Tagrunoff

Texas holding local runoff elections on December 13

Two cities in Texas are holding nonpartisan general runoff elections on December 13, 2022. In Corpus Christi, three city council seats will be on the ballot. Three city council seats will also be on the ballot in Austin, along with the mayor. The runoff elections were required after no candidates received a majority of votes in the general elections that were held on November 8.

Austin Mayor Stephen Adler did not file to run for re-election in 2022. Six candidates were on the general election ballot to replace him. Celia Israel and Kirk Watson received the most votes in that election, earning them both a spot in the runoff.

The District 3, 5, and 9 seats on the Austin City Council are also holding runoffs. The general elections for those three seats each had at least six candidates competing. Daniela Silva and Jose Velasquez are competing in the District 3 runoff. The District 5 runoff includes Ryan Alter and Stephanie Bazan, and Linda Guerrero and Zohaib Qadri advanced to the District 9 runoff.

In Corpus Christi, the District 1, 2, and 3 seats on the city council are holding runoffs. All three seats had three candidates competing in the general election. Billy Lerma and Everett Roy are running in the District 1 runoff, Sylvia Campos and Mark Scott are competing in the District 2 runoff, and Roland Barrera and Eric J. Cantu advanced to the District 3 runoff.

Austin is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 11th-largest city in the United States. Corpus Christi is the eighth-largest city in Texas and the 58th-largest city in the United States.

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Turnout in Georgia Senate runoff was 90% of November election turnout

The office of Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reported that 3.5 million Georgians voted in the runoff election for U.S. Senate this year. That number 25% less than two years ago, when 4.5 million Georgians cast their ballots in the runoffs that took place on January 5, 2021.

This year, 44.7% of all registered voters voted in the runoff, down 13.5% from 2021, when 58.2% of all registered voters voted in the runoff. (The office of the Secretary of State distinguishes between active registered voters and inactive registered voters. We used estimates for all registered voters, active and inactive, to calculate these percentages.)

Turnout for this year’s runoff was 89.8% of the November 8 general election turnout, in which 3.9 million Georgians voted. That’s a slight decline from 2021, when the runoff turnout was 91.3% of the general election turnout, in which 4.9 million people voted.

More than 1.9 million voters cast their ballots early this year, including 1.7 million who voted early in person and over 188 thousand voters who voted absentee by mail. That number is 48% less than 2021, when 3.1 million Georgians voted early, including 2.1 million who did so in person and 1.1 million who voted absentee by mail. 

The number of voters who cast their ballots on Election Day increased from two years ago. This year, over 1.6 million Georgians voted on Election Day, 20.7% more than in 2021, when 1.3 million voters did so.



Israel, Watson running in Dec. 13 runoff for mayor of Austin

Celia Israel and Kirk Watson are running in the Dec. 13 nonpartisan general runoff election for mayor of Austin, Texas. Israel and Watson, who have both served in the state legislature as Democrats, were the top two vote-getters in the Nov. 8 general election. Israel received 40% of the vote and Watson received 35% of the vote. To win, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote.

Incumbent Stephen Adler did not run for re-election.

Israel has represented District 50 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2014, while Watson represented District 14 in the Texas Senate between 2007 and 2020. Watson earlier served as mayor of Austin between 1997 and 2001.

According to The Texas Tribune, “While both have acknowledged the magnitude of the crisis and have diagnosed similar issues, they’re approaching it through different philosophies: Israel is looking to enact sweeping reforms to alleviate Austin’s housing shortage and Watson is trying to balance the need for more housing with neighborhood interests.”

Israel says she would provide monetary assistance to renters while reducing parking requirements and increasing density to encourage development. Watson says he supports modifying the development review process to encourage new projects, temporarily halving fees related to development, and giving individual city council members authority to propose housing plans for their districts.

Israel and Watson disagree on how to spend a $250 million housing bond voters approved on Nov. 2, 2022. Israel said the city should “partner with a nonprofit who’s going to work to take our unhoused off the streets first and put them in a dignified place.” Watson said, “So one of my priorities would be to work with the private industry, the private developers as they’re developing their projects, bring in that public money, so we would be able to together be able to buy down those units.” 

The winner of the 2022 election will serve a two-year term instead of the typical four. In 2021, Austin voters approved Proposition D, a measure that aligns mayoral elections with presidential election years. Following the 2024 election, the mayor will serve a four-year term.

Austin has a Democratic mayor. As of December 2022, 62 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 25 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, seven identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, one mayor’s affiliation is unknown, and one office is vacant. 

The city of Austin utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives.



Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia on December 6, 2022.

