Voters Reward Incumbent Mayors: Conference Leaders Return, Two Board Members Defeated
By Jeffrey K. Richard
Leaders of The U.S. Conference of Mayors were returned to office by their respective electorates in large numbers on Tuesday. In Detroit, Mayor Dennis Archer, a USCM Trustee, decisively defeated challenger Ed Vaughn with an 83%-17% landslide. More than 150,000 voters turned out for the election.
Advisory Board Member and Boston Mayor Tom Menino's record over the past term was enough to dissuade any formal opposition. Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton prevailed in a tough race with Barbara Carlson, ex-wife of the former governor of the state.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani won handily in his race over Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, who is also well-known in city circles. Mayor Giuliani stressed his record on safer streets and on the improved quality of life for New Yorkers.
Also successful were USCM Trustees: Brent Coles of Boise; Patrick McManus of Lynn; David W. Smith of Newark, CA; and Michael R. White of Cleveland. Among the Members of USCM's Advisory Board who were returned to office: Lee Clancey of Cedar Rapids; Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport; and Michael Guido of Dearborn.
Some Runoffs Forced
A number of elections will lead to runoffs in a few weeks. Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell will face City Council President Marvin Arrington November 25. Houston voters will chose between former police chief and Drug Czar Lee Brown and prominent businessman Rob Mosbacher, a former Secretary of Commerce in the Bush Administration. Miami citizens will decide whether a current mayor or former mayor will lead them, since Mayor Joe Carollo is set for a runoff with a person who once held the job, Xavier Suarez. And in Miami Beach, the open contest to replace outgoing Mayor Seymour Gelber, is now a runoff between the top two vote-getters, Neisen Kasdin and David Pearlson.
Successes and Upsets
Overall, about one-third of The Conference's Advisory Board, Trustees and Past Presidents stood for election. Except for the open seats created by the voluntary departures of Seattle Mayor and USCM Past President Norman Rice and East Orange Mayor Cardell Cooper, almost 90% of those running were re-elected.
Two Conference leaders were defeated: Winston-Salem Mayor Martha Wood who was defeated by Jack Cavanaugh, and Advisory Board Member John R. McCarthy of Everett who was defeated by challenger David Ragucci.
Click on the Conference's website for results on the more than 200 mayors' contests held for November 4, at the icon named "1997 Mayoral Elections" at http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/home.htm.
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