Elections Roundup: Incumbents Fare Well in Boston, Detroit and Flint

Advertisement

Voters went to the polls in several cities and states on Tuesday, choosing mayors and weighing in on assorted ballot measures. Here is a roundup of some of the outcomes.

In Atlanta, 2 Council Members Headed to Runoff for Mayor

Two city council members, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, emerged as the top vote-getters in a crowded field on Tuesday in the race for Atlanta mayor. The two will now go head-to-head in a runoff on Dec. 5, The Associated Press said.

Mary Norwood, left, and Keisha Lance Bottoms greeting supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday.CreditCurtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press, left; David Goldman/Associated Press

The eventual winner of the race, Atlanta’s most competitive mayoral contest in eight years, will take over from the current mayor, Kasim Reed, who is leaving because of term limits. Mr. Reed, in his two terms, has overseen a period of urban renewal.

At the same time, the majority-black city has become whiter and wealthier. Among eight serious candidates vying to succeed Mr. Reed, gentrification, development and the gap between rich and poor emerged as crucial issues.

The city is a bastion of Deep South liberalism, and the candidates had few serious policy differences going into Tuesday’s vote, which put more weight on personality and race. With three viable white candidates, some black voters argued that Atlanta needed to continue its streak of black mayors going back to 1974. Ms. Bottoms is black; Ms. Norwood is white.

All candidates promised to focus on ethics if elected, a reaction to a continuing federal investigation into corruption in the municipal contracting process.

In Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan Easily Wins Re-Election

Mike Duggan, the mayor who oversaw Detroit’s emergence from bankruptcy protection, was re-elected on Tuesday, local election results showed, defeating Coleman A. Young II, the son of a storied politician who was the city’s first black mayor.

State Sen. Coleman Young II after voting in Detroit on Tuesday.CreditAnthony Lanzilote/Detroit News, via Associated Press

The election was seen as a referendum on Detroit’s progress. Four years ago, the city had fallen so deeply into debt and was so plagued by failing services that it found itself in federal court, the largest American city ever to seek bankruptcy protection. Mr. Duggan, who was elected the city’s first white mayor in 40 years amid the legal proceedings, has pointed to signs of change since: Detroit has 65,000 new streetlights that actually turn on; emergency medical service response times have dropped; and thousands of empty, blighted houses have been torn down and hauled away.

But serious challenges remain, including thousands more crumbling buildings and a growing sense of inequity over improvements to some parts of the city over others. In a city that is 82 percent black, there were efforts to portray the election along racial lines, as a choice between a black-run Detroit, as it was during the tenure of Mr. Young’s father, and a white-run Detroit. One ad that criticized Mr. Duggan, issued by backers of Mr. Young, ended this way: “It’s as simple as black and white.”

Vi Lyles Will Be First Black Woman to Lead Charlotte, N.C.

Vi Lyles, a Democratic councilwoman, was elected mayor of Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, local election authorities reported, becoming the first African-American woman to win the office since the city’s incorporation in 1768.

Vi Lyles with her granddaughter, Arya Alexander, 2, after her victory in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday.CreditJeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer, via Associated Press

Ms. Lyles defeated Kenny Smith, a Republican, in the race to choose a successor for Mayor Jennifer Roberts, whom Ms. Lyles had defeated in a Democratic primary.

Ms. Roberts had been buffeted, from both the left and the right, for her handling of two issues: the fallout from the fatal police shooting of an African-American man, Keith Lamont Scott, in September 2016; and a debate over which bathrooms transgender people should be able to use in public buildings.

In February 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed a nondiscrimination ordinance — supported by Ms. Lyles and Ms. Roberts — that prompted the Republican-dominated state Legislature to pass a law that required people in publicly owned buildings to use the restroom that corresponded with the gender listed on their birth certificates. The law set off a roaring culture debate across the state, and the Charlotte council eventually rescinded its ordinance as part of an effort to roll back the state law.

The bathroom issue played a role in the election, with a conservative group promulgating ads that attacked Ms. Lyles for supporting a “radical” gay-rights agenda.

Mr. Smith portrayed himself as a figure who could unite a divided city, while Ms. Lyles promised to increase resident involvement in police matters.

Flint Mayor Survives Recall Attempt

Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint, Mich., survived a recall attempt on Tuesday, local election officials reported, and will continue serving for the next two years. She emerged with the most votes in a field of 18 candidates that included Scott Kincaid, a city councilman.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver greeted residents before her State of the City address at Flint City Hall last month.CreditJake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com, via Associated Press

Ms. Weaver took office in 2015 as Flint was grappling with lead-tainted drinking water, the result of decisions by emergency managers appointed by the state to oversee the fiscally struggling city. She gained national prominence by calling attention to the city’s water woes and pushing for assistance from federal and state agencies.

But Ms. Weaver, a psychologist who had never before held political office, quickly found herself at odds with the Flint City Council. Mr. Kincaid and others on the council pushed back against her proposal for a long-term drinking water source for Flint and criticized her attempt to do business with a trash-hauling company that has been accused of corruption elsewhere.

Ms. Weaver, who is black and Flint’s first woman mayor, said she believed the recall effort was motivated by sexism and racism. Mr. Kincaid, who is white, said that race was irrelevant and that the recall was rooted in concerns about policy.

No Candidate Gets a Majority for Mayor of Minneapolis

No candidate for mayor of Minneapolis received a majority of votes on Tuesday, local election officials reported, meaning that the city’s complex ranked-choice voting process will be used starting Wednesday to determine a winner.

