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Odd numbered years often feel dull for political junkies.  With no Presidential race to keep us entertained, just two Gubernatorial races, and only the occasional House and Senate special election to keep us on our toes, 2013 can feel like a drought after the year of plenty that was 2012.  Luckily, a number of big cities will hold their mayoral elections this year.  The top spot in large cities can serve as a springboard for higher office for some ambitious electeds; current or recent Governors and Senators Dianne Feinstein, John Hickenlooper, Dick Lugar, Martin O'Malley, Pat McCrory, and Ed Rendell among others all served as big city mayors.  At the very least, serving as the big dog in their city gives mayors the potential to influence affairs even beyond their municipal and sometimes state borders.

What follows is a guide to the big city Mayoral elections in 2013.  Determining what is and isn't a big city is pretty subjective.  For instance, Providence (which does not elect a mayor this year) is the dominant city in Rhode Island, but if it were located in California it would be severely overshadowed.  For the sake of consistency and to keep this diary at a reasonable length, I'm defining a big city as at least 300,000 people via 2011 census estimates.  For a full list of cities holding elections this year, see the U.S. Conference of Mayor's site here.  The list isn't perfect; they have a few election days wrong and list a mayoral race in Memphis that isn't actually happening in 2013, but it's probably the most comprehensive one out there.  

(Update 3/28: Following a great suggestion by David Nir, I've added a reference table on each election date, the filing deadline, and a quick note on election procedure).

2013 Big City Mayors Races
City First Round Second Round Notes On election procedure Filing Deadline
Omaha 2-Apr 14-May Top two candidates advance to second round Already Passed
St. Louis Already Passed 2-Apr Party primary winners advance to second round Already Passed
El Paso 11-May June 8 or June 15 Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance Already Passed
Arlington, TX 11-May 15-Jun Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance Already Passed
San Antonio 11-May 15-Jun Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance Already Passed
Fort Worth 11-May 15-Jun Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance>50% Already Passed
Los Angeles Already Passed 21-May Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance Already Passed
Pittsburgh 21-May 5-Nov Party primary winners advance to second round Already Passed
Tulsa 11-Jun November 12 Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance; possible August 13 primary runoff (see Tulsa entry below jump) 10-Apr
Detroit 6-Aug 5-Nov Top two candidates advance to second round 14-May
Seattle 6-Aug 5-Nov Top two candidates advance to second round 17-May
Charlotte 10-Sep 5-Nov Party primary winners advance to second round; Partisan primary runoff October 8 if no candidate wins >45%   19-Jul
New York 10-Sep 5-Nov Party primary winners advance to second round; Partisan primary runoff September 24 if no candidate wins >40% 11-Jul
Cleveland 10-Sep 5-Nov Top two candidates advance to second round 27-Jun
Boston 24-Sep 5-Nov Top two candidates advance to second round 21-May
Raleigh 8-Oct 5-Nov Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance 19-Jul
Albuquerque 8-Oct 19-Nov Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance 28-Apr
Atlanta 5-Nov 3-Dec Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance 30-Aug
Houston 5-Nov 14-Dec Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance 26-Aug
Miami 5-Nov 12-Nov Second round averted if one candidate wins >50%, otherwise top two candidates advance 21-Sep
Minneapolis 5-Nov Instant Runoff Ranked Choice Election 13-Aug

I've sorted the cities by the date of their next election.  As an example, Detroit will hold a primary in August with the top two candidates advancing to November; I've placed Detroit chronologically with other cities holding the first round of their elections in August.  Los Angeles and St. Louis have already held their primaries, and I've arranged those cities by the date of their general election.

A quick note on terminology before we start.  I've defined a "primary" as a race where no candidate can officially win the office without another election, and a general where a candidate theoretically could win that day.  In Seattle the top two candidates will advance to a general regardless of whether one hits 50% or not; I define the first round of that election as a primary.  In Houston, a candidate can be elected in the first round if he or she wins >50% of the vote; I'm defining that as a general election, and the next round if needed is the runoff.  The one exception to this rule in Tulsa, which has kind of a weird system.    

Now let's get to the races!

Omaha, Nebraska
Population: 408,958
Mayor: Jim Suttle (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
Primary: April 2
General: May 14

Two years ago, Jim Suttle narrowly survived a recall attempt, prevailing over a well-financed campaign that attacked him on taxes, public sector union agreements, and his leadership style.  Suttle's political fortunes appear to have improved and he looks like the favorite against four opponents, but he is not assured victory.  He faces businessman and recall organizer Dave Nabity, City Councilwoman Jean Stothert, former Councilman Dan Welch (all GOPers), and Republican turned independent state Senator Brad Ashford.  Suttle's rivals generally accept that the mayor will survive the primary, and that the real fight on April 2nd is for the second place spot.  

The race to take on Suttle has revolved around Stothert's vote for a union contract, a vote Nabity especially has criticized.  Stothert has defended the vote and worked to portray herself as a staunch low-tax conservative.  Nabity is touting his lack of elected experience and emphasizing his business background while taking out ads attacking Stothert for her time in elected office.  Welch is describing himself as a moderate and calling for civility in government, while Ashford is stressing his legislative background.  The race remains fluid, but it appears that Stothert and Nabity are the co-frontrunners to take on Suttle, with both having more money than Ashford or Welch.  Stothert was also the target of a sexist T-shirt and anonymous Twitter account, which may generate some sympathy for her.  Stothert seems to be trying to get as much mileage out of this controversy as possible, running an ad linking Nabity and Welch to the attacks despite there being no evidence either is involved.  

Suttle has more money than any of his opponents and has the city's demographics on his side.  In contrast to the rest of Nebraska, Omaha has a Democratic lean, and Democrats have occupied the mayor's chair for the last twelve years.  However, during the recall Suttle saw reliably Democratic South Omaha vote against him, and he is well aware that he needs the area on his side to win.  Suttle is highlighting gun control in his campaign while defending his tax increases as necessary to preserving the city's fiscal health.  For the moment, it looks like this will be enough to earn Suttle another term, but this race will be worth watching until the end.

St. Louis, Missouri
Population 319,294
Mayor: Francis Slay (Democrat, running for reelection)
Partisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
Primary: Already passed
General: April 2nd

In this heavily Democratic city, the race for mayor was all but decided in the March 5th Democratic primary.  After a career of easy reelections, incumbent Francis Slay faced a credible challenge from Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.  Reed hit Slay on his handling of the city's pension and a major water consulting contract and attacked Slay for the city's crime rate.  Slay campaigned on his leadership and dramatically outspent Reed.  Slay also benefited from the endorsement of Congressman Lacy Clay, helping him achieve cross-racial support.  (Slay is white and Reed is black). Slay ultimately won 54%-44%.  With only a Green Party opponent, Slay is all but assured a historic fourth term.  

