On 3 November 2009 mayoral elections were held in many major US cities



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High profile incumbents prevail
in American mayoral elections

4 November 2009: The big story of this year’s US mayoral elections is the narrow victory of Michael Bloomberg in the New York City race, who obtained a previously impossible third term by only four per cent over Democrat challenger William Thompson. Incumbents also triumphed in Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, St Paul and Rochester, while second-round ballots will need to be held in Atlanta and Houston.

Election results for selected cities
City
Winner
(Inc) denotes incumbent
Winning result
in %
Albany NY Gerald Jennings (Inc)
63
Allentown PA Ed Pawlowski (Inc)
74
Annapolis MD Joshua Cohen.
Asheville NC Terry Bellamy (Inc)
79
Atlanta GA Kasim Reed.
n/a
Atlantic City NJ Lorenzo Langford (Inc)
59
Auburn WA Peter Lewis (Inc)
59
Baldwin Park CA Manuel Lozano (Inc)
58
Boston MA Thomas Menino (Inc)
57
Bowie MD Frederick Robinson (Inc)
n/a
Bristol CT Arthur Ward (Inc)
58
Brockton MA Linda Balzotti.
n/a
Broomfield CO Patrick Quinn (Inc)
71
Camden NJ Dana Redd.
83
Cape Coral FL John Sullivan.
63
Cedar Falls IA Jon Crews (Inc)
69
Cedar Rapids IA Ron Corbett.
62
Chapel Hill NC Mark Kleinschmidt.
49
Charlotte NC Anthony Foxx.
51
Cincinnati OH Mark Mallory (Inc)
54
Cleveland OH Frank Jackson (Inc)
77
Concord NC Scott Padgett (Inc)
72
Danbury CT Mark Boughton (Inc)
n/a
Dayton OH Gary Leitzell.
52
Detroit MI David Bing (Inc)
58
Durham NC William Bell (Inc)
77
East Hartford CT Melody Currey (Inc)
n/a
Edison NJ Antonia Ricigliano.
58
El Monte CA Andre Quintero.
67
Erie PA Joseph Sinnott (Inc)
n/a
Fayetteville NC Anthony Chavonne (Inc)
67
Fort Myers FL Randall Henderson
n/a
Gaithersburg MD Sidney Katz (Inc)
n/a
Garfield Heights OH Vic Collova.
54
Greensboro NC Bill Knight.
n/a
Hamden CT Scottt Jackson.
54
Hawthorne CA Larry Guidi (Inc)
51
Hialeah FL Julio Robaina (Inc)
93
Houston TX Annise Parker
n/a
Kannapolis NC Robert Misenheimer (Inc)
71
Kent WA Suzette Cooke (Inc)
69
Lansing MI Virg Bernero (Inc)
63
Lawrence MA William Lantigua.
53
Lewiston ME Laurent Gilbert (Inc)
54
Loveland CO Cecil Gutierrez.
36
Manchester NH Ted Gatsas.
57
Marietta GA Raymond Stevens Tumlin
80
Meriden CT Michael Rohde.
67
Methuen MA William Manzi, (Inc)
53
Miami FL Tomás Regalado.
72
Miami Beach FL Matti Bower (Inc)
77
Middletown CT Sebastian Giuliano (Inc)
53
Milford CT James Richetelli (Inc)
60
Minneapolis MN R.T. Rybak (Inc)
70
New Britain CT Timothy Stewart (Inc)
n/a
New Haven CT John DeStefano (Inc)
74
New York City NY Michael Bloomberg (Inc)
51
Newark CA David Smith (Inc)
96
Newton MA Setti Warren.
51
North Olmsted OH Kevin Kennedy.
54
Norwalk CT Richard Moccia (Inc)
61
Norwich CT Peter Nystrom.
n/a
Palmdale CA James Ledford (Inc)
79
Parsippany-Troy Hills NJ Jamie Barberio.
52
Pittsburgh PA Luke Ravenstahl (Inc)
55
Plainfield NJ Sharon Robinson-Briggs (Inc)
66
Provo UT John Curtis.
n/a
Quincy MA Thomas Koch (Inc)
54
Riverside CA Ronald Loveridge (Inc)
69
Rochester NY Robert Duffy (Inc)
100
Rockville MD Phyllis Marcuccio.
n/a
San Bruno CA Jim Ruane.
74
San Ramon CA Abram Wilson (Inc)
96
Sandy City UT Thomas Dolan (Inc)
57
Santa Barbara CA Helene Schneider.
46
Seattle WA Mike McGinn
51
Shelton CT Mark Lauretti (Inc)
55
Southfield MI Brenda Lawrence (Inc)
78
Springfield MA Domenic Sarno (Inc)
n/a
St. Paul MN Chris Coleman (Inc)
69
St. Petersburg FL Bill Foster.
52
Stamford CT Michael Pavia.
55
Stratford CT John Harkins.
65
Syracuse NY Stephanie Miner.
50
Tacoma WA Marilyn Strickland
51
Toledo OH Mike Bell.
52
Torrington CT Ryan Bingham (Inc)
75
Vancouver WA Tim Leavitt.
53
Wallingford CT William Dickinson (Inc)
100
Waterbury CT Michael Jarjura (Inc)
70
West Hartford CT Scott Slifka (Inc)
n/a
West Haven CT John Picard (Inc)
64
West Valley City UT Mike Winder.
76
Westlake OH Dennis Clough (Inc)
100
Westminster CO Nancy McNally (Inc)
100
Wheat Ridge CO Jerry DiTullio (Inc)
65
White Plains NY Adam Bradley.
100
Winston-Salem NC James Allen Joines (Inc)
100
Woburn MA Scott Galvin.
54
Worcester MA Joseph O'Brien.
50
York PA Kim Bracey.
n/a
Youngstown OH Jay Williams (Inc)
98
Yuma AZ Alan Krieger.
57
Source: US Conference of Mayors

Despite spending an unprecedented $100m of his own considerable fortune on getting re-elected, Bloomberg scored only 51 per cent of the vote, a disappointing result considering his lead in polls and still high approval ratings after eight years in office. However, the latest rating of Mayor Monitor only awards Bloomberg 5.89 points out of ten.

