U.S. mayoral elections, 2005

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Completed Elections

Albuquerque

  • Winner - Martin Chavez (D)
  • Other Candidates - Brad Winter (R); Eric Griego (D)
  • Synopsis – Chavez became the first Albuquerque mayor to win reelection, winning an October open primary with 47% of the vote, more than the 40% minimum necessary to avoid a runoff. This will be Chavez' third overall (non-consecutive) term in office. The next election is in 2009.

Atlanta

  • Winner - Shirley Franklin (D)
  • Other Candidates -
  • Synopsis – Franklin had no significant opposition and won re-election with 92% of the vote in November.

Boston

  • Winner - Thomas M. Menino (D)
  • Other Candidates - Maura Hennigan (D)
  • Synopsis - Hennigan, a City Councilor for 24 years, tried to make Menino's entrenched political machine an issue in the mayoral race. She failed to gain any traction and Menino easily won a fourth term.

Buffalo

  • Winner - Byron Brown (D)
  • Other Candidates - Kevin Helfer (R); Kevin Gaughan (D); Steven Calvaneso (D)
  • Synopsis - Although civic leader Gaughan ran a spirited campaign without significant financial backing, State Senator Brown handily defeated his rivals to win the Democratic nomination in the September primary. Brown then easily defeated the Republican party nominee, former Common Council member Helfer. He replaces outgoing mayor Anthony Masiello, who did not run for reelction.

Cedar Rapids

  • Winner - Kay Halloran (D)
  • Other Candidates - Scott Olson (R)
  • Synopsis - During the summer of 2005, the voters of Cedar Rapids, Iowa changed the form of city government from a city commission to a council-mayor-manager form, so the mayor's race and every city council seat were open.

Charlotte

  • Winner - Patrick McCrory (R)
  • Other Candidates - Craig Madans (D)
  • Synopsis - A possibly formidable opponent for McCrory, Mayor-pro-Tem Patrick Cannon withdrew from the race, leaving 1989 and 2003 nominee Madans as the only Democratic candidate left. Each man won his party's primary in September, but McCrory then easily won a sixth term in November.

Cincinnati

  • Winner - Mark Mallory (D)
  • Other Candidates - David Pepper (D); Charlie Winburn (R); Alicia Reese (D)
  • Synopsis – State Senator Mallory narrowly defeated City Councilman Pepper in the November runoff election after each received 31% of the vote in a September non-partisan primary that featured four major candidates. Mallory replaces outgoing mayor Charles Luken, who did not run for reelection.

Cleveland

  • Winner - Frank Jackson (D)
  • Other Candidates - Jane Campbell (D); Robert Triozzi (D)
  • Synopsis - City Council President Jackson outsted incumbent mayor Campbell with 55% of the vote in the November runoff election. Jackson had previously led a host of candidates seeking to oust the first-term Mayor in the October non-partisan primary election in which Campbell finished second. Campbell had become highly vulnerable and came under criticism for the city's fiscal health, and the failure to pass a property tax levy to fund Cleveland public schools.

Detroit

  • Winner - Kwame Kilpatrick (D)
  • Other Candidates - Freman Hendrix (D); Sharon McPhail (D); Hansen Clark (D)
  • Synopsis - Incumbent Mayor Kilpatrick pulled off a surprise victory in the November 8 runoff election against Freman Hendrix, Former Deputy Mayor under Dennis Archer. Hendrix had been the top vote-getter in the August non-partisan primary election, and looked poised to oust the first term Mayor, who had come under intense criticism for his lavish taxpayer-funded lifestyle and the city's budget crisis. A recount failed to overturn the initial result.


El Paso

  • Winner - John Cook (D)
  • Other Candidates - Joe Wardy (D); Carmen Rodriguez (D)
  • Synopsis - In a mild upset, first-term Mayor Wardy was defeated in his bid for reelection. Despite winning the primary with 45% of the vote, Wardy lost to City Rep. Cook in a June runoff. The next election is in 2009.