El Paso, Texas
Population: 649,121
Mayor: John Cook (Democrat, termed out)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
General election: May 11
Runoff: June 8 or June 15

City Representative Steve Ortega looks like the frontrunner here.  Ortega, an ally of freshman Congressman Beto O'Rourke, has the advantage of being the only elected official in the race.  Several other candidates are running, and at least one may be strong enough to mount a credible fight against Ortega.  Hyundai dealership owner Oscar Leeser, mortgage broker Gus Haddad (who lost to incumbent mayor John Cook 61%-28% in 2009), and Bagel chain owner Robert Cormell, look like they may have the money to compete with Ortega's name recognition.  Additionally, three other candidates are running but none look serious.  The next campaign finance reports should help tell us which of these businessmen are serious and which are duds.  

El Paso's controversial plan for a new baseball stadium may emerge as a major issue in the campaign.  The city plans to demolish its city hall to create the new $50 million stadium.  What impact this will have on the mayor's race remains to be seen: both Ortega and Haddad support the stadium and no candidate seems to have emerged as a champion against it.  

The city will also vote on a ballot measure that would add gays to the city's non-discrimination policy.  Last time the city voted on gay rights things didn't go so well: 55% of voters in 2010 voted to strike down a city law providing benefits to domestic partners.  Proponents of the 2010 ballot measure followed this up by unsuccessfully trying to recall Mayor Cook, Ortega, and City Rep. Susie Byrd; the courts rendered the proposed recall judicially invalid.  A vote for the non-discrimination policy would be a good sign that public opinion has changed in the last three years.

Arlington, Texas
Population: 365,438
Mayor: Robert Cluck (Republican, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
General election: May 11
Runoff: June 15

Robert Cluck has an easy race ahead of him as he seeks another term, facing only two perennial candidates.  

San Antonio, Texas
Population: 1,327,407
Mayor: Julián Castro (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
General election: May 11
Runoff: June 15

Rising Democratic star Julián Castro is seeking his third two-year term.  He has very little to worry about.  Castro will be able to seek one final two-term after this.

Fort Worth, Texas
Population: 741,206
Mayor: Betsy Price (Republican, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
General election: May 11
Runoff: June 15

Price is running unopposed.  

Los Angeles, California
Population 3,792,621
Mayor: Antonio R. Villaraigosa (Democrat, termed out)
Non partisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
General: Already passed
Runoff: May 21

City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel (both Democrats) won the right to advance to the runoff in a low turnout March election, with Garcetti leading 33%-29%.  With similar policy stances, the two candidates are relying on their biographies to put them over the top.  Greuel has talked up the fact that she would be L.A.'s first female mayor, while Garcetti is emphasizing his Mexican heritage.  

In recent days, one of the few policy differences between the candidates has emerged as a major issue.  Greuel is hitting Garcetti for his 2012 vote to overhaul the city pension system.  Greuel is stating that she supports the actual overall but criticizes the city's refusal to negotiate with labor before the vote.  The city has defended the vote, believing that collective bargaining was not required since the law would only apply to future city employees.  Greuel's stance may appeal to her labor allies but it has not played well with many of Greuel's business supporters, including the Los Angeles County Chamber of Commerce.  Greuel has backed off somewhat from her calls for new negotiations on pension cuts.  Despite this controversy, both candidates are considered to be supportive of labor.  Garcetti has the backing of the teamsters and teachers union, while Greuel has the SEIU and the LA County Federation of Labor as well as the well-funded Department of Water and Power union.  

At the moment, neither candidate appears to have a clear edge in what is likely to remain a low-turnout election.  The resignation of four key Greuel staffers and her decision to hire a new campaign manager are probably not good signs for her.  However, Bill Clinton's decision to endorse Greuel could give her a boost.  (Update 3/29: Garcetti recently received a prized endorsement of his own, from third-place finisher Jan Perry.  Perry performed very strongly among African Americans, and her support could help Garcetti expand his appeal to black voters.)  Unlike most mayoral races, this one is likely to be polled a few times before the runoff, so we should have a reasonably good idea of the state of the race soon.  (Update 3/29: sure enough, SurveyUSA released a poll showing Garcetti leading 47%-40%.  However, the poll was mostly finished before the Clinton endorsement and completely done before Perry's, so it remains to be seen what effect they will have)  For now, the race for America's second largest city looks like it will be a competitive fight to the finish.  

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Population: 305,704
Mayor: Luke Ravenstahl (Democrat, retiring)
Partisan election
Filing deadline: Already passed
Primary: May 21
General: November 5

Update 4/01: This post has been edited and updated to note the many developments in this race since this diary was first posted on 3/26.

Incumbent Luke Ravenstahl pulled the plug on his reelection after a Federal investigation of the city police forced the chief, who Ravenstahl appointed, to resign.  Now, two credible candidates are running to succeed him, with the Democratic primary being tantamount to election here.

Councilman Bill Peduto and former state Auditor and 2010 Gubernatorial candidate Jack Wagner are all in the hunt in the race.  An early March poll showed Peduto out front at 30%, followed by Wagner at 20%, and Michael Lamb at 13%.  (Lamb has since exited the race).  A recent Peduto internal poll featured almost identical numbers.  Wagner leads in the cash race with $300,000 that he had left over from his Gubernatorial campaign.  Peduto has filed an injunction against him, claiming he illegally transferred money for the race; Peduto himself has $261,000 available.  State Representative Jake Wheatley is also in the race but has raised very little money and has barely registered in the polls.  However, following Michael Lamb's departure from the race, he is now the only prominent African American running; he's still very unlikely to win, but he should make an impact on the race.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has become a key issue in the race.  Ravenstahl has gone to court challenging UPMC's non-profit status, arguing that it should pay more in taxes.  Peduto has gone further than the mayor arguing that other large non-profits should be taxed.  Wagner has not signed on to the legal challenge and Wheatley has not commented on the suit.  

At the moment it appears Peduto is the frontrunner.  However, Wagner recently received several union endorsements which could help his campaign in a low turnout primary.  Wagner was also endorsed by former-third place candidate Michael Lamb after Lamb departed the race.  The recent departure of City Council President Darlene Harris from the race may also benefit Wagner as the two shared a working class base of support.  With two months left until the race essentially ends, the burden is on Peduto to hold onto whatever lead he may have.  

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Population: 391,906
Mayor: Dewey Bartlett (Republican, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: April 10
Primary: June 11
Primary runoff: August 13
General: November 12

Mayor Dewey Bartlett appears to be popular, but he faces a competitive race from his Democratic predecessor.  Kathy Taylor chose not to run for a second term in 2009 but has decided to jump back into the fray this year.  Taylor is emphasizing her successes in office; unsurprisingly, Bartlett is adopting a similar strategy, pointing to the increased police presence in the city.  A third candidate, former GOP City Councilman Bill Christiansen has also made public safety a priority in the campaign.  Christiansen also recently appeared at a Day of Resistance rally against gun control.  

Tulsa employs a fairly unique voting method that the Tulsa World explains it well:

If more than two candidates file but one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes at the primary election, that candidate is elected.

