San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom steps down to become California's
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Familiar faces leave office
after US mayoral elections

5 November 2010: While the focus of America’s 2010 mid-term elections was on Congressional and gubernatorial races, mayoral elections also took place in more than 200 cities. Many familiar faces will be replaced by eager newcomers. In Washington DC, incumbent Adrian Fenty will be succeeded by Vincent Gray, while the race to eventually replace San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom is still wide open. Louisville’s long-serving mayor Jerry Abramson decided to step down to run for lieutenant governor in November 2011. Rochester’s Robert Duffy has already made the move from City Hall to State House.

| Washington DC | San Francisco | Anaheim | Oakland | Santa Ana | Augusta | Louisville | Providence | Rochester | Big-city results |

In Washington DC, Vincent Gray, the newly elected mayor, has appointed former mayor Anthony A Williams to his transition team. The mayor-elect believes that Williams, who was mayor from 1999 to 2007, will be able to give invaluable advice on fiscal policies. During the elections campaign Gray said that the economy and education would be the two top priorities during his reign. He will take over from incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty on 2 January 2011. Gray also said that there would be a shift to broaden the scope of economic development and to focus on job training and creation, though he indicated he would retain some of the out-going mayor’s economic advisers.

While Vincent Gray won overwhelmingly in Tuesday’s mayoral election, more than 22 per cent of votes went to Adrian Fenty, a non-declared write-in candidate. Fenty received most support in predominantly white neighborhoods and gentrified areas. Vincent Gray formally entered the race for Mayor of Washington DC last March. His campaign adopted the slogan ‘One City. Leadership We Need.. In September Gray defeated Fenty in the primary election by a 53 to 46 per cent margin.

In San Francisco, California, Mayor Gavin Newsom's election as lieutenant governor has caused a rush at City Hall, for his succession. The city’s board of supervisors will name an interim successor to serve the remaining year of Newsom’s term. Holding that position could convey a major advantage to anyone seeking to win a four-year term in their own right next November when voters elect the next mayor.

In Anaheim, California, Tom Tait, president of a family-owned engineering firm, captured 56 per cent of the vote, while his nearest competitor had 31 per cent. After the election the mayor-elect said he believed voters responded to his campaign emphasising two words: freedom and kindness. He said some might cringe, considering that political platitude: "But they are concepts I truly believe in," Tait said. "And I believe it's a message that resonated. I'm humbled by the results and proud and excited to lead this wonderful city."

In Oakland, California, Jean Quan has become the first Asian-American woman to be elected mayor of a major US city. Her victory was assured after election officials in Alameda County announced her winning score of 51 per cent of the vote compared with 49 per cent for former state senator Don Perata. The results followed a lengthy counting procedure under a ‘ranked-choice’ system, which allowed voters to list their first, second and third-place candidates.

Quan went into the lead when second and third preference votes were added to the total. The mayor-elect benefited from having enough second- and third-place votes as she and third-placed Kaplan encouraged supporters to vote for the other as their second choice during their respective campaigns.

The mayor-elect credited her victory to attending more than 200 house parties to combat Perata’s expensive media campaign. Neither the Oakland Tribune nor the San Francisco Chronicle supported her.

Oakland, with a population of 447,000, is one of the most racially mixed cities in the US. The city is 36 per cent black, 31 per cent white, 21 per cent Hispanic and 15 per cent Asian.

In Santa Ana, California, incumbent mayor Miguel Pulido was easily re-elected for a seventh term in office. He was first elected mayor in 1994. Pulido defeated challenger Alfredo Amezcua bt 49.5 per cent to 25.2 per cent. While Pulido isn't always clear how many terms in office he's had as mayor, he told residents that his long tenure has helped him secure many federal and state appropriations as well as private sector investments in Santa Ana. Pulido, born in Mexico City, has been Santa Ana’s first Latino mayor.

In Augusta, Georgia, Deke Copenhaver was re-elected to his second full term as mayor. He was born in Montreal, Canada, but raised in Georgia. After Mayor Copenhaver made his victory speech, his supporters began to chant: "Deke for president! Deke for president!" Sounding a presidential note, the mayor said he'd wanted a mandate, and got one, even though he told his backers to give their money to charity rather than to him. "When I see that $3 billion was committed to political campaign TV ads nationwide this year in this economy, 99 per cent of which were negative ads, that's staggering to me," he said. "We've done it the right way with a positive campaign, not raising that kind of money."

In Louisville, Kentucky, Democrat Greg Fischer defeated Republican Hal Heiner to succeed long-time Mayor Jerry Abramson. Fischer had 131,136 votes, or 51 per cent, to 124,995, or 48 per cent. Fischer is a businessman who ran a family business with his brothers, SerVend International, that was sold for $200 million in 1997. Abramson, who is serving out his fifth term as Louisville mayor, is running for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket with Governor Steve Beshear next year.

In Providence, Rhode Island, Angel Taveras was elected Tuesday as mayor of Providence, becoming the first Hispanic person to lead Rhode Island's capitol city. Taveras, an attorney and former city housing court judge, succeeds outgoing Mayor David Cicilline, who was elected to the US Congress. Cicilline, who is openly gay, said he was enormously proud and grateful to Rhode Island voters.

In Rochester, New York, Mayor Robert Duffy, who was elected state lieutenant governor, swore in Tom Richards as the city’s new deputy mayor Richards takes over from Patricia Malgieri, who left the post for the private sector. Richards is among the possible replacements for Mayor Robert Duffy. Richards recently changed his voting registration to Democrat, to clear way for his appointment as interim mayor or to run in a special election. The City Council has not yet decided how the next mayor will be chosen. Duffy has said he planned to remain mayor until the end of the year. The City Council will have 30 days from the time he resigns as mayor to either call a special election or appoint an interim mayor.

Election results for selected cities
(Red denotes re-election of incumbent)
Anaheim California Curt Pringle Tom Tait.
Ann Arbor Michigan John Hieftje John Hieftje
Athens Georgia Heidi Davison Nancy Denson
Augusta Georgia Deke Copenhaver Deke Copenhaver
Columbus Georgia Jim Wetherington Teresa Tomlinson
Coral Springs Florida Scott Brook Roy Gold
Fontana California Frank Scialdone Acquanetta Warren
Garden Grove California William Dalton William Dalton
Inglewood California Daniel Tabor Daniel Tabor
Irvine California Sukhee Kang Sukhee Kang
Laredo Texas Raul Salinas Raul Salinas
Lexington Kentucky Jim Newberry Jim Gray
Little Rock Arkansas Mark Stodola Mark Stodola
Louisville Kentucky Jerry Abramson Greg Fisher
Oakland Californai Ron Dellum Jean Quan
Ontario California Paul Leon Paul Leon
Orange California Carolyn Cavecche Carolyn Cavecche
Oxnard California Thomas Holden Thomas Holden
Portsmouth Virginia Bernard Griffin Kenneth Wright
Providence Rhode Island David Cicilline Angel Taveras
Rancho Cucamonga Californai Donald Kurth Dennis Michael
Reno Nevada Robert Cashell Robert Cashell
Rochester Minnesota Ardell Brede Ardell Brede
Salem Oregon Janet Taylor Anna Peterson
Salinas California Dennis Donahue Dennis Donahue
Santa Ana California Miguel Pulido Miguel Pulido
Shreveport Louisiana Cedric Glover Cedric Glover
Simi Valley California Paul Miller Bob Hunter
Washington DC Adrian Fenty Vincent Gray

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