The independent mayor’s narrow victory indeed suggests some disenchantment with his having the city council rescind its term limits to allow him to run a third time. The mayor said he would take on board a number of concerns, which emerged during the campaign. Thompson, the city’s comptroller, polled substantially better than Bloomberg’s 2005 Democratic challenger Fernando Ferrer, scoring 46 per cent of ballots cast. However, a number of Democrats in the city have accused Obama and his aides of not doing enough to get their man elected, claiming Bloomberg’s winning margin could have been squeezed even further had the president actively campaigned rather than deliver a non-endorsement. At a Democrat fundraiser in the city held one day before polling, Vice President Joe Biden was equally non-committal towards the Thompson campaign.

The off-year nature of this year’s elections and the overwhelming tendency for Democrats to poll well in urban areas meant any meaningful assessment of Barack Obama’s first year in office was hard to come by. Republican victories in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races supplied a convenient ‘bad evening for Obama’ narrative for most of the world’s media, though some crumbs of comfort were obtained by Democrat wins in congressional by-elections in California and New York.

In the last such off-year elections in 2007, Gavin Newsom won a second term as mayor of San Francisco and while not on any ballots this year, the term-limited mayor’s name was heard throughout the final days of the races owing to his departure from the California governor’s election next year. That November Pittsburgh’s Luke Ravenstahl won his first election to succeed Bob O’Connor, who left office after being diagnosed with a rare terminal illness. In the 2009 election proper, Ravenstahl beat his two independent opponents to receive a full term in office with 55 per cent of the vote, though he now has to contend with a serious pensions deficit in the city hall coffers. Off-years can throw up some important races however, such as that of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who two years on now occupies a national role in the GOP’s political fortunes.

In spite of a predicted close race, Boston’s Thomas Menino coasted to a fifth term of office, with 57 per cent of the vote compared to city council president Michael Flaherty’s 43 per cent. While Menino’s governing style and politics might not be to all residents’ tastes, his re-election confirms the impregnable status of incumbency in Boston’s mayoralty as no sitting mayor has lost an election in 60 years.

Detroit’s Dave Bing was elected to his first full term of office, having won the city’s special election to replace the ousted Kwame Kilpatrick in May. The former pro-basketball player beat three-time challenger Tom Barrow 56-41 per cent. The elections ushered in a new leadership to the rest of the city council, which has been beset by a number of governance challenges in recent years, suggesting a public appetite for change.

Mike McGinn, a former leader of America’s oldest environmental organisation the Sierra Club, is the new Mayor of Seattle. The results of the election remained in the balance for several days. At some stage during the count, less than 500 votes separated the two candidates. At the end, McGinn won the election by some 5,000 votes out of more than 190,000 ballots cast.

In St Paul Chris Coleman was elected to a second term. Coleman, a DFL-er, ousted party rival Randy Kelly in 2005, the latter having endorsed George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign. Elsewhere in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak won a third term, obtaining almost three times as many first preferences as his 10 challengers combined. The election was the first in the city to be held using the proportional instant run-off voting (IRV) method, with voters in St Paul also voting to adopt it for future elections in a separate ballot on the issue. However, voters defeated a proposal to implement Rybak’s longstanding aim to amend the city charter to pass the powers of the city’s Board of Estimate and Taxation to the city council.

Voters in Atlanta sent the prospect of the city’s first white mayor in over a generation to a December run-off, between the frontrunner city councilmember Mary Norwood and state senator Kassim Reed. A similar outcome was generated in Houston, where city officials Annise Parker and Gene Locke failed to win sufficient votes to prevent a run-off. A victory for Parker would make Houston the biggest US city with an openly gay mayor. Among the smaller races, Dayton’s Rhine McLin was defeated in her attempt to gain a third term.

While most mayoral races tend to reflect the Democrats’ urban base, in Florida the Republicans scored victories in St Petersburg and Miami, where Tomás Regalado triumphed in the race to replace his former foe Manny Diaz. Voters in Charlotte however chose Democrat Anthony Foxx over Republican councilmember John Lassister in the battle to replace seven term Republican mayor Pat McCrory, who failed to win last year’s election for governor.

The World Mayor Project is seeking nominations for the 2010 Prize


Introducing
World Mayor

City Mayors, the international think tank on urban affairs, is seeking nominations for the 2010 World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been awarded since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. The winner will be presented with the 2010 World Mayor Prize, while the runner-up receives the World Mayor Commendation. More

Previous winners
and runner-ups
:
In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City}; In third place - Walter Veltroni (Rome)
In 2005: Winner – Dora Bakoyannis (Athens); Runner-up - Hazel McCallion (Mississauga); In third place - Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City)
In 2006: Winner – John So (Melbourne); Runner up – Job Cohen (Amsterdam); In third place - Stephen Reed (Harrisburg)
In 2008: Winner – Helen Zille (Cape Town); Runner up - Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich); In third place - Leopoldo López (Chacao)
More