If more than two candidates file and no one gets more than 50 percent in the primary but two together total more than 50 percent, then those two top vote-getters advance to the general election.

If more than two candidates file but no two total more than 50 percent, then the top candidates whose votes total more than 50 percent go to a runoff election. The top two vote-getters in the runoff advance to the general election.

An early November poll showed a tight race, with Bartlett leading Taylor 24%-22%, and Christiansen at 11%.  The poll is old and has a small sample size of 311 people, so take it with several grains of salt.  Still, it's a good bet that this will be a competitive race.  

Detroit, Michigan
Population: 713,777
Mayor: Dave Bing (Democrat, has not declared intentions)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: May 14
Primary: August 6
General election: November 5

The state's decision to appoint an emergency manager for the city of Detroit is probably the last nail in the coffin of Dave Bing's political career.  It's far from clear if Bing wants another term, but given recent events as well as Detroit's longstanding economic and crime problems as well as Bing's well publicized feuds with the City Council, it's very unlikely he'll get one.  

A number of candidates (all Democrats) have entered the race.  For now, former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan looks like the man to beat.  Duggan has showcased his success in turning the medical center's finances around and his opposition to the Emergency Manager Law.  Duggan is the only white candidate running in a heavily African American city, and would be Detroit's first white mayor since Roman Gribbs left office in 1974.  

Wayne County Sheriff and former police chief Benny Napoleon appears to be the race's other frontrunner.  Napoleon is highlighted his success reducing crime in the city and has made further crime reductions a priority in his campaign.  Duggan and Napoleon have already begun exchanging barbs.  Napoleon has played down the racial aspects of the contest but has attacked Duggan for moving to Detroit from the suburbs only last year.  Duggan has in turn worked to portray Napoleon as lacking the necessary financial experience to fix the city's economy.  

A number of other candidates are running: they include former state Representative Liza Howze, former city attorney Krystal Crittendon, and state Representative Fred Durhalur.  So far, all have struggled to gain traction.

Only one poll has been publicly released so far.  The early March Mitchell Research survey put Duggan ahead of Napoleon 38%-17%, with Bing at 8% and everyone else trailing.  In a hypothetical head-to-head, Duggan defeats Napoleon 42%-30%.  (It's worth noting that during last year's Presidential election Mitchell Research was not a particularly impressive pollster).  For now, it appears that Duggan is the favorite, but at this early date the only thing that looks certain is that Bing will not be around for another term.

Seattle, Washington
Population: 608,660
Mayor: Mike McGinn (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Primary: August 6
General: November 5

Mike McGinn has not had an easy tenure.  After being narrowly elected in 2009, McGinn's time as mayor has been dominated by an unsuccessful and unpopular fight to stop the construction of a new tunnel, problems over the city's police chief, policies favoring developers that have angered much of his base, and doubts about his leadership.  Ominously for McGinn, a SurveyUSA poll showed the mayor's approval rating upside down at 37%-43%.  To make matters worse, only 26% of Seattle voters supported him for reelection in a hypothetical primary.  McGinn is running for reelection and emphasizing job growth and drops in crime under his leadership, but winning looks like it will be a very uphill climb.  

A host of candidates have announced that they will take on McGinn.  The more prominent ones include Councilman Bruce Harrell (currently the only person of color in the race), state Senator Ed Murray (who would be the city's first openly gay mayor), Councilman Tim Burgess, and former Councilman Peter Steinbrueck.  It's also possible other prominent candidates will jump in while there's still time.  The race looks wide open; SurveyUSA showed Steinbrueck running second to McGinn at 18%, Burgess with 9%, Harrell and Murray both with 8%, and activist Kate Martin (who does not look like she'll be a major candidate) at 6%.  

Any candidate makes it to the general against McGinn will start out the clear favorite (if McGinn even makes it to the general).  An analysis lays out some of the different outcomes.  Burgess has a good chance to consolidate moderate voters and make it past the primary.  Murray's activism on gay marriage and battle hardened campaign team gives him a good shot to win enough liberals to advance.  However, the other prominent candidates have a chance to secure a general election spot.  Harrell is uniquely positioned as the only minority candidate, and Steinbrueck is popular among neighborhood activists.  The construction of a new basketball arena looks like it will be a divisive issue.  McGinn, Harrell, and Burgess are for it, with Steinbrueck against.  This race will likely be volatile and worth watching all the way to the end.  

Charlotte, North Carolina
Population: 731,424
Mayor: Anthony Foxx (Democrat, has not declared intentions)
Partisan election
Filing deadline: July 19
Primary: September 10
Primary runoff: October 8
General election: November 5

If Anthony Foxx runs for reelection this race will be an afterthought.  However, there are reports that Foxx may be tapped for a position in the Obama administration.  If Foxx is not chosen for the Cabinet but Congressman Mel Watt is picked for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Foxx may forgo reelection to run for Watt's Charlotte-based seat.  Either way, this would create a competitive open seat race for the top job in the Queen City.

The Charlotte Business Journal has identified a few people who may run if Foxx doesn't.  The report named state Senator Dan Clodfelter, and Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon.  While Democrats dominate Charlotte it is likely a Republican will make a run for the seat.  However, John Lassiter, who Foxx defeated in a competitive open seat fight in 2009, has ruled out another race.  If reports of Foxx's departure get more serious expect a lot more names to surface from both parties.  

New York, New York
Population: 8,175,133
Mayor: Michael Bloomberg (Independent, retiring)
Partisan election
Filing deadline: July 11
Primary: September 10
Primary runoff: September 24
General: November 5

With the possible exception of the Virginia Gubernatorial race, this election is probably 2013's best-known contest.  All polling shows that the Democrats are heavily favored to win here for the first time since 1989.  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is the clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary: a recent Quinnipiac poll shows her far ahead of her opponents at 37%, close to the 40% needed to win without a runoff.  Quinn has been an ally of Mayor Bloomberg but is working to distinguish herself from him.  An issue that has dogged her on the campaign trail is her role in changing the election laws to allow Bloomberg to run for a third term.  Quinn's rivals have worked to tie her to Bloomberg and hit her in other vulnerable areas.  Former Comptroller and 2009 nominee Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill De Blasio have also attacked Quinn for stonewalling a vote on paid sick leave, a vital issue to labor.  Comptroller John Liu rounds out the list of prominent candidates.  Liu has campaigned energetically but it faces a tough battle after a Federal investigation charged two of his associates.  

A few GOPers are running with the hopes that lightning will strike again and give them another victory here.  They include former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota and billionaire John Catsimatidis.  Democrat turned Independent former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., will be on the Independence Party’s line in the general election and is seeking the GOP nod too.  Additionally, still Democratic state Senator Malcolm Smith may run as a GOPer.  (Update 4/2: Smith was just arrested for allegedly trying to bribe his way into the good graces of local GOP chairmen.)