Houston

  • Winner - Bill White (D)
  • Other Candidates -
  • Synopsis - White faced only token opposition and won a third term with 91% of the vote.

Jackson

  • Winner - Frank Melton (D)
  • Other Candidates - Harvey Johnson, Jr. (D); Rick Whitlow (R)
  • Synopsis - Former director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Frank Melton defeated Mayor Johnson, the two-term incumbent, in a landslide in the May Democratic primary, then easily defeated Republican candidate Rick Whitlow in the June general election. Felton used the city's high crime rate as his winning issue against the mayor, promising to fire the Police Chief if elected. The next election is in 2009.

Los Angeles

  • Winner - Antonio Villaraigosa (D)
  • Other Candidates - Bob Herzberg (D); Jeffrey Hahn (D); Bernard Parks (D)
  • Synopsis - Former California State Assembly speaker and 2001 Los Angeles Mayoral election runner-up Antonio Villaraigosa (D) easily defeated Bob Herzberg, a Democrat endorsed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the May runoff. The election represented a marked shift in political power from the city's African-American community to Hispanics. The coalition that had elected first-term incumbent Mayor Hahn (D) in 2001 - including white conservatives and blacks - abandoned him the second time around. He finished third in the general election and failed to advance to the runoff. The next election is in 2009.

Miami

  • Incumbent - Manuel A. Diaz (I)
  • Other Candidates – Enrique Santos
  • Synopsis - In an election delayed two weeks by Hurricane Wilma, Diaz easily won a second term without a runoff.
  • Note - This is a distinct office from the Office of the Mayor of Miami-Dade County.

Minneapolis

  • Winner - R.T. Rybak (DFL)
  • Other Candidates - Peter McLaughlin (DFL); Farheen Hakeem (G)
  • Synopsis - First-term Mayor Rybak handily defeated Hennepin County Commissioner McLaughlin in his bid for re-election in the November runoff. The two had been the top two vote-getters in a September non-partisan runoff in which Rybak finished first with 44% of the vote. McLaughlin had been backed by Minneapolis labor unions who had also backed former mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton in her unsuccessful bid for reelection in 2001 and successfully blocked Mayor Rybak from winning the official endorsement of the Minneapolis DFL. Rybak, who had initially ousted Sayles-Belton thanks to a grassroots-driven populist campaign, portrayed McLaughlin as part of an "old guard" trying to return to power.


New York City

  • Winner - Michael M. Bloomberg (R)
  • Other Candidates - Fernando Ferrer (D); Anthony Weiner (D); Gifford Miller (D); C. Virginia Fields (D)
  • Synopsis - By a 2-1 margin, Mayor Bloomberg trounced Bronx Borough President Ferrer in the November election to win a second term. Ferrer had won a four-way Democratic primary on September 13, and avoided a runoff against second-place finisher Representative Weiner by finishing with just barely over 40% of the vote. Weiner had conceded the race and had chosen not to contest the runoff were it necessary. Ferrer's prospects as a general election opponent for Bloomberg had been formidable, but evaporated when he made remarks about the Amadou Diallo case which most interpreted as political pandering.

Omaha

  • Winner - Mike Fahey (D)
  • Other Candidates - David Friend (R)
  • Synopsis - Mayor Fahey easily won a second term, winning both an April non-partisan primary and the May general election with more than 60% of the vote. The next election is in 2009

Pittsburgh

  • Winner - Bob O'Connor (D)
  • Other Candidates - Joe Weinroth (R); Michael Lamb (D); Bill Peduto (D)
  • Synopsis - Third-time candidate, businessman and former City Council President O'Connor essentially won the office when he won a contested Democratic primary in May. The general election against Weinroth was just a formality. Incumbent mayor Thomas M. Murphy did not run for reelection.

