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   Anti-incumbent wave pounds city halls

NEWS INFORMATION

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Parent

News Date

10/25/2009 11:00 am

Author

Alexander Burns

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General

Database Record

Entered 10/26/2009, Updated 10/26/2009

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A series of upsets and close calls in big-city elections is producing the first group of politicians to fall victim to voters' economic frustrations: America's mayors. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, a second-term incumbent and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, was defeated for re-election in an August primary by two candidates with thin political resumes. On October 6, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez fell short in his bid for a third consecutive term, putting the city's top office in Republican hands for the first time in a quarter-century. Even for mayors who have survived re-election campaigns, the results haven't been pretty. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who beat an incumbent by 18 points to win the seat in 2005, won a second term earlier this year with just 56 percent of the vote despite facing no significant opposition. In two more elections coming up next month, high-profile mayors are expected to prevail, though by considerably smaller margins than they’ve been accustomed to winning. Boston's Tom Menino, who barely cracked 50 percent in a September primary election, is drawing support from just 52 percent of likely voters in his bid for a fifth term. New York City's Michael Bloomberg, too, attracted just 52 percent of votes in a recent poll.


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