democratic candidates have received the most media attention and noteworthy endorsements:

• Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president

• Kathryn Garcia, former New York City sanitation commissioner

• Raymond McGuire, former Wall Street executive

• Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller

• Maya Wiley, former mayoral counsel

• Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

The top issues in this race are crime, policing, affordable housing, jobs, and healthcare.

New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers founder Fernando Mateo and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa are running in the Republican primary.

De Blasio was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017 with 66% of the vote. Including de Blasio, four of the previous six mayors were Democrats.

The Democratic primary for New York City comptroller is also being held on June 22. Ten candidates are running for the office, whose duties include performing audits of city agencies and managing five public pension funds. As of March 2021, the funds totaled $253 billion in assets.

The following seven candidates are leading in endorsements and fundraising:

• Brian Benjamin, state senator

• Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, former CNBC financial analyst

• Zachary Iscol, former Marine and nonprofit founder

• Corey Johnson, New York City Council speaker

• Brad Lander, New York City Council member

• Kevin Parker, state senator

• David Weprin, state assemblyman

The Republican primary was canceled, and Daby Carreras advanced as the Republican nominee for New York City comptroller.

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Voters in Alabama state House district to decide Democratic primary runoff on June 22

A special Democratic primary runoff will be held on June 22 for District 78 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Kenyatté Hassell and Donald Williams advanced to the Democratic primary runoff after defeating Terance Dawson and Roderick Thornton in the May 25 primary. The winner of the runoff will face Loretta Grant (R) in the special election on Sept. 7. The winner of the special election will serve until November 2022.

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2. Hatcher served in the state House from 2018 to 2021.

Alabama has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 26-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 76-27 margin with two vacancies.

As of June, 40 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 17 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Alabama held 23 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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