Tuesday’s mayoral elections, east to west
Creative commons photo via flickr user KCIvey
It’s election day for many voters across the U.S. Here’s a roundup of some of the larger mayoral races to be battled out today.
Boston: The return of the city’s traditional Irish-American mayors
The Boston Globe calls it the “first open mayoral race in a generation.” State Rep. Martin Walsh faces off with City Council member John Connolly, a former teacher who has focused on education in his campaign. The two Democrats finished first and second respectively in the Sept. 24 primary. Incumbent Democrat Thomas Menino, who took office in July 1993 and is the city’s longest-serving mayor, decided against bidding for a sixth term.
View Boston Globe’s interactive map displaying voter turnout for the mayoral election.
New York City: Bill de Blasio vs. Joseph Lhota
Mayor Michael Bloomberg can’t go for a fourth term, which means the race comes down to former MTA chairman and Republican Party nominee Joseph Lhota and New York City Public Advocate and Democratic Party nominee Bill de Blasio. The New York Times reports that because some polls show de Blasio leading by more than 40 points, the Democratic candidate was concerned about voter turnout. Political consultants have estimated that turnout will be around 1.2 million of New York City’s 4.3 million active registered voters. Lhota, the Times reports, hopes for an upset.
Though there are six times as many registered Democrats as registered Republicans living in the Big Apple, the last time the city had a Democratic mayor was 1989.
Cleveland mayoral election: Democrats face off
With only two candidates, Cleveland skipped primary elections in September. Incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson is seeking a third term, and faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Ken Lanci. Jackson was re-elected in 2009 with 77 percent of the vote. But Lanci argues that Jackson has not done enough to encourage business development and job growth in working class, ethnic neighborhoods, outside of downtown Cleveland.
The AP reports the city’s population has dropped 16 percent since 2005, the year Jackson was first elected. Employment dropped more than 17 percent — from 175,400 to 149,200 — during the same period.
Detroit: Candidates vie to govern the bankrupt Motor City
Mike Duggan, who came through the August primary as a Democrat write-in candidate, faces fellow Democrat Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. While Duggan was originally thought to have little chance making it through the primary elections, the AP reports that he is now favored to become the city’s next mayor. CBS Detroit reports that the city officials only expects 20-25 percent voter turnout of registered voters.
Incumbent Democrat Dave Bing decided against seeking a second term in office.
But Detroit’s mayor-elect won’t have much power as long as emergency financial manager Kevin Orr remains in town overseeing finances of the debt-ridden city. In July, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, with debts of around $18 billion.
Minneapolis: 35 candidates on the ballot
With Democratic incumbent R.T. Rybak not standing for re-election after 12 years, 35 candidates think they are up for the job to replace him. The city will use a ranked choice voting system, selecting their top three for the office. If no candidate gets over 50 percent of the first-choice votes, then the second and third choices are automatically counted.
Minnesota Public Radio has a “Voter’s Toolbox” with news coverage and resources for citizens in the Twin Cities.
Houston: Don’t forget your ID before you head to the polls
Houston’s Democratic incumbent Annise Parker hopes voters will re-elect her to the mayor’s office to a third and final term over the eight other candidates on the ballot for mayor, with Republican Ben Hall, a former city attorney, as her biggest competition.
This will be the first election in which Texas will enforce a new voter identification law. Anyone who wants to cast a ballot will be required to show a photo identification card, KHOU reports. Voter hopefuls can show a Texas drivers licence, DPS personal identification card, U.S. passport, U.S. citizenship certificate, military ID or a concealed handgun permit.
The Houston Chronicle reports that turnout in the 2011 election barely topped 10 percent. Rice University political science professor predicts 2013 voter turnout at closer to 20 percent.
Seattle: ‘Left Coast‘ candidates rely on get-out-the-vote strategies in final days
Incumbent Democratic Mayor Mike McGinn is seeking a second term, but he finished second to State Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray in the Aug. 6 non-partisan primary, with the men receiving 28 percent and 30 percent of the vote respectively to move forward to today’s election. Seattle Times’ political reporter writes that the re-election hopes of McGinn rest upon aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts, who is outmatching in fundraising. According to the Seattle Times’ report, lobbying firm polls show Murray with a 17-point lead.
Election officials estimate 57 percent voter turnout in Seattle Tuesday.
Other cities with mayoral elections on Tuesday include Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Miami and Pittsburgh.
Read more:“Factbox: Mayoral races around U.S. quirky, serious and hard-fought” (Reuters)