Oh, and there's always the rumor Anthony Weiner may run for something.  Whatever.

Cleveland, Ohio
Population: 396,815
Mayor: Frank Jackson (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: June 27
Primary: September 10
General: November 5

Incumbent Frank Jackson looks set for another term.  Rich guy Ken Lanci has made some noise about a run.  However, Lanci's last foray into politics was not particularly impressive, with him winning 12% and third place in the race for Cuyahoga County Executive.  Unless something very weird happens, Jackson will have little problem getting reelected.

Boston, Massachusetts
Population: 617,594
Mayor: Thomas Menino (Democrat, retiring)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: May 21
Primary: September 24
General election: November 5

3/29 Update: This entry has been almost completely rewritten since Tuesday's original post to reflect Menino's retirement, and updated as recently as Friday morning to include potential candidates to replace him.

After a recent health scare, longtime mayor Tom Menino is announcing his retirement.  Since Boston has no term limits and recent mayors have enjoyed long tenures, Menino's decision offers ambitious candidates a possibly once-in-a-lifetime chance to secure the top job in Beantown.  

Councilmember at-large John Connolly declared his candidacy before Menino made his decision.  Connolly is stressing improving the city's schools and has $300,000 in the bank.  Aiming to win over younger voters, the 35 year-old Connolly has promised to shake up the status quo.  Against Menino, Connolly was a long-shot; now he may stand a real chance to win.

The race is certain to attract a number of other candidates.  State Representative Martin Walsh previously declared that he would run if Menino did not.  Other potential candidates include Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, city Council President Stephen Murphy, city Councilors Felix Arroyo, Tito Jackson, Robert Consalvo, Michael Ross, and Charles Yancey, state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez.  It's quite possible that other serious candidates will jump in as well.  Only one thing has certain: Menino's retirement turned this race from a sideshow into perhaps the most exciting mayoral race in the country.

Raleigh, North Carolina
Population: 403,892
Mayor: Nancy McFarlane (Independent, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing Deadline: July 19
General election: October 8
Runoff: November 5

After being elected by a landslide two years ago, it’s a very good bet that Independent Mayor (but Obama supporter) Nancy McFarlane will earn another term.  

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Population: 545,852
Mayor: Richard Berry (Republican, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: April 28
General election: October 8
Runoff: November 19

Republican Richard Berry managed to win his seat in heavily Democratic Albuquerque after two Democrats split the vote, allowing Berry to prevail with a plurality on 44%.  That feat won't be repeated this year: the city's voters recently chose to raise the threshold to avoid a runoff to 50% from 40%.  Given that no Mayor has ever gotten 50% on the first round of voting, it's a good bet Berry will be forced into a runoff.  

A late October poll pegged Berry's approval rating at an intimidating 68%.  Whether Berry's numbers remain this high is an open question.  Recently, a Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation and reports of excessive force by the city cops led police chief Ray Schultz to step down.  Berry's most prominent Democratic opponent, former City Councilman Pete Dinelli, is emphasizing the problems in the department in his campaign.  Also in the race are former Democratic Albuquerque First Lady Margaret Aragon de Chavez and retired policeman and Republican Paul Heh.  The Democrats will probably need the police controversies to stay in the headlines to have a good shot here, though Berry can take nothing for granted in a city this blue.

Atlanta, Georgia
Population: 420,003
Mayor: Kasim Reed (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: August 30
General election: November 5
Runoff: December 3

If Kasim Reed has any prominent challengers on the horizon, they've been very quiet.  Reed should have little problem winning another term; an internal Reed poll pegs his approval rating at 83%.

Houston, Texas
Population: 2,099,451
Mayor: Annise Parker (Democrat, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: August 26
General election: November 5
Runoff: December 14

Annise Parker had a disappointing reelection in 2011, barely avoiding a runoff in a race with unknowns after she spent millions to win.  As she runs for a final two-year term, it looks like she'll face a real opponent.  Former City Attorney Ben Hall has announced his campaign; Hall, seeking to become the second African American Mayor of Houston, is attacking Parker for high taxes while calling for more revenues and lower crime.  Hall is also portraying himself as a fresh face, criticizing Parker's long service in elected office as "leadership fatigue".  

It's too early to evaluate how big a threat Hall is to Parker's chances and it's possible other candidates will jump in if Parker looks weak.  It's also a question of how formidable Hall may be in a runoff: two Houston Chronicle writers have differing analysis about whether African Americans are likely to turnout in a runoff with the type of numbers Hall needs.  However, after her uncomfortable reelection two years ago, Parker can take nothing for granted.  

Miami, Florida
Population: 399,457
Mayor: Tomas Regalado (Republican, running for reelection)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: September 21
General election: November 5
Runoff: November 12

Tomas Regalado looks like the favorite for reelection.  However, this has not stopped fellow Republican and 35-year old City Commissioner Francis Suarez from mounting a challenge.  Suarez, the son of former Miami Mayor and current County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, raised a hefty $460,000 to Regalado's $91,000 in the final quarter of 2012.  Suarez is emphasizing innovation and development and will likely cease on criticisms of Regalado's management abilities and his perceived lack of a big picture plan.  Union anger with Regalado's handling of labor negotiations may also give Suarez a boost.

However, Suarez has an uphill climb.  Regalado remains popular and benefits from having no major scandals and the fact that he has never raised taxes.  Additionally, he is likely to hit Suarez as inexperienced.  This race is worth keeping an eye on, but it looks like Regalado has the distinct advantage as he seeks another term.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Population: 382,578
Mayor: R.T. Rybak (Democrat, retiring)
Nonpartisan election
Filing deadline: August 13
General election: November 5

R.T. Rybak's retirement has opened the floodgates for ambitious Minneapolis politicians.  Currently, five past and current office holders (all members of the Democratic Farm and Labor Party) are seeking the job.  Councilwoman Betsy Hodges is talking up her public safety accomplishments in office and calling for fixing the city pension system.  Former Councilmember Jackie Cherryhomes has been out of office for ten years, and is emphasizing her experience as a consultant and lobbyist since then.  Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew left office in 1999 and has since served as president of an environmental consulting and marketing group; he is stressing his business experience.  Councilmember Don Samuels is calling for reducing the crime rate and bridging disparities that exist in the city.  Finally, Councilmember Gary Schiff (who would be the city's first openly gay mayor) is focusing on his work on consumer issues and calling for reducing poverty.  One Republican, Cam Winton, is running as an independent.  While he has little chance, it's interesting to note that his campaign treasurer is Ashwin Madia, the DFL nominee for Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District in 2008.

All five DFL candidates are seeking the DFL endorsement in June, which takes 60% of the delegates to win.  The DFL convention could help winnow the field and give a candidate a boost.  However, as R.T. Rybak proved, it is quite possible to win without the endorsement.  Handicapping this race is particularly difficult: it's a distinct possibility that other candidates will jump into the election late.  Additionally, Minneapolis employs a ranked choice voting system that introduces another complication to the contest.  Unless a strong frontrunner emerges, this race could keep people guessing past Election Day.