Warnock and Walker were the top-two vote-getters in the November 8, 2022, general election, with Warnock winning 49.4% of the vote to Walker’s 48.5%. Libertarian Chase Oliver won 2.1% of the vote and did not advance to the runoff. In Georgia, a general election advances to a runoff between the two top finishers if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

This is the second Georgia Senate election in a row to go to a runoff. In 2020, Georgia held two elections for the U.S. Senate. In the regular election, incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) advanced to a runoff after neither received the votes to win the general election outright. In the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), Warnock and incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R)—whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed to fill the vacancy created when Isakson retired—advanced to a runoff for the same reason. The runoffs took place on January 5, 2021.

Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff and Ossoff defeated Perdue, giving Democrats an effective majority in the U.S. Senate (the partisan split following the runoffs was 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes).

Unlike the 2021 runoffs, the 2022 runoff will not determine control of the U.S. Senate. Democrats won 50 Senate seats in the November 8 general election, enough to maintain effective control of the chamber. If Warnock wins, Democrats would expand their majority to 51.

Before assuming office, Warnock served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also served as pastor. Warnock’s campaign said, “As the 18th most bipartisan Senator, Reverend Warnock successfully negotiated investments for Georgia businesses to grow jobs in state and end our reliance on foreign countries like China, capped the cost of insulin for seniors to $35 a month, fought to keep open the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, and took on the shipping companies and big corporations making record prices while increasing costs for Georgians.”

Walker is a businessman and a Hall of Fame professional football player who represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics. Walker’s campaign said, “Herschel Walker is fully prepared to lower taxes and curb inflation, back law enforcement and fight back against crime. He will secure our border from drugs and illegal immigrants and take men out of women’s sports.”

As a result of a change in Georgia state law, the 2022 runoffs will take place on December 6, not January 5. On March 25, 2021, Gov. Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, which shortened the time between a general election and a runoff from nine weeks to 28 days.

As of November 22, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia ranked as the second most expensive Senate election in 2022 and the fourth most expensive Senate race ever. According to data from Open Secrets, candidate campaign committees and satellite spending groups had spent $307 million in the race.

Including the 2021 runoffs, four Senate runoffs have taken place in Georgia. The first Senate runoff occurred in 1992. Incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost to Paul Coverdell (R) in that election.  In 2008, incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election after defeating Jim Martin (D) in a runoff.



Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia on December 6, 2022.

Warnock and Walker were the top-two vote-getters in the November 8, 2022, general election, with Warnock winning 49.4% of the vote to Walker’s 48.5%. Libertarian Chase Oliver won 2.1% of the vote and did not advance to the runoff. In Georgia, a general election advances to a runoff between the two top finishers if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

This is the second Georgia Senate election in a row to go to a runoff. In 2020, Georgia held two elections for the U.S. Senate. In the regular election, incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) advanced to a runoff after neither received the votes to win the general election outright. In the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), Warnock and incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R)—whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed to fill the vacancy created when Isakson retired—advanced to a runoff for the same reason. The runoffs took place on January 5, 2021.

Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff and Ossoff defeated Perdue, giving Democrats an effective majority in the U.S. Senate (the partisan split following the runoffs was 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes).

Unlike the 2021 runoffs, the 2022 runoff will not determine control of the U.S. Senate. Democrats won 50 Senate seats in the November 8 general election, enough to maintain effective control of the chamber. If Warnock wins, Democrats would expand their majority to 51.

Before assuming office, Warnock served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also served as pastor. Warnock’s campaign said, “As the 18th most bipartisan Senator, Reverend Warnock successfully negotiated investments for Georgia businesses to grow jobs in state and end our reliance on foreign countries like China, capped the cost of insulin for seniors to $35 a month, fought to keep open the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, and took on the shipping companies and big corporations making record prices while increasing costs for Georgians.”

Walker is a businessman and a Hall of Fame professional football player who represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics. Walker’s campaign said, “Herschel Walker is fully prepared to lower taxes and curb inflation, back law enforcement and fight back against crime. He will secure our border from drugs and illegal immigrants and take men out of women’s sports.”

As a result of a change in Georgia state law, the 2022 runoffs will take place on December 6, not January 5. On March 25, 2021, Gov. Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, which shortened the time between a general election and a runoff from nine weeks to 28 days.

As of November 22, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia ranked as the second most expensive Senate election in 2022 and the fourth most expensive Senate race ever. According to data from Open Secrets, candidate campaign committees and satellite spending groups had spent $307 million in the race.

Including the 2021 runoffs, four Senate runoffs have taken place in Georgia. The first Senate runoff occurred in 1992. Incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost to Paul Coverdell (R) in that election.  In 2008, incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election after defeating Jim Martin (D) in a runoff.



Public defender and deputy district attorney advance to runoff for Office 67 of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes and Fernanda Maria Barreto advanced from a nonpartisan primary for Office 67 of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County after finishing first and second over a third candidate, Ryan Dibble.

