Policymaking News

United States: Races, Ballot Measures to be Decided
November 01, 2017

On November 7, voters will decide gubernatorial elections in two states, legislative elections in three states, local elections in some of our largest cities, and numerous ballot initiatives.

GOVERNORS:  The November 7 election includes two races for governor. Both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) are term limited. In both states, the incumbent lieutenant governors -- Kim Guadagno (R) and Ralph Northam (D) respectively -- seek to succeed them. Phil Murphy (D) will challenge Guadagno, while Ed Gillespie (R) seeks to defeat Northam.

LEGISLATURES: Two states will hold regularly scheduled legislative elections this year. Democrats currently control both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature, while the GOP controls both chambers of the Virginia Legislature. Both states are likely to retain the current balance of power.

Also, Washington is holding eight special elections (three in the House, five in the Senate) to determine which party controls both chambers of the legislature.

LOCAL: Over twenty of the nation’s largest cities will hold mayoral elections this year, including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami,  New York City, and Seattle. Most of the incumbents are running for re-election.

Several cities held general mayoral elections earlier this year. Of those, incumbents Jeff Williams (I) of Arlington, TX; Betsy Price (I) of Fort Worth, TX; Eric Garcetti (D) of Los Angeles, CA; and Jean Stohert (R) of Omaha, NE were reelected. In El Paso, TX, Oscar Leeser (D) was replaced by Dee Margo (R). In San Antonio, TX, Ron Nirenberg (I) replaced Ivy Taylor (D), while Francis Slay (D) was defeated by fellow Democrat Lyda Krewson in St. Louis, MO.

STATE BALLOT MEASURES:  Seven states have a total of twenty-two policy questions on their ballots this year. Measures of note include:

Ohio Issue 2: to link drug prices paid by state agencies to those paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

New York Proposal 1: to decide whether to hold a state constitutional convention

Maine Question 2: an initiative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)


For more detailed information on state elections, local elections, and ballot measures, StateScape recommends the following sources:

State: NCSL State Vote 2017


Ballot Measures:

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