That's all the big cities!  If you have an interesting mayoral election I didn't get to, please tell us about it in the comments!  Also, if you have any corrections, local insight, etc., please feel free to let me know!  

Originally posted to Darth Jeff on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Poll

Which mayor election are you most interested in?

11%28 votes
0%1 votes
3%9 votes
2%7 votes
3%9 votes
3%8 votes
13%33 votes
32%76 votes
2%5 votes
9%22 votes
14%34 votes
2%5 votes

| 237 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice analysis, TY (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, ArkDem14

    But geez, spare me another term for Mumbles Menino in Boston.  It's enough already, go enjoy your grandchildren before you embarrass yourself like Kevin White did.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 11:51:29 AM PDT

    •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not a Boston resident and am pretty neutral on whether Menino runs again or not.  Do you have a favorite if he retires?  

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 11:55:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff, ArkDem14

        You seriously did your research. A lot is happening this year.

        I'm not a Menino fan, but Connolly rubs me the wrong way as well. 65% chance I'll vote for him, though.

        Things have been happening in Boston, with a new school reassignment plan (Connolly's focus on education for the last couple years probably did bring this to the forefront), as well as new construction. Gaping holes in the middle of downtown will start to see some work by the time of the primary. I feel Menino is in a better position than in 2009*.

        If Menino retires, my favorite City Councillor is Felix Arroyo, but Councillors Tito Jackson and Ayanna Pressley would be top-tier for me as well. Not sure of the degree that any of them are interested in mayoralty, but all are more inspiring than Connolly. There are some good state legislators as well.

        *I think some new- versus old- dynamics from the Democratic presidential primaries in 2008 carried into the mayoral primary in 2009, where lots of people wanted to generate an Obama moment. Even the Stephen Lynch-like Southie Councillor and candidate Michael Flaherty was a known Obama supporter in contrast with Menino's Clinton support. That wave has rolled back and people are more accepting of a 5th term for Menino than they were of a 4th.

        28, Male, MA-07 (hometown MI-06)

        by bumiputera on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mayor Curley won re-election from a jail cell. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NeverThere, Darth Jeff, pademocrat

      No one ever loses re-election for Mayor of Boston.

      If Raymond Flynn hadn't decided to become ambassador to the Vatican he'd still be mayor despite being a semi-functional alcoholic.  Kevin White would've served up until his death a year ago if agreeing to not run for re-election was not part of his plea agreement to avoid jail.

      Now there is one exception.  During Mayor Curley second he did manage to lose to acting Mayor, John Hynes.  Acting because John Hynes served as Mayor while Curley was in prison for mail fraud until Harry Truman commuted his sentence.

      But that race you can call the exception that proves the rule since you did essentially have two Mayors running.

      The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

      by Taget on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:24:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NOLA loves its incumbents too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Taget

        Term limits keep anyone from becoming mayor for life but no incumbent has lost reelection since Longite Robert Maestri fell to deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison in 1946.  

        23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

        by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 09:59:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about Denver? (0+ / 0-)

    It's the right size for your criteria. And it's a fairly major city.

    I'd choose Salt Lake City, but it's both too small, and is rather unimportant.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:13:45 PM PDT

  •  Houston not in poll (5+ / 0-)

    It's the nation's 4th largest city.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:12:52 PM PDT

    •  That's an oversite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, trowaman, TexasLeftist

      I left out some city's who's elections aren't looking incredibly interesting but Houston will be added when I get to a computer.  Thanks for the catch!

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would agree ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff, TexasLeftist

      with your assessment of Houston.
      I had never heard of Ben Hall until recently. So he does not seem like a strong candidate now, but who knows how much underwriting he could get.
      Yes, 2011 was disappointing for us liberals. The right-wing vote was strong compared to the electorate at large. Several homophobes ran for mayor, but fortunately cancelled each other out. Two incumbents lost to more conservative candidates.
      There may be a rematch between Republican Brenda Stardig (incumbent in 2011) and Tea Party oriented Helena Brown (now the incumbent).

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:56:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you feel Parker has gotten stronger since 2011? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott5js

        I feel that may decide how strong Hall is, assuming he's viable.  Not sure if a decently strong candidate could have unseated Parker in 2011 but probably could have made it a tough race.

        23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

        by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:08:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hard to say ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darth Jeff, TexasLeftist

          but my hunch is that people who neglected the 2011 election have been alarmed by that close race.
          Jolanda Jones lost re-election to an at-large City Council seat last time and there is a legal question whether the term limitation law would keep her from running again.
          Jenifer Pool is running this time for a seat vacated by a term-limited Council member. She did not make the runoff last time but is better known now. She has an excellent rapport with people. She would be the first transgender person to be elected to the Houston City Council.

          Censorship is rogue government.

          by scott5js on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:06:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, Chas 981

    I hate having only the Wikipedia articles as my source for information about the various mayoral elections, so I'm glad that you took the time to research each race, handicap them, and write about them.

    I'm hoping to vote in my first mayoral election this year, though I'm not sure how likely that is...the Mayor of my city was re-elected two years ago unopposed.

    19, FL-07 (school), MD-07 (home). UCF sophomore, politically ambitious, vocally liberal--what else could you need to know?

    by tqycolumbia on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:28:26 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! I've actually only been able to vote for (0+ / 0-)

      one Mayor.  When I was registered in NOLA I got to meet, volunteer, and vote for Mitch Landrieu, who won unexpectedly easily.

      In California I live in a council-manager town so I've been able to vote only for city council people.  But San Jose will have an open mayor race next year which should be interesting.  

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:52:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Rundown (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, Darth Jeff, cailloux

    I'm most interested in my hometown of Minneapolis -- but I've got to say none of the candidates (even though like half the city seems to be running) really come close to impressing me as much as RT Rybak -- but we'll see.  One of them has to get the job!

    •  Someone else could jump in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndianaProgressive

      I think the odds are very good at least one major candidate will enter the race; could be more.  This one's probably the most unpredictable of all these races.

      Thanks for the praise!  I'm hoping to revisit this one after the filing deadline.

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm most interested in Cleveland (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff

      which isn't on the list. So I had to check "other." Dayton could be interesting too. Not sure if there's a race in Toledo but if there is I hope they kick Kasich-loving corporate stooge Michael Bell out on his ass. Columbus isn't up until 2015, and Mayor Coleman is popular there.

      Oh lookie — some good news from Toledo:

      http://www.toledoblade.com/...

      I hope the unions unite around someone and kick Bell's SB 5-loving ass out of office.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Schiff in mpls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff

      My gut reaction is that Schiff is probably the best of the Minneapolis bunch and I would guess the most electable.

      Cherryhomes lost her city council seat in 2009, and disappeared. I lived in Minneapolis for 15 years and never heard one positive thing about her.