Lashley-Haynes received 37% of the vote in the June 3 primary followed by Barreto with 36%. Since neither candidate received over 50% of the vote needed to win outright, the two will advance to a runoff on Nov. 8.

While the race was officially nonpartisan, meaning candidates appeared on the ballot without party labels, both candidates were endorsed by at least one organization affiliated with the Democratic Party.

The candidates’ legal backgrounds represent both sides of the courtroom, Lashley-Haynes as a public defender and Barreto as a deputy district attorney.

Both Lashley-Haynes and Barreto completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Below are excerpts from their surveys, which can be viewed in full by clicking on each candidate’s name:

  • Lashley-Haynes“[M]ass incarceration has failed us. Public defenders like me … are well equipped to understand the circumstances that bring Californians into the courtroom and to understand how to prevent crime.”
  • Barreto“With almost 16 years of experience as a [deputy district attorney] handling complex felony cases including murder, rape, and domestic violence, I am capable and qualified … of being a Superior Court Judge.”

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the Los Angeles County Public Defenders Union, and four superior court judges in the county endorsed Lashley-Haynes.

The Los Angeles Times, the Burbank Police Officers’ Association, and 21 superior court judges in the county endorsed Barreto.

There are 494 judges on the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, making it the largest trial court in the country. Judges serve six-year terms. Offices on the court only appear on the ballot when an incumbent judge is challenged or, in the case of Office 67, no incumbent files for re-election.

Judges on the Superior Court of Los Angeles County conduct all original trials in the county, except in cases where appellate level courts have original jurisdiction. According to the court’s website, “Cases range from simple traffic infractions to murders; landlord/tenant disputes to multi-million dollar lawsuits; guardianships to involuntary commitments.”



Mullin and Shannon advance to Aug. 23 special runoff for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma

Markwayne Mullin and T.W. Shannon advanced to an August 23, 2022, Republican primary runoff in the special U.S. Senate election in Oklahoma. Neither received the majority of the primary vote needed to win outright on June 28.

Ten candidates ran in the primary. The special election will fill the rest of the six-year term left by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R), who was last elected in 2020. Inhofe announced he would resign January 3, 2023, to spend time with family.

Mullin, Shannon, Nathan Dahm, Scott Pruitt, and Luke Holland led in polling, noteworthy endorsements, and media attention.

Mullin has represented Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013. He campaigned on making the country energy independent, lowering inflation, and defending the Second Amendment. Mullin said, “I entered the race for Senate because the people of Oklahoma deserve a Senator who will fight for their conservative values. I am a Christian, a family man and a proud supporter of President Trump and I will always fight for the America First policies that Oklahomans have been desperately missing during Joe Biden’s failed time in office.”

Shannon is the CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank in Oklahoma City. He previously served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2006 to 2014. Shannon campaigned on opposing taxpayer-funded abortion, protecting the U.S. Constitution, and lowering taxes to create jobs. Shannon said he was running to “push back against this woke agenda” because “what made this country great is our constitution, capitalism and Christianity, and all three of those are under attack.” Former Vice Presidential and current U.S. House candidate Sarah Palin (R) endorsed Shannon.

Dahm is a member of the Oklahoma State Senate, a position to which he was first elected in 2011. Dahm campaigned on election integrity, protecting the Second Amendment, and term limits for members of U.S. Congress. Dahm said, “I’m running for the United States Senate because, like you, I am tired of the spineless politicians who turned their backs on President Donald J. Trump. We need proven Republican fighters, and I’ve proven I’ll never back down.” U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R) endorsed Dahm.

Holland was Inhofe’s chief of staff until he resigned in February 2022 to run for U.S. Senate. He began working with Inhofe in 2009 as a staff assistant. Holland campaigned on standing up to China and stopping what he described as a rush to socialism. Holland said, “As your next senator, I will continue the Inhofe legacy of defending our Christian values, fighting socialism, rebuilding our military and standing up to China.” Inhofe endorsed Holland.

Pruitt served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under former President Donald Trump (R) from 2017 to 2018. Prior to that, he served as the Oklahoma Attorney General from 2011 to 2017. He campaigned on energy independence, securing the border, fighting what he calls Big Tech, and stopping inflation. Pruitt said: “I think Oklahomans know that I’m going to fight for their values, I think they know that I exhibited courage in working with the president historically to get things done and I think they know that I’ve also engaged in leadership and civility. I believe very strongly that we’ll have the resources that we need.” Former Secretary of Energy and former Governor of Texas Rick Perry (R) endorsed Pruitt.

Alex Gray, Randy Grellner, Adam Holley, Laura Moreno, Paul Royse, and John Tompkins also ran in the election.

As of June 29, 2022, 16 special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.



Vallejo defeats Ramirez in Texas’ 15th Congressional District Democratic primary runoff after recount

A recount of votes in the May 24 Democratic primary runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District showed Michelle Vallejo defeating Ruben Ramirez by 35 votes, according to an announcement by the Texas Democratic Party on June 17.

