DemDaily: Tuesday’s Election Results! New Mexico and Mayors

June 2, 2021

In Tuesday's Special Election for New Mexico's First Congressional District, Democrat Melanie Stansbury handily defeated Republican Mark Moores by 24 points, providing Democrats with hopes of retaining the US House of Representatives in 2022.

While the outcome in the predominantly blue district vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was anticipated, the focus was on the margins as a barometer of the mood of the electorate going into the 2022 midterms.


The special election was the first federal race to pit one Democrat against one Republican since Democrats took the White House, and one closely watched as a test of messaging by both parties.

Haaland, elected to Congress in 2018, won reelection in 2020 by 16 points, and Joe Biden won the district by 23 points in the 2020 presidential election. Had Moores come within single digits in his loss to Stansbury, it would have affirmed Republicans' playbook in the battle for the US House next November.

That strategy relied largely on tying Stansbury to "radical" defund the police reform proposals and painting the former State Representative and all Democrats as anti-law enforcement.

Congresswoman-elect Melanie Stansbury (ABC)

In contrast, Stansbury's positive message focused on Biden's post-pandemic economic recovery package, education and racial justice.

The election brings the Democrats' narrow majority in the US House to 220-211, with four vacancies.

The remaining special elections for those seats, which include a runoff in Texas, two in Ohio, and one in Florida, are not expected to change partisan hands - which would bring Democrats' lead to just nine seats.

Democrats, however, still have a large historic hill to climb.

Midterm elections are often regarded as a referendum on the sitting president's performance, with the party controlling the White House losing, on average, 27 House seats.

A number of mayoral elections have also taken place in the last month.

May 4: In Cincinnati, Ohio Mayoral Primary
Democrats Aftab Pureval and David Mann prevailed in the open primary where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November.

Cincinnatti: Democrats Aftab Pureval and David Mann advance to November general election (WLWT)

In the contest to replace term-limited Mayor John Cranley, Pureval received 39.1% to Mann's 29.1%, followed by Cecil Thomas (D) with 16.4%, Gavi Begtrup (D) 9.6%, Raffel Prophett (I) 3.5% and Herman Najoli 2.3% (D).

May 11: Anchorage, Alaska Mayoral Runoff
David Bronson (R) defeated Forrest Dunbar (D) with 50.66% of the vote to Dunbar's 49.34% in the officially nonpartisan runoff election for mayor. Bronson replaced incumbent Ethan Berkowitz (D) who resigned from office last October due to "personal conduct" issues.

Appointed interim Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, the first woman and openly gay person to serve as mayor of Anchorage, declined to run in the 2021 election to a full term.

Ed Gainey: Pittsburgh's first Black Mayor? (Steve Mellon Pittsburg Post-Gazette)

May 11: Omaha, Nebraska Mayoral Runoff
In the officially non-partisan race, incumbent Republican Mayor Jean Stothert was re-elected to a third term in office, defeating Democrat RJ Neary 64.37% to 34.75%.

May 18: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mayoral Primary

State Representative Ed Gainey defeated two-term incumbent Bill Peduto to win the Democratic nomination for Mayor in Pittsburgh.

Gainey, a five-term state representative, secured 46.1% to Peduto's 39.4%, followed by Tony Moreno with 13.2%, and Michael Thompson with 1.2%.

No Republicans filed to run in the race and, unless a write-in candidate enters, Gainey will run unopposed in the general election on November 2, 2021. If victorious, Gainey would become Pittsburgh's first Black mayor.

Next Up! The primaries for 2021's two gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia will be held next Tuesday, June 8, 2021

June 8: New Jersey Primary Election for Governor, Lt. Governor, State Senate, State House, Municipal.

(LtoR) VA Gov Dem Candidates: Jennifer McClellan, Justin Fairfax, Terry McAuliffe, Jennifer Carroll, Lee Carter (ABC)

June 8: Virginia Democratic Primary Election for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State House, Municipal. Republicans chose their nominee, Glenn Youngkin, in a  May 8th convention.



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Sources: Ballotpedia, CNN, NCC, Intelligencer, Politico, US House

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