      I've seen Schiff around town and he's always smiling and energetic, reminds me of RT in that way. He has a activist, progressive reputation, and that plays well in mpls.  

      Hodges seems ok, but she's more invisible.  My wife saw her in a council session and came out of it with a bad impression of her.

       Samuels is a genuinely weird guy who has said "I’ve said burn North High School down!" as well as referring to himself as a part of a proud tradition of "big house" slaves that were less ignorant than the field slaves which he implicitly compared to his neighbors.

      "I say all the time that my great grandfather on both sides were mulatto men," says Samuels. "They were descended from the last slave in the family. Mulatto slaves. And the reason my family got a leg up on the people in our village in Jamaica is that we were in the big house. We saw homework done. They saw books read. They saw the piano lessons. That's why my wife and I say, our house is the big house on our block. And we're going to open it up to every kid on the block."
      Samuels is considered a Rybak ally. Rybak has always been very popular, so maybe that could help him if Rybak makes an endorsement. Still, I doubt it.

      I've never heard of the Mark Andrew guy.

      •  Thanks for the info! (0+ / 0-)

        Andrews has been out of office so long I'm not surprised he's unknown.  Maybe money will change that.  Still, it's fairly rare for someone to win office so long after being gone, at least without being pretty well known.

        23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

        by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Andrew (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darth Jeff

          When I first heard he was running, my response was "who?". But it seems like he is still known by a lot of people and quite liked. I have a friend working a city council race for Betsy Hodges seat, which is also where Andrew is from, and I've heard that a lot of people there are more excited about him than Hodges. Also worth noting about Mark Andrew is that he used to be the chair of the DFL, so he still has connections there.

          I'd say Andrew, Schiff, and Hodges are the three frontrunners, though I doubt anyone gets the endorsement. The "big" name that gets thrown around as a possible candidate is Tina Smith, Governor Dayton's chief of staff. From what I've heard there is some money out there that wants her to run and would support her with independent expenditures. But at the same time, she doesn't want to run nearly as much as others want her to run. Aside from the potential money, I think she's a little overblown as a "big" name, as the average voter has no idea who she is (even though she used to be Rybak's chief of staff).

      •  MN Progressive Project covering the Mpls2013 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

        My blog, MN Progressive Project is covering the Minneapolis Mayoral race. We're a community blog and several of our contributors are pretty well connected DFLers (MN version of Dems).

        Anyone interested in the inside baseball of Minneapolis Mayoral and City Council races can find it all here:

        http://mnprogressiveproject.com/...

    •  I dont like any of the candidates either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff

      I loved Gary Schiff until it became clear the new Vikings Stadium bill would pass the City Council and he basically turned into the whiniest bitch that's ever graced American politics.  Some people should just not be on Facebook.

  •  Check the NYTimes piece on Quinn today. (8+ / 0-)

    They make her sound like a nasty piece of work:

    controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath
    When a Queens councilwoman neglected to credit Ms. Quinn in a news release, the speaker retaliated by cutting money for programs in her district.
    Ms. Crowley was called into a room at City Hall, where a livid Ms. Quinn began to shout at her, demanding to know who had authorized what she considered to be a premature and poorly worded release ...

    Days later, she learned that Ms. Quinn had cut the Council contributions to senior centers and youth sports programs in her district. The two now rarely speak.

    And a lot more. Quinn sounds like a real nightmare.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:22:24 PM PDT

    •  Not the best publicity that's for sure n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik, Portlaw, TLS66

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:27:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I really liked Jimmy Oddo's response. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik, Darth Jeff, orestes1963, Portlaw

      Keep in mind he is a friend and supporter.  Courtesy of Colin Campbell who always digs up good things.

      Not anyone is taken aback by Ms. Quinn’s temperament, however. Minority Leader Jimmy Oddo–an ally of Ms. Quinn’s with a famous yelling incident himself–tweeted “Waaaaaa, the Speaker yelled at me (sniffle, sniffle)….waaaaaa…and she said a bad word too….waaaaaa.”
      http://politicker.com/...

      The article more than anything showed one sad fact of New York City politics since the Supreme Court knocked down the Board of Estimates and the position of City Council Speaker was born.   The price for becoming New York City Council Speaker is your soul.

      The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

      by Taget on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a memorable reaction! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Portlaw, Taget

        I can't imagine it's easy to be speaker of such a diverse body without a lot of bare knuckles.

        Interestingly, Quinn seems quite friendly in public based on press reports.

        23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

        by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Quinn is a total sell-out (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tung sol, gzodik, Portlaw, TLS66, Taget

      She started out as such a good leftie.  She was a truly honest and open voice for the gay community (of which she is still supportive) and for most average NYers.  Until she got power.  She is nothing more than a Bloomberg acolyte who has sold her soul for political expediency.

      In the last mayoral election, which she arranged by strong-arming a one time overturning of term limits (just as cravenly as the Bush v. Gore court), she withheld her support of the Democratic candidate until the last minute and was very tepid in her support.  The highest ranking Democrat in the city barely endorsed and did not campaign for her party's candidate because she was in the pocket of Bloomberg.  She is a dirty political hack at this point.  And there is no redemption for her.  She has sold out the working people of NYC and would continue to do so if she were elected mayor.  Amen that we have some good Democrats running against her who are not afraid to expose her hypocrisies.

      •  I'm a New Yorker for Thompson (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Taget, gzodik, orestes1963

        While Quinn was letting Bloomberg act like Robert Mugabe by strong-arming that third term for Bloomy and herself, Tho,mpson spoke forcefully against this power grab and on election night nearly beat .  At one point, with 63% counted, only one thousand votes separated the two. Then Bloomy took off.

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:55:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  just what... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik, Portlaw, Taget, gabjoh

      new york needs, another asshole after giuliani and bloomberg. i will never vote for her given her decisions that have affected the city.
      tung sol

      There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.--Oscar Levant

      by tung sol on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:53:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I'm not a Quinn fan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Taget

      I'd be careful about what the NY Times has to say about her. They have their own interests at stake, and they usually support whomever it is who will make the plutocrats more comfortable.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:47:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know Ravenstahl isn't seeking reelection (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, TLS66

    But "retiring" at 33???

  •  John Catsimatidis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, bumiputera

    John Catsimatidis--not "Gatsimatidis"--is the father-in-law of Christopher Nixon Cox, the doofus Nixon grandson who lost a GOP primary for Congress in NY-01 in 2010.

    Here's the NYT's nausea-inducing profile of the happy couple--he was 31 and she was 20 when they married.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  In L.A., Clinton endorses Gruel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, bumiputera

    and in the same article linked to in the diary, it's hinted that Obama prefers Garcetti.

    Clinton’s decision to endorse in the mayoral contest turns attention to the current occupant of the White House. As a sitting president, it’s more difficult for Obama to weigh in on the race, but he has a deep history with Greuel’s rival, Eric Garcetti.

