In Utica, N.Y., unorthodox Mayor Edward A. Hanna did no campaigning in his bid for a third term, saying. "If a person has to campaign a third time, he has no business running." The voters agreed,and Hanna lost by 6,000 votes.
In Raleigh, N.C., Isbella Cannon, a 73-year-old retired librarian who announced her candidacy with a pair of sneakers draped around her neck, upset an establishment incumbent to become the city's first woman mayor.
"I'm not a grandmother," she said, somewhat defensively, after her victory. "I think age is completely unimportant."
In Seattle, former television news commentator Charles Royer won election as mauor with the argument that 15 years in journalism taught him how government works. The man whom he replaced in City Hall did the post-election commentary on Royer's old television station.
In Pleasant Lake, Minn., nobody filed to run for the $30-a-year job as mayor least of all incumbent Thomas Clapp, who said he no longer wanted the post. But the voters re-elected Clapp in a write-in campaign, and he grudingly accepted another term.
In Elmont, N.Y., Ralph Yachnin, who was elected a country judge, was severely bitten by his dog as he awaited election returns. Before driving to the hospital for emergency surgery, Yachnin got a pistol and shot the dog dead.
And in Grant, Mich., voters found the ballot blank when they tried to vote for a mayor and three City Council positions. Nonetheless, school-teacher Daley Joley was named mayor in a write-in, and O Michael Ashcratt and Chester Cierlal, were re-elected councilmen against their wishes.
"I'll have to sleep on it." Ashcraft said when asked whether he will serve.
Those are some of the zanier foot-notes to Election Day, 1977, a day of balloting that produced few significant ideological trends and did title to change the political landscape of American.
But there were a few notable achievements, to be sure.
In New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Brenda T. Byrne wrote a new chapter in the manual of come-from-behind politics and won reelection over Republican State Sen. Raymond H. Bateman.
Just a few months ago, Byrne's unfavorable rating in the polls was 75 per cent, and political pundits fell into the habit of referring to the governor in the past tense. But Byrne while Batengan got 43 per cent.
Byrne yesterday said he viewed his victory as a vindication of the state's new income tax, which he forced through the legislature amid a shrill chorus of opposition from within his own party. The income tax was the central issue in the campaign, with Bateman saying he would veto any extension beyond its June 30 expiration date.
For Republicans, John B. Dalton's landslide victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race was the day's measures of success.
By handing populist Democrat Henry E. Howell a decisive defeat, 56 per cent to 43 per cent, Dalton gave Republicans a third term in the State House and some grist for interpreting the result as a setback for President Carter, who campaigned for Howell.
Carter also campaigned for Byrne in New Jersey, but the consensus of politicans was that the governor was the principal architect of his own victory.
Republicans also pointed with pride to a local election in the Lousiville, Ky., area, where Mitch McConnell, a 35-year-old lawyer, unseated Jefferson County Fiscal Court Judge Todd Hollenback. In Kentucky, country executive and the Louisville metropolitan area's 200,000 voters are viewed as the key to statewide party control.
Republican National Chairman Bill Brock yesterday called McConnell's victory by 11,000 votes a "resurgence" for the party in Kentucky, and said Dalton's win in Virginia "asserts the health of the party in the South."
His counterpart at the Democratic National Committee, Kenneth Curtis, not unexpectedly saw things differently.
"We're keeping what we had, and given the substantial numbers we already had, that's good," said Curtis.
Republicans found little to cheer about in New York City's mayoral election.
Rep. Edward Koch (D-N.Y.), running from Manhattan's East Side "Silk Stocking" district, was swept into office with 49 per cent of the vote over Liberal Secretary of State Mario Cuomo, who pulled 42 per cent.
Republican State Sen. Roy Goodman won only 5 per cent, just one point more than Conservative Barry Farber, a local television talk show host.
Also reaffirming the Democrats' secure position in New York was the decisive victory of Carol Bellamy, a 35-year-old former Peace Corps volunteer who became City Council president and the first woman elected in a citywide race in New York. She carried all five boroughs in her bid to succeed Paul O'Dwyer, whom she defeated in the Democratic primary.
