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Thursday, December 08, 2022

What to look for in Tuesday’s election: Virginia, race of mayors, and police work

What to look for in Tuesday's election: Virginia, race of mayors, and police work

On Tuesday, the main focus of the political world will be on Virginia, where former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is trying to return to his old cabinet against Glenn Yangkin, a wealthy Republican business executive.

Polls show the race is a draw. And the themes of the competition – Mr. McAuliffe tirelessly trying to connect Mr. Yangkin with former President Donald J. Trump, and Mr. Yangkin, focusing on how racial inequality is taught in schools, among other cultural issues – has only reinforced opinion about the elections. potential as a national leader. The results will be closely scrutinized by both parties to understand what to expect over the medium term until 2022.

While the race in Virginia is Tuesday’s main game, other notable picks are taking place. Voters in many major American cities will elect their next mayor, and some will speak out on hotly contested voting measures, including policing. There is another race of governors in New Jersey.

Here’s what to look at in some of the key contests that will provide the most detailed and textured look at where voters have stood for more than nine months in the Biden administration.

Since 2008, Democrats have defeated Virginia in every presidential election. It wasn’t that close last year. Mr. Biden won by 10 percentage points.

But Virginia also has a history of opposing the new president’s party – the state switched to the Republican Party in 2009, during former President Barack Obama’s first year in office – and Republicans hope Mr. Yangkin has found a formula for success in the post-Trump era.

To win, Mr. Yangkin needs to cut margins in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, where voters have made the state increasingly democratic, as well as transformed a Republican base that remains motivated by Trump.

His textbook focuses heavily on education, attacking Mr. McAuliffe for remarking in the debate that parents should not be in control of what they teach in schools and benefit from the broader conservative movement against schools teaching about systemic racism. The bottom line: Education was the top issue in the race, according to an October Washington Post poll, giving Republicans an edge on a topic traditionally favored by Democrats.

Mr. McAuliffe aggressively linked Mr. Yangkin to Mr. Trump, who supported the Republican but never traveled to Virginia to campaign for him. If Mr. Yangkin loses, it will demonstrate an ongoing challenge to the GOP over Mr. Trump, even without Mr. Trump on the ballot papers. But if Mr. McAuliffe loses, it will increase pressure on Democrats to craft a new, proactive message.

Control over the Virginia House of Delegates is also open. At the moment, the Democrats have a 55-45 seat advantage, which they received during the years of Trump’s rule.

In the race for Governor of New Jersey, incumbent Democratic President Phil Murphy will be re-elected. Polls show Mr Murphy is ahead, but the weakening approval rating for Mr Biden’s work in a firmly democratic state – which stood at 43% in a recent poll in Monmouth – causes concern. The results will be monitored to see how much weakening support for Mr Biden seeped into the ballots.

It’s not the largest city to host Mayor Races on Tuesday, but the battle for City Hall in Buffalo, New York may be the most exciting.

India Walton, who will become the first socialist to lead a major American city in decades, defeated incumbent Democrat Mayor Byron Brown in the June primaries. But Mr. Brown is now running a foreclosure campaign.

Ms Walton has garnered the support of progressive supporters such as MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and some party leaders such as Senator Chuck Schumer, but other prominent Democrats have remained neutral, most notably Governor Katie Hochul, a lifelong Buffalo resident. …

Police work was a serious problem. Although Ms Walton distanced herself from wanting to cut police funding, Mr Brown attacked her about it in a TV ad.

In Boston, a second round pits two city councilors, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essyby George, against each other, with Ms. Wu running as progressive. Ms. Wu, supported by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, won first place in the primary.

In New York, Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and Democrat, is expected to win the race for mayor and has already established himself as a national figure. “I am the face of the new Democratic Party,” Mr. Adams said after his victory in the June primaries.

In Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez, a rare major city Republican mayor, enjoys a lot of support for re-election and is lining up to become president of the US Conference of Mayors, providing him with a national platform.

In Atlanta, an overcrowded field of 14 candidates, including city council president Felicia Moore, is expected to lead to a runoff as former mayor Qasim Reed tries to return.

Law enforcement is a recurring theme in municipal races, as communities battle the “justify the police” slogan that has swept the country since the assassination of George Floyd by police last year. Debates are raging within the Democratic Party about how radically the law enforcement should be restructured and how to talk about such a restructuring.

Perhaps nowhere is the problem more acute than in Minneapolis, the city where Mr. Floyd was assassinated, sparking civil unrest across the country. Voters will decide to replace the troubled Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.

Mayor Jacob Frey, who is preparing for re-election, opposed the measure and pushed for a more gradual approach. His rivals, including Sheila Nejad, want a more aggressive approach.

Police work is a key issue not only in the Buffalo Mayor’s Race, but also in the Mayoral Competitions in Seattle, Atlanta and Cleveland, where an amendment was also made to the bulletin that will change the way the City Police Department operates.

The race for mayor of Cleveland pits Justin Bibb, a 34-year-old newcomer to politics, against Kevin Kelly, the city council president. Mr. Bibb supports the police amendment and Mr. Kelly opposes it.

Ohio is running two special picks for the campaign trail, and Shontel Brown, a Democratic member of the Cuyahoga County Council, is expected to win a seat in Cleveland, largely from Democrats. Mike Carey, a longtime Republican coal lobbyist, enjoys support in a county that spans a dozen counties.

Mr. Carey clashes with Allison Russo, a Democrat backed by Biden. Mr. Carey’s gap in the chair, which Trump ranked more than 14 points last year, will be another valuable indicator of the political environment.

Florida is holding a primary at the residence of MP Alsie Hastings, who passed away earlier this year. The winner will be determined in early January elections.

The only races in Pennsylvania on Tuesday are for courts. The most closely watched competition takes place in the state Supreme Court, which features two appellate judges, Republican Kevin Brobson and Democrat Maria McLaughlin. The Democrats currently have a 5-2 majority in the court, and the vacant seat belongs to the Republican, so the outcome will not affect control.

But millions of dollars in advertising are pouring into the state, which is evidence not only of the growing politicization of litigation, but also of the state’s role as the main field of the presidential battle.

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