Jacob Frey, a Minneapolis City Council member, had a lead after Tuesday night. Mayor Betsy Hodges remains in the running for a second term despite a large field of opponents and criticism over how she has handled police shootings in the city.

In the Democratic-leaning city, the election featured several candidates who saw themselves as progressive Democrats, many of whom emphasized racial equity and police accountability in their campaigns.

The local affiliate of the Democratic Party did not endorse a candidate, leaving a wide field of challengers.

The race was upended in July by the fatal shooting of Justine Damond, an unarmed Australian woman, by a Minneapolis police officer. Afterward, Ms. Hodges replaced the police chief but still faced protests and calls to change the culture of the police department. Demonstrators also criticized Ms. Hodges and camped outside the police station for days in 2015 when an officer fatally shot an unarmed black man.

Minneapolis is one of a handful of cities that uses ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to select and rank up to three preferred candidates. If nobody gets a majority in the first-round votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped, and their votes are reallocated. Ms. Hodges won her first term in 2013 on the 33rd round of counting.

Jenny Durkan Holds Lead In Seattle Race

Jenny Durkan, a former prosecutor, held a lead in the race for mayor of Seattle early Wednesday, The Associated Press reported, against Cary Moon, an urban planner.

One of them was to be the first woman to hold the job since 1928. Officials said they planned to continue counting ballots later Wednesday.

Ms. Durkan, 59, and Ms. Moon, 54, agreed on many issues, especially that rapid economic and population growth was testing the city as rents and home prices soar and as homelessness has challenged neighborhoods.

Neither woman had ever held elected office. Ms. Durkan argued that her experience as a United States attorney, appointed by President Barack Obama, gave her a depth of experience that Ms. Moon lacked. Ms. Moon appealed to voters who were suspicious of establishment politicians, and she won endorsements of several groups that had backed Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race.

The race was overshadowed, at times, by events at City Hall. Ed Murray, Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, endorsed Ms. Durkan in June, then resigned in September after several men accused him of sexually abusing them decades ago when they were minors.

Mayor of Boston Wins Second Term

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a Democrat of Boston, cruised to re-election on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported, beating a city councilor, Tito Jackson, who tried to turn the race into a referendum on development, displacement and disparity.

Mr. Walsh’s first term as mayor was not without controversy. He faced criticism after he initially embraced the city’s flashy but doomed 2024 Olympic bid and blamed “10 people on Twitter” for deep-seated opposition to hosting the games. Two of his aides were indicted on charges of extortion. And amid a burst of economic growth, discontent has simmered over Boston’s rising cost of living, continuing problems in its public schools and a multi-million-dollar tax break for General Electric to bring its corporate headquarters to Boston.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, left, with his mother, Mary Walsh, outside a polling station in Boston on Tuesday.CreditCJ Gunther/European Pressphoto Agency

But Mr. Jackson, a fellow Democrat and Boston’s first black mayoral finalist in decades, struggled to compete with Mr. Walsh’s campaign war chest and with his endorsements from popular Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Mr. Walsh pledged to tackle what he described as generational issues, like racial tensions and lagging schools, and burnished his progressive credentials by highlighting his differences with President Trump.

Ohio Voters Reject Limits to State Drug Prices

Voters in Ohio defeated a measure on Tuesday that would have limited the price of prescription drugs purchased by the state.

The referendum would have required that the state pay no more for drugs than what the federal Department of Veterans Affairs pays for those same drugs. The provision would have applied to state-purchased drugs bought as part of the Medicaid program for low-income people.

The Veterans Affairs Department buys drugs at 24 percent below typical prices, in addition to other discounts.

The measure drew strong resistance from drug makers, which spent more than $ 49 million to try to defeat it, and the loss underscored the formidable influence of the pharmaceutical industry, which typically spends millions of dollars a year on lobbying and campaign contributions. Last year, the industry successfully beat a measure in California that was similar to Ohio’s, after spending more than $ 100 million to do so.

The drug industry has come under fire for the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs, and politicians in both parties have recently taken up the populist issue. While Congress has so far done little to address the issue, several states have taken up the cause. California, Nevada and Vermont have passed laws that require companies to disclose and justify certain price increases.

Larry Krasner Elected Top Prosecutor in Philadelphia

Larry Krasner, a veteran civil rights lawyer who ran on a platform of reforming the criminal justice system, was elected on Tuesday as the district attorney of Philadelphia, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Krasner, a Democrat, defeated his opponent, Beth Grossman, a career local prosecutor and a longtime Democrat who switched parties to run against him as a Republican. After beating six opponents in a primary in May, Mr. Krasner was heavily favored to win the general election in the heavily Democratic city.

Larry Krasner walking to his polling station to vote in Philadelphia on Tuesday.CreditMatt Rourke/Associated Press

At 56, Mr. Krasner has never held public office and spent much of his career representing liberal activists in Philadelphia. As a private lawyer, he sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times, repeatedly accusing its officers of lying and using excessive force — a remarkable record for a man who will now have to work with the police as the city’s top law enforcement officer.

Though crime in Philadelphia has dropped significantly in recent months, the city still has one of the highest incarceration rates of any urban center in the country. Mr. Krasner made that issue a focal point of his campaign, promising to cut down on prosecutions of minor offenses, to divert drug addicts into treatment and to ignore, where appropriate, what he described as draconian sentencing guidelines.

Contributing to this article were: Richard Fausset from Atlanta; Jess Bidgood from Boston; Julie Bosman, Monica Davey, Mitch Smith and Katie Thomas from Chicago; Alan Feuer from New York; Kirk Johnson from Seattle.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Elections Roundup: Michigan Mayor Survives a Recall Vote. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Advertisement

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

NYT > U.S.