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Weekend Elections Briefing, March 13-14, 2021: Cuomo, Virginia, Western Australia

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Elections Briefing 3-13-21 Cuomo Virginia Western Australia

What’s the latest in the push against New York’s governor, and where did a government win a second term in an historic rout? That’s for the Weekend Briefing to know and you to find out…now.

US Election News

Cuomo Refusing to Resign as Senior Democrats Pile On

It has not been a good last few weeks for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). From an investigation over his handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes to multiple allegations of sexual harassment, numerous political figures have called on the three-term incumbent to resign. He has said he will not, he has denied every allegation, and he thinks those calling on him to quit are being “reckless” in his words.1

That has not stopped even more prominent members of his own party from asking Cuomo to step down. Among the new voices are Rep. Jerry Nadler, a powerful Manhattan congressman who chairs the US House’s Judiciary Committee, and progressive rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It remains to be seen if Cuomo will remain defiant as the investigation continues.

Arizona Rep. Kirkpatrick to Stand Down in 2022

The Grand Canyon State will be replacing a House member late next year. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-2nd District) will retire from Congress at the end of her term.2 Kirkpatrick has gone in and out of Congress several times, but this one will be for good. She was first elected in 2008 but lost in 2010, returning in 2012 and leaving in 2016, then finally going back a third time in 2018.

Kirkpatrick could not win a Senate race in 2016 against John McCain but she has won her share of elections at the House level. Democrats will miss her, but nobody yet knows what this open seat will look like. Arizona is forecasted to gain a 10th district in 2022, so a redraw is certain, but an independent commission will be drawing them, so your guess is as good as ours as to the new seat’s lean.

Virginia Local Elections Moved from Spring to November

Recently, the Virginia legislature passed a bill, against some local opposition, which would reschedule certain municipal elections from May to November. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed the bill on Friday. This will directly affect the Electionarium Headquarters in the Hampton Roads area, which is in one of those cities. Democrats supporting the bill claim it will help increase turnout and interest, while others at the local level say that the city races will get lost in the noise of a November election.3

International Election News

Labor Wins Western Australia Landslide

It’s of no surprise to Australian politics followers or to readers of the Briefing, but the Labor government of Western Australia has won in a landslide.

With results pouring in as of Saturday morning American time, Labor has won a clear majority government in a second term for Mark McGowan. The state rewarded the premier and Labor for a perceived job well-done in regards to COVID-19.

Labor was on track to potentially win 50 seats, which in a legislature of 59 is an extraordinary result. Among the major changed expected is Dawesville, seat of opposition leader Zak Kirkup, who trails in his own seat. He would be the first major party leader to lose his seat in the state in close to eight decades. Some of the Liberals’ bedrock seats in the Perth suburbs are also in imminent danger.

There will be a lot of soul searching by the Liberals following the election, who will have nowhere to go but up, literally, in 2025.

Central African Republic on Edge During Parliamentary Vote

In times of COVID, some elections in developed countries have been hampered by sloth in collecting and counting the votes. Some other nations, like the Central African Republic, would probably love for that to be their biggest worry. Elections in the CAR earlier this year were marked by unrest, and as the next round of parliamentary elections approaches this weekend, there are fears of more to come.4

Freedom House races the Central African Republic as being “not free.”

Election Calendar (From Saturday)

Sunday is election day in the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.

4 days until the Dutch election.

7 days until the LA-02 and LA-05 jungle primaries.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Dan Mangan and Kevin Breuninger, “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo again refuses to resign, says Democratic calls for him to quit are ‘dangerous’,” CNBC, 12 March 2021.
  2. Veronica Stracqualursi, “Arizona Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick says she won’t seek re-election in 2022,” CNN. 12 March 2021.
  3. Ana Ley, “Northam signs bill shifting municipal elections from May to November,” The Virginian-Pilot, 12 March 2021.
  4. Reuters Wire Service, “Central African Republic Braces for Tense Elections Amid Conflict,” US News and World Report, 12 March 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

Australian Elections

2021 Western Australia State Election

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