Nineteen of the 100 largest U.S. cities held general elections for mayor on Nov. 3, and some are growing impatient as vote tallying continues for neck-and-neck races.
Sixteen cities have identified their winning mayors as of latest update, while one is awaiting further results and two cities prepare to push the vote to a runoff. Most races with incumbent mayoral candidates that have been announced so far have declared those incumbents as winners for another term, with the exception of Mayor Christina Shea's defeat in Irvine, CA and Mayor Michael Tubbs' defeat in Stockton, CA.
The following table will be updated as more mayoral races are called.
Editor's Note: The following table lists each candidate's political party, unless that city holds a nonpartisan mayoral race. Any candidate with an asterisk (*) is the incumbent mayoral candidate.
|Phoenix, AZ||*Kate Gallego (D)
Merissa Hamilton (R)
Tim Seay (D)
|*Kate Gallego (D)|
|Gilbert, AZ||Matt Nielsen
|Scottsdale, AZ||Lisa Borowsky
|Fremont, CA||*Lily Mei
Naz Mahika Khan
Vik Bajwa Singh
|Irvine, CA||*Christina Shea
|Riverside, CA||Patricia Lock Dawson
|Patricia Lock Dawson is leading in early results.|
|San Diego, CA||Barbara Bry
|Santa Ana, CA||Claudia Alvarez
|Stockton, CA||*Michael Tubbs
|Honolulu, HI||Rick Blangiardi
|Baltimore, MD||Brandon Scott (D)
Bob Wallace (I)
Shannon Wright (R)
David Harding (Working Class)
|Brandon Scott (D)|
|Winston-Salem, NC||*Allen Joines (D)
Kris McCann (R)
|*Allen Joines (D)|
|Portland, OR||*Ted Wheeler
|Corpus Christi, TX||*Joe McComb
|Runoff on Dec. 15|
|El Paso, TX||Oscar Leeser
|Runoff slated for December|
|Irving, TX||*Rick Stopfer
Olivia Novelo Abreu
|Lubbock, TX||*Dan Pope
|Richmond, VA||*Levar Stoney
M. Justin Griffin
|Virginia Beach, VA||*Bobby Dyer (R)
Jody Wagner (D)
|*Bobby Dyer (R)|
Some cities welcome new leadership, but most incumbents remain
Incumbents reigned supreme in nearly all applicable mayoral races, while some elections without incumbents saw historic results.
At least eight cities — Phoenix; Fremont, CA; Winston-Salem, NC; Portland, OR; Irving, TX; Lubbock, TX; Richmond, VA and Virginia Beach, VA — reelected their mayors for new terms, with Allen Joines in Winston-Salem stepping into his 20th year as the city's mayor.
Other cities including Baltimore and Santa Ana, CA welcomed entirely new leadership as incumbents opt out of office. Santa Ana Councilmember Vicente Sarmiento will become that city's first new mayor since 1994, while Brandon Scott will begin his mayoralty in Baltimore with a Dec. 8 swearing-in ceremony, having already promosed to move toward pandemic mitigation and gun reform.
The most significant upset was seen in Stockton, CA, where Democratic rising star Michael Tubbs conceded to his Republican contender Kevin Lincoln on Nov. 18. Tubbs' upset was reportedly driven in part by criticism from local social media page 209 Times. That site has published unconfirmed claims of corruption within Tubbs' administration, the Los Angeles Times reports, which was expected to become "a kingslayer if not a kingmaker" in this election.
Another upset occured in Irvine, CA, where Mayor Christina Shea lost her seat to Councilwoman Farrah Khan. The OC Register reports that Khan received 48% of the vote, while Shea — who has served as mayor since April 2019 — trailed behind at just 35%.
In the months leading up to the election, Shea faced criticism for her leadership, including for her decisions to vote "no" on several resolutions at the 2019 United States Conference of Mayors meeting in Honolulu. Those included resolutions in support of national carbon pricing; of the Green New Deal and of the Dignity for Detained Immigrations Act of 2019. Shea was also the only mayor in attendance to vote "no" on collaborating with local hip hop artists and on supporting the temporary protected status of Venezuelan nationals.
Khan thanked her supporters in a tweet on Wednesday, saying she is excited to get to work as the city's new mayor. "Together, we will ensure we continue to protect our great city's quality of life, build back our economy, and restore transparency in local government," she wrote.
Preparing for runoffs
The Texas cities of Corpus Christi and El Paso will head to runoff elections in December as no candidates in those elections amassed 51% of the vote to win on Nov. 3. In Corpus Christi, incumbent Mayor Joe McComb will face off with Councilmember At-Large Paulette Guajardo, the two top candidates of a nine-person race.
In El Paso, former Mayor Oscar Lee will head to a runoff with incumbent Mayor Dee Margo. Lee did not seek reelection in 2017 at the end of his mayoral term, instead taking a short stint as the owner of El Paso Hyundai, according to the city's local ABC affiliate.