You might expect there to be little election activity this coming Tuesday, since it’s the day after Labor Day, but that is actually not the case. There are three local or special elections which have my attention. Here’s a quick preview:
Oklahoma State House District #85
The special election is on Tuesday in Oklahoma State House District #85 in the suburbs of Oklahoma City. The seat became vacant due to the sudden passing of five-term Representative David Dank (R) in April. Businessman Chip Carter won a four-way primary in July with 37% of the vote to become the Republican nominee. The Democratic nominee is Cyndi Munson, who ran against Rep. Dank for this seat in November 2014.
Although this is generally a Republican area, Ms. Munson did really well in 2014, holding Rep. Dank to 56% of the vote even though he had run unopposed two years earlier. Also, the amount of money involved in this contest so far has been amazing – over $350,000 in total has been raised and spent by all the candidates combined. The current party composition of the Oklahoma State House is 71 Republicans and 28 Democrats.
Fayetteville, Arkansas, anti-discrimination ordinance
There is a special election in the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Tuesday to vote on a recently passed council ordinance which would prohibit discrimination in the city against sexual orientation or gender identity. This comes after a previous ordinance prohibiting such discrimination was narrowly repealed by city voters in a special election last December. There is a comprehensive and excellent write-up about the entire issue, and all the history behind it, over at Ballotpedia – if you’re at all interested, I highly recommend you read it here.
I expect Tuesday’s vote will attract a significant turnout and be tightly contested. The December 2014 special election on this issue was close, 51.7%-48.3%, with over 14,500 votes cast, or almost 30% of the city’s registered voters.
Boston, MA, city council
Boston elects its city council members every two years, so all 13 positions will be voted on in November. There is a preliminary municipal election on Tuesday in those cases where more than two candidates filed for a given seat, and that is the case in just two districts this year. In District 4, which includes parts of Dorchester, longtime incumbent Charles Yancey is one of four candidates, while in District 7, covering Roxbury, two-term incumbent Tito Jackson faces 5 opponents. The top two finishers will then appear on the November 3rd ballot.