    The councilman was an early supporter of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and served as his California co-chair. He has maintained close ties to the president, and was among a small group of supporters invited to the White House for a champagne toast the night of Obama’s second-term inauguration

    •  It's pretty clear he does but prob won't endorse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera

      I don't think Obama's ever endorsed one Dem over another except to endorse incumbents against primary challenges. He may do photo ops or invite his perfected candidates to meet him at the airport, but he almost certainly won't endorse.

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:33:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ken Lanci (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    An overtanned rich white guy which campaigns looking like he just stepped off the golf course of an exclusive country club with an authoritarian manner of always talking about how he parachuted into government offices, schools, and social service agencies by the dozens and now knows how to run them better than the professionals.

    Yeah, that'd fly in a majority African-American city like Cleveland.

    I don't think Lanci would be foolish enough to actually run. I just think he likes attention.

    From Lanci's 2010 campaign for county executive:
    LanciBus0394

    I wish I could show you the campaign video that included lines like "Who are you? I thought I saw your face on the bus" accompanying hagiographic low-angle shots of an imposing, take-charge Lanci.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:00:37 PM PDT

  •  Here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    This list is probably the most accurate out there, but you forgot a substantial number of big (or important) cities:

    http://www.usmayors.org/...

    Chattanooga, TN
    Kansas City, KS
    Overland Park, KS
    McAllen, TX
    Plano, TX
    Jersey City, NJ
    Mobile, AL
    Modesto, CA
    St. Paul, MN
    Cincinnati, OH
    Dayton, OH
    Toledo, OH
    Tacoma, WA

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:31:03 PM PDT

    •  Don't forget Oyster Bay, NY! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin

      A bunch of these cities I really wanted to include but I decide to adopt 300k as a cutoff.  I wanted to keep this diary from being really long and also wanted to be consistent on which cities got included and which didn't.  

      I also made a call for what I thought readers would be interested in.  I decided cities with 300k was a fairly safe bet but I didn't think people would necessarily be interested in places like McAllen and Tacoma unless they were from the area.  

      If anyone knows a lot about those mayoral races and has info on them I'd love to hear about those elections in the comments!  

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oyster Bay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff, gabjoh

        My hometown. Republican town supervisor John Venditto has been in office since 1998 and will likely be reelected as long as he wants the job. Republicans dominate the town government controlling the entire council and all three executive positions.

        NY-03 (Home), NY-23 (College)

        by epez21 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:13:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the info! (0+ / 0-)

          I was quite surprised to see it on the big city list.  I know Long Island has a lot of towns that aren't well known to a lot of people outside the area that are pretty big.  Is Oyster Bay GOP leaning or do they like their incumbents?

          23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

          by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:54:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The town (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darth Jeff

            is very ancestrally GOP which shows up heavily in local elections but more Democratic for state and federal elections. I had a government textbook once that compared the strength of the Republican party machine in our county (Nassau) with the Democratic Party in Cook County. There is also an ideological divide in the geography, with the north shore (Steve Israel's district) being more Democratic and the south shore (Peter King's district) being more Republican. Furthermore, most of the town officials are not very conservative; Venditto was recently accused of supporting too much taxing and spending. Also, the town council would likely have some Democrats if they were elected in districts (particularly from the north shore), but all of the members are elected on an at-large basis.

            NY-03 (Home), NY-23 (College)

            by epez21 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:53:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Although I live in Long Beach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, Don midwest

    which is about 20 miles south of L.A. there is no denying that what happens there has an impact on all of So Cal.

    Here in Long Beach, an old friend has announced she is running for mayor; she is on the city council and unable to run for re-election because of term limits. She is an out lesbian, which was a big deal when she first ran for public office, but hardly anyone pays attention these days AFAIK.

    I believe Long Beach is the 36th largest city in the country.

  •  cities in crisis - can't pay for maintenance (0+ / 0-)

    we have heard the estimates from civil engineering orgs about the trillion in defrayed maintenance costs

    but in cities, elected officials, under the mantra of growth, sign on to new projects. Many elected officials are in real estate. Often they get money from the federal government. Then say 25 years later when roads need to be repaired, there is no money for that.

    cities are for the most part set up a chimney orgs

    strongtowns.org provides a forum for talking about making cities more liveable and affordable. They have a recent post about Return on Investment - something cities have not done.

    this article has three short videos. Here is what is said about them:

    I realize these are nuts and bolts kind of conversations, but it is important to note that I'm not suggesting that local government must always have a positive return on investment on everything it does. I'm also not suggesting that local government should stay completely out of any endeavor that would be altruistic. All I'm pointing out is that, whatever goals or desires a local government may have, the prerequisite to accomplishing those goals is financial solvency. The higher the return on public investments a community has and the greater its financial solvency, the more capacity it has to take on other endeavors.
    That's actually not a difficult concept to comprehend.
    And in reality, none of this is difficult. In fact, there were times when I was putting these videos together that the sheer obvious nature of them caused me some private embarrassment. That was, until I stepped back and noted that no local government that I've ever seen operates in anywhere near this fashion. I shared them with a few friends last week and the consistent feedback I got was one word: radical.
    That these basic concepts are radical in America, circa 2013, says more about us than anything I could write.
    I added the bold.

    Here is the link to the article with the three videos.

    http://www.strongtowns.org/...

    Lots of good stuff on their web site as well.

    Lots of discussions

  •  Dayton, OH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    Gary Leitzell, (I), incumbent seeking reelection
    Nan Whaley, (D), current city commissioner
    AJ Wagner, (D), retired judge

    Non-partisan blanket primary on May 7 for the November general

    Leitzell is a joke, and has been in completely over his head.  

    I haven't seen much polling, but I am confident that it will be a competitive race.  Wagner is a good guy, but I can't imagine him gaining much traction against the younger and more enthusiastic Whaley.

    I recently moved to a Dayton suburb, so I can't vote, but I'm eagerly watching this race.

  •  Very nice summation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    Of these very significant races!!  As a Houstonian, Ben Hall has had an impressive start, but I am nowhere near as optimistic about his prospects to beat Parker as you are.  I live in Houston, and the economy has improved here by leaps and bounds over 2011.  Parker and the city are creating jobs, re-hiring people previously laid off, re-building the city's infrastructure in an aggressive new plan, and doing a whole lot of other "high visibility" things.  

    The two things that made the 2011 race so difficult for Parker were the rough economy, and a huge controversy over the city's red light cameras.  The mayor has weathered both of those storms successfully, so I would wager that her reelection would be MUCH easier than 2011.  Now this is not to say that the city really loves Parker, but they do respect her ability to make tough decisions and keep the city on solid footing.  

    Thanks for all the hard work!!  These are a lot of races to follow!  

    Check out my blog http://texasleftist.blogspot.com/

    by TexasLeftist on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for your perspective on this race! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm fairly cautious about whether or not Hall can beat Parker; if she's successfully moved passed her 2011 problems I assume she's fine.  Fundraising should tell us if Hall's gaining any traction and it'll be worth watching if other serious candidates sense Parker is vulnerable or if they stay out.  