Vallejo declared victory in the runoff election on June 1 after unofficial results showed her leading Ramirez by 33 votes. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and with final results coming in, I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District,” Vallejo said.

Ramirez did not concede, saying the election was still too close to call. Ramirez said, “it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made. South Texas politics has a long tradition of upset victories.” After calling for a recount on June 6, the Texas Democratic Party approved Ramirez’s request on June 9.

According to the Associated Press, “The victory by Vallejo sets up a significant test this fall for progressive Democrats who backed her in the 15th Congressional District, one of two new U.S. House seats awarded to booming Texas after a decade of explosive growth driven by new Latino residents.” Vallejo will face Monica De La Cruz (R), who won the 15th district Republican primary, in the November election.

Another recount of the May 24 runoff results is currently underway in the race between Jessica Cisneros (D) and incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) in Texas’ 28th Congressional District.



Britt and Brooks advance to runoff for U.S. Senate in Alabama

Katie Britt and Mo Brooks advanced from a field of six candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Alabama on May 24, 2022. As no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, Britt and Brooks will compete in a June 21 runoff. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R), first elected in 1986, did not run for re-election.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Brooks on April 7, 2021, and withdrew the endorsement on March 23, 2022. In a statement, Trump said, “Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you.'”

In response to the withdrawn endorsement, Brooks said, “I am the only proven America First candidate in this Senate race . . . I am the only candidate who fought voter fraud and election theft when it counted, between November 3 and January 6.”

Britt was Shelby’s chief of staff and the president and CEO of the Alabama Business Council. Britt’s campaign website said she was an “advocate for smaller government, modern job growth, constitutional liberties and greater opportunity.” Sen. Shelby, Maggie’s List, the Value In Electing Women PAC, and Winning for Women, Inc. PAC endorsed Britt.

Brooks was elected to represent Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in 2010 and served as Madison County Commissioner from 1996-2010. Brooks’ campaign ads have highlighted his speech at Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021, which preceded the U.S. Capitol breach. Brooks campaigned as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support his agenda. Brooks’ endorsements included Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.).



Ramirez and Vallejo advance to runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District primary

Ruben Ramirez and Michelle Vallejo were the top two finishers in the Democratic Party primary election for Texas’ 15th Congressional District on March 1, 2022. Ramirez received 28.3% of the vote, followed by Vallejo with 20.1%. Because no candidate won 50% of the vote, Ramirez and Vallejo advanced to a runoff election on May 24.

Media attention focused on Eliza Alvarado, Ramirez, John Villarreal Rigney, and Vallejo, and these candidates also led in fundraising. Incumbent Vicente Gonzalez (D) ran to replace retiring District 34 incumbent Filemon Vela (D) after the Texas State Legislature redrew the 15th district to include more of western Hidalgo County during the 2020 redistricting cycle.

Ramirez is an Army veteran and former teacher who previously ran for election in the 15th District in 2012 and 2016. At the time of the election, he worked as an attorney. His top campaign priorities were healthcare, national security, and education. Ramirez said he would “continue to fight for my fellow veterans and district. Like all challenges I have faced, I will not back down and I promise to uphold our values and our Constitution” if elected.

Vallejo was a business owner and co-founder of two advocacy groups, New Leaders Council STX Frontera chapter and Hustle + Socialize. Her platform includes supporting Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and an anti-war foreign policy. “I think traditionally these races are based on who has the most purchasing power when it comes to mailers, signs, and media, and I’m so grateful that for my campaign that’s not the only thing we’re focusing on, and I love that it started with the energy of having a ground game,” Vallejo said.

Alvarado was a director at South Texas educational service center Region One, and she previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and served as a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D). She emphasized her experience in government, education, and healthcare and said partisanship was unimportant in representing the district. “I’m not there to represent Brooklyn or California, I’m there to represent District 15. And as such, I need to understand what District 15 needs regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat,” Alvarado said.

Rigney worked as an attorney and founded a construction company, Rigney Construction & Development. His top campaign issues included public safety, education, veterans’ education and healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and providing residency and citizenship opportunities for immigrants. Rigney said his campaign was focused on “you, your family, and all the people that work every day to provide for their families. Whether that means trying to put food on the table, dealing with rising gas prices, trying to pay for unaffordable medical care, or making sure your kids have quality afterschool care, I want to make sure you get the best representation.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Texas’ 15th Congressional District became more favorable to Republicans as a result of redistricting. Joe Biden (D) won the district by two percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump (R) would have won the new district by three percentage points. The Cook Political Report and other outlets rated the 15th district Solid Democratic in 2020 but rated it Lean Republican in 2022.

Julio Garza and Vanessa Tijerina also ran in the Democratic primary.