Mayoral roundup: Incumbents cruise to reelection

November 6, 2013

A quick look at some of the other mayoral races decided Tuesday:

— Cincinnati: Former city council member John Craney defeated Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls by a 58 percent to 42 percent margin, a vote observers said served as a referendum on a $133 million streetcar project Craney opposed. Qualls led in Cincinnati’s downtown core, while Craney won the outlying neighborhoods by wide margins, the Cincinnati Enquire  reported.

 Cleveland: Mayor Frank Jackson won more than two-thirds of the vote in his bid for a third term against challenger Ken Lanci. Jackson is in the middle of a major school reform effort and a redesign of several downtown areas, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

— Buffalo: Mayor Byron Brown (D) easily defeated Republican Sergio Rodriguez, by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin, to win a third term.

— Detroit: Former hospital executive and self-styled turnaround artist Mike Duggan will become Detroit’s first white mayor in four decades after defeating Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin Tuesday. Duggan will have to work with Emergency Manager Kevin Orr, who effectively controls the city as it struggles through bankruptcy. But once Orr’s mandate expires in September, Duggan will have more flexibility to chart the city’s future than previous mayors who were burdened by existing contracts and pension obligations.

— Houston: Mayor Annise Parker won a third two-year term  with 57 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff against former city attorney Ben Hall on Tuesday. Hall, who spent more than $2 million on the race, ended with 28 percent of the vote in the multi-candidate field.

— Atlanta: Mayor Kasim Reed, a rising star and a face of what Democrats hope is their newly emerging Southern coalition, cruised to a second term Tuesday. Reed took 85 percent of the vote against three unknown challengers.

— St. Petersburg: Former state representative Rick Kriseman, once seen as a longshot, defeated incumbent Mayor Bill Foster on Tuesday by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin. Foster is the first mayor to lose his job since St. Petersburg transitioned to a strong-mayor format in 1993, the Tampa Bay Times reported. While the race was officially nonpartisan, Kriseman had support from local Democratic groups and elected officials. Foster had support from the state Republican Party.

— Charlotte: City Council member Patrick Cannon (D) defeated fellow council member Edwin Peacock (R) by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin Tuesday in one of the nation’s few partisan mayoral elections. Cannon will take over for Patsy Kinsey (D), who had been appointed to fill the remainder of the term left vacant when Anthony Foxx (D) quit to become U.S. Transportation Secretary in July. Cannon is the second straight Democrat to win the mayor’s office after a string of 26 years of Republican control.

— Waterville, Maine: Okay, it’s not a major metropolis, but it’s always strange when two members of the same family decide to run against each other. In a race for Ward 1, Jennifer Johnson (D) defeated her husband, David Johnson (R), by a 127-76 vote margin, the Morning Sentinel reported. We hope they ran a clean race.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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Reid Wilson · November 6, 2013