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:52:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Edited Boston to reflect Menino's retirement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumiputera

    I've rewritten much of the Boston entry.  This race suddenly became a LOT more exciting...

    23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

    by Jeff Singer on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:36:00 PM PDT

  •  Excellent, well researched, and much need diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff
  •  Pittsburgh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, David Nir

    This one's worth watching because it's the most wide open mayoral race the city's seen in a while, and it will be interesting to see if Bill Peduto can finally catch the white whale (this is technically his third run for mayor).  However there's not a lot of daylight between the candidates on the issues so it will likely come down to messaging and base turnout.  Also, Darlene Harris has dropped out of the race as of today.

    The lone Republican in the race runs an organization for "Jewish Preppers".  So, not only will he teach you to stockpile food for Doomsday, but it will all be kosher.  

    Thanks for putting this together -- this is great.  

    •  Thanks! Pittsburgh is definitely a fun one! (0+ / 0-)

      I'll update to reflect Harris' departure from the race.  Do you agree with the conventional wisdom that this is Peduto's to lose?

      A Kosher doomsday bunker... wonder if he can make it kosher for Passover for eight days a year...

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:25:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The race is evolving too quickly to say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

        It may very well have been his to lose against Ravenstahl, and he probably still does have a small lead in this race (although I've gotten the impression that citywide polling is notoriously bad during the fairly short time I've followed Pgh politics).  However, I think the conventional wisdom is that Jack Wagner has the momentum.  He's collecting a lot of endorsements, including several citywide unions and state lawmakers, and he will probably get most of the Harris voters.  Some of the Peduto narrative requires believing that he will draw most of the East End vote just because he is the only candidate from that part of the city, which I'm not sure I buy.  

        You could probably ask the GOP candidate yourself...he is personally active on social media and leaves all kinds of comments on Post-Gazette articles.  

        •  I went through and updated the race profile (0+ / 0-)

          The local media agrees with a lot of what you said and I've changed the post to reflect recent developments.  Peduto still looks like the favorite but Wagner looks a bit stronger than he did on Tuesday.  

          23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

          by Jeff Singer on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:17:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your update looks spot on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darth Jeff

            As I alluded to above I haven't lived in Pgh long enough to consider myself an expert on the local politics but I've followed both the race and the events that have shaped it enough to feel like I have a decent sense of it.  I think Peduto still has the highest chance of winning especially if all of the remaining minor candidates hang in until the primary, but a Wagner win would not surprise me.  

            •  Looks like that's the emerging conventional wisdom (0+ / 0-)

              No one seems particularly bullish on Lamb.

              23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

              by Jeff Singer on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 11:33:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lamb never really got going (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Jeff

                He was endorsed by the local party (by default, since only he and Ravenstahl sought their endorsement by their deadline) and then the party chair stepped down so that he personally could endorse Peduto.  Even though he's been elected citywide before, he doesn't seem to have that much name recognition either.  

              •  Update 4/1 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Jeff

                Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting this afternoon that Lamb will drop out.  It really is basically going to be Peduto vs. Wagner.  

                •  Thanks for letting me know! (0+ / 0-)

                  I'll update the diary accordingly.  Do you agree this probably gives Wagner a boost?

                  23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

                  by Jeff Singer on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 10:40:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm just going to wait until its official first (0+ / 0-)

                    Just in case it turns out the campaign has some weird April Fools Day joke or something.  

                    Btw this is hilarious.  This is either a very funny April Fools Joke or this mayoral race is a lot more violent than I thought:

                    Michael Lamb will announce Monday his plans to quit the Pittsburgh’s Democratic mayoral primary. A source close to the City Controller cited his embarrassing performance Saturday night in a brawl outside the White Eagle Inn on Carson St.

                    “Mike thought he had a strong base on the southside, that he could count on voters’ support down there,” said the source. “But to his dismay he heard most of them cheering for Jack [Wagner].”

                    The two entered the establishment around 10:45pm on Saturday. A police report said the incident started over the use of a pool table and escalated from there.

                    23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

                    by Jeff Singer on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 10:44:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm sure you saw (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Darth Jeff

                      the cross-post on the Live Digest but PoliticsPA has been posting some really funny stuff today that is even funnier if you're familiar with Pennsylvania and its politics.  In all seriousness, there have been some rumblings in the local media in the past few days about how Lamb dropped the ball as City Controller during the whole business with the police department that has now led to the federal investigation, and that may have been a contributing factor.  

                      I think this does help Wagner, because Peduto has a ceiling, and probably doesn't get to a plurality without at least two other decent candidates splitting the non-Peduto vote.  Wheatley may be the X-factor at this point, because he has barely campaigned at all, and has probably no shot of winning, but is familiar to at least part of the city and may do well in a couple of neighborhoods.  

  •  Nice diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    With regards to Tulsa (my hometown for the past 16 years), I think you have been given false news. Dewey Bartlett is incredibly UN-popular. He's actually one of the most unpopular mayors we've had in a while. The reason is that Conservative despise him, especially after he supported Vision 2 which would have raised taxes for capital improvements and beautification projects. The only reason he's slightly favored is because 1) he doesn't have a strong Republican challenger and 2) because Kathy Taylor is also unpopular from her recent tenure. The fact that the city Tilts Republican in a neutral year is an advantage as well although since Obama, Democrats do better when he's not on the ballot since Tulsa doesn't like Obama much. But at the moment, i'd say Dewey Bartlett and Kathy Taylor both have near equal chances of winning with Bartlett taking it in a squeaker unless Conservatives stay home. If they vote in droves against Taylor, Bartlett wins too.

    21, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco, Terracotta, and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); Currently studying in Madrid, Spain

    by gigantomachyusa on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 06:38:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the local knowledge! (0+ / 0-)

      The only quantitative information I have on any of their popularity is the Sooner Poll: it has shown Taylor popular near the end of her tenure and Bartlett pretty popular now.  The Sooner Poll doesn't seem to have been that great in the past, but it's presented the only tangable measure of anyone's popularity in the city.

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 06:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Anthony Weiner runs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    at least he'll pick up the idiot males who enjoy taking pictures of their dicks vote!

    •  That's a big part of the male vote anywhere (0+ / 0-)

      In all seriousness, there is more serious talk of him running for lower office, like Comptroller.  In all likelihood he'd get destroyed by Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer if he tried, but it would be fun and possibly a bit uncomfortable to watch.  

      23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

      by Jeff Singer on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:50:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FYI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    "Detective, if ignorance was a drug, you'd be high all the time." Sam Tyler, 'Life on Mars'

    by Kokomo for Obama on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

  •  Anthony Foxx confirmed to be not running (0+ / 0-)

    For re-election, as shown on Daily Kos' diary entry today. Also provided a list of possible candidates.

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