St. Louis

  • Winner - Francis G. Slay (D)
  • Other Candidates - Bill Haas (D); Irene Smith (D); Willie Marshall (G)
  • Synopsis - Incumbent Mayor Slay easily won reelection in March on the first ballot without the need for a runoff. The next election is in 2009.

St. Paul

  • Winner - Chris Coleman (DFL)
  • Other Candidates - Randy Kelly (DFL); Elizabeth Dickinson (G)
  • Synopsis - The St. Paul electorate unleashed its wrath on incumbent Mayor Kelly for having crossed party lines to endorse George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. City Councilman Coleman ousted the first-term Mayor with 70% of the vote in the November runoff election. Coleman first trounced Kelly in the non-partisan primary in September and, even though he won more than 50% of the vote, was still required to face Kelly in a runoff in November. Kelly had not sought the endorsment of the DFL for his reelection campaign.

St. Petersburg

  • Winner - Rick Baker (R)
  • Other Candidates - Ed Helm (D)
  • Synopsis - Mayor Baker easily won a second term, defeating Helm in the November election with more than 70% of the vote.

San Antonio

  • Winner - Phil Hardberger (D)
  • Other Candidates - Julian Castro (D); Carroll Schubert (R)
  • Synopsis - Retired Judge Hardberger narrowly defeated a spirited grassroots campaign by 30-year old City Councilman Julian Castro in a June runoff election. Castro had finished first in the May general election, but third-place finisher Schubert, the Republican, endorsed Hardberger. Castro's age at the time of the election was an issue, as incumbent two-term mayor Ed Garza (who did not run) had also been elected at a young age (32) and was perceived as a weak leader. The next election is in 2007.

San Diego

  • Winner - Jerry Sanders (R)
  • Other Candidates - Donna Frye (D); Steve Francis (R)
  • Synopsis - Sanders narrowly won the runoff of a special election to replace former Mayor Dick Murphy who had resigned. City Councilmember Frye, who lost a write-in campaign in 2004 on a technicality, was the only Democrat to run in the special election and placed first in the July special election with more than 43% of the vote. Former Police Chief Sanders, a moderate Republican, had placed second, over fellow Republican Steve Francis, a social conservative who finished third. Combined, Republican candidates attracted greater than 50% of the vote in the primary, and Frye was unable to attract a sufficient number of crossover votes in the runoff. The circumstances which precipitated Murphy's resignation, a city pension fund scandal were focal point in the race. Sanders replaces Toni Atkins, who had served for six months as acting mayor.

Seattle

  • Winner - Greg Nickels (D)
  • Other Candidates – Al Runte; Christal Wood
  • Synopsis - Nickels easily won a second term in a November runoff against former University of Washington professor Runte. The necessity of the runoff was a mild surprise, as Nickels had initially failed to get 60% of the vote in the September primary in order to avoid a second round of balloting.

Spokane

  • Result - Recall successful; Dennis Hession (I) becomes mayor
  • Former Mayor - Jim West (R)
  • Outlook - Mayor West was a longtime foe of gay rights in his years as the Republican Senate Majority Leader in the Washington state legislature. In his first term as Mayor of Spokane, he was accused of misusing his office by offering gifts, internships, and city government jobs to young men he met while using the handle RightBiGuy on the Gay.com website chatrooms. He was also accused of sexually molesting underage boys in the 1970s and 80s. He ignored calls for his resignation, so opponents launched a recall effort that gathered enough signatures to trigger a special election in December in which he was recalled. As president of the Spokane City Council, Dennis Hession assumed the office of mayor.

Toledo

  • Winner - Carty Finkbeiner (D)
  • Other Candidates - Jack Ford (D); Keith Wilkowski (D); Rob Ludeman (R)
  • Synopsis - Finkbeiner, a former two-term mayor of Toledo, ousted the current incumbent mayor Ford with a landslide victory in the November runoff. Finkbeiner had comfortably led the field in the September primary, albeit with only 37% of the vote. Incumbent Mayor Ford barely made it into the runoff, besting Wilkowski by three percentage points for second place.

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