State Assemblyman Andrew Stein, whose father, Jerry Finkelstein, has long been a kingmaker in New York politics, was elected Manhattan Borough president. He defeated the son of another prominent political personality, Robert F. Wagner Jr., whose father is the former mayor.
Elsewhere across the nation, there were some innovations and political curiosities in the other major cities that held local elections. Detroit
In the first major American city to match a black against another black in a mayoral election, incumbent Coleman A. Young defeated challenger Ernest Browne Jr., 218.826 to 150.404. Browne, who had been endorsed by the predominantly white Police Officers Association, took about 90 per cent of the vote in the city's white precinets, but Young captured more than 90 per cent of the black vote in Detroit, which is about 60 per cent black. Cleveland
Democratic maverick Dennis Kucinich, a 31-year-old State Rep. Edward Feighnan, also a Democrat, by 93.172 to 90.023 in the city's nonpartisan election. Kucinich becomes the nation's youngest big-city mayor. Minnespolis
Mayor Charles Stenvig, a former police officer, was unseated by perennial rival Albert Hofstede, of the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party, 54.735 votes to 44,999. Stenvig, an independent, was elected mayor in 1969 and 1971, lost to Hofstede in 1973 and then defeated Hofstede in 1975. Houston
Former District Attorney Frank Briscoe, a cousin of Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe, led a field of 12 candidates with 33 per cent of the vote, but was forced into a Nov. 22 runoff against City Councilman Jim McConn to determine who will succeed retiring Mayor Fred Hofheinz. Buffalo
State Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve, a militant black civil rights leaders who engineered a surprise Democratic primary victory in his attempt to become the state's first black mayor, was defeated by Conservative James Griffin in heavily Italian and Slavic Buffalo. Griffin pulled 55.752 votes to Eve's 42.360, with Republican John Phelan receiving 33.645. Pittsburgh
Acting Mayor Richard Caliguirl, an independent who was appointed when Mayor Peter Flaherty took a top Justice Department job last spring, defeated Democratic nominee Thomas Foerster, 67,782 to 62,911. Republican Joseph Cosetti, who lost the Democratic primary and switched parties 13 minutes before the filing deadline, got 12,468 votes. Miami
Maurice Ferre, the incumbent mayor, easily defeated his challenger, E.L. Marina, a Cuban exile who wons a military school for boys, in an election whose importance is diminished by the fact that Dade County's metropolitan government controls many functions normally that of a city. Ferre, a native of Puerto Rico, pulled 22,981 votes in heavily Hispanic Miami, compared to Marina's 5,752. Albany, N.Y.
Mayor Erastus Corning II, 67, who presides over the nation's longest-surviving municipal dynasty, was elected to a 10th term, after which he said. "It doesn't feel any differnt than after nine, but it feels good." Corning, elected first in 1941, defeated his Republican challanger, Michael Ruberti, who polled only 17 per cent of the vote. Boston
Although this was not a mayoral year, there were some surprises.
Louis Day Hicks, who became nationally known as a leader of the city's anti-busing movement, lost her seat on the City Council. She began her political career on Boston's School Committee in 1961.
At the same time, John D. O'Bryant, a career educator, became the first black in this century to be elected to the five-member school Committee, replacing staunch anti-busing activist Elvira (Pixie) Palladino. Two years ago, when O'Bryant rirst ran, Palladino said, "He couldn't get three votes for dog catcher if his last name wasn't Irish."
Meanwhile, Paul Ellison, a City Council candidate who sat out the election returns in Norfolk County Prison, finished 18th out of 18 in a race for nine at-large seats. Ellison, who squeaked into a place in the runoff, is serving a one-year term for grand larceny in connection with a payroll check-cashing scheme. San Francisco
Harvey Milk, a gay activist, was elected a San Francisco supervisor to become the first avowed homosexual office holder in the city. Milk, who had been defeated in two previous campaigns for supervisor and once in a state Assembly race, said his election was a victory for all homosexuals in the United States.