Monday, June 20th, 2011

The 20 Largest American Cities, In Order Of The Last Time They Elected A Democratic Mayor

• Dallas: June 18, 2011

• Jacksonville: May 17, 2011

• Chicago: Feb. 22, 2011

• Houston: Dec. 12, 2009

• Charlotte: Nov. 3, 2009

• Memphis: Oct. 15, 2009

• Austin: May 9, 2009

• El Paso: May 9, 2009

• Fort Worth: May 9, 2009

• San Antonio: May 9, 2009

• Detroit: May 5, 2009

• Los Angeles: March 3, 2009

• Columbus: Nov. 6, 2007

• Philadelphia: Nov. 6, 2007

• San Francisco: Nov. 6, 2007

• Phoenix: Sept. 11, 2007

• San Jose: Nov. 7, 2006

• Indianapolis: Nov. 4, 2003

• New York: Nov. 7, 1989

• San Diego: June 7, 1988

Note: Subsequent to the writing of this post the city of Dallas elected a Democratic mayor. Like, over the weekend and stuff. The post has been amended to reflect that.

Olivia LaVecchia is an Awl summer reporter.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Texas forever replaced California here we come, when exactly?

As far as I'm concerned, the big news on this list is that both El Paso and Jacksonville rank in the 20 largest American cities.

Also, Columbus is larger than both Cincinnati and Cleveland?

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Setec Astrology Oh yeah. Columbus has been sucking away Cleveland's population for years. Get them a few more pro sports teams!

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Columbus is the new Charlotte. I mean that in a good way, where "good" means "finance industry jobs."

BoHan (#29)

Choire's going to hurt me, but Dallas elected Mike Rawlins mayor this past Saturday. And he's a Democrat. Yeah! We're number 1. Or something.

theheckle (#621)

Turns out, I have no idea how big American cities are. I was confused by Denver, DC, and Boston not being on the list. Apparently, my big cities are not THE big cities.

Also, hey Texans, how about electing a Democrat in a statewide election?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@theheckle: Zombie Ann Richards for President in 2016

BoHan (#29)

@theheckle Touche. Give this Banana Republic a few more years and you may get your wish.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I know, right? One minute you go to Social Studies class and Washington is number nine. And then you take your eye off the ball for a mere handful of decades and you're like, San Jose? Phoenix? Really?

HiredGoons (#603)

Phoenix will never cease to surprise/terrify.

@HiredGoons Never forget.

Legs Battaglia (#2,484)

Mayor Nutter isn't a Democrat?

jfruh (#713)

@Legs Battaglia He is, and he was elected in '07, like the list sez?

jfruh (#713)

Is this a safe space to talk about the fight I got into on the talk page of the Wikipedia "Mayors of the 50 largest American cities" template? Texas municipal elections are non-partisan, in the sense that party affiliation doesn't appear on the ballot, which caused some crazy person to insist that no (D) or (R) labels appear after the names of Texas mayors in the template, even when it's easy to find out their actual party affiliation. I gave up because he was so crazy and insistent, even though he was wrong! Am I a failure?

Br. Seamus (#217)

@jfruh As a man, no. As a wikipedan, oh god yes.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

It looks like if you live in the South, "Democratic" means either a black person or a woman.

BoHan (#29)

@Niko Bellic You forgot the gays and the Mexicans. And probably in Austin at least a few straight white guys.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@BoHan This is hilariously predictable. As the exception to the southern rule, the Democratic mayor of Austin, TX is – a white man!

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

New York, the David Mamet of American cities.

some mayors on this list have very little power of at all… weak mayor vs strong mayor system (you look it up)

Tulletilsynet (#333)

In other nitpicking, Louisville (Democratic mayor elected in January) should be on the list because the population eligible to vote for mayor puts it 18th (right after Charlotte, bumping Detroit and El Paso down a notch and knocking Memphis off).

maddieD (#9,798)

Ahem. The current mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, is a Democrat. He was elected in 2009, as this listicle correctly notes. The previous mayor of San Antonio, Phil Hardberger, is a Dem as well, as is Hardberger's predecessor Ed Garza and of course SA's most well-known mayor Henry Cisneros. The last time San Antonians elected a Republican was in 1997, and that was an exception to the rule. San Antonio might be conservative in other ways, but the majority Latino population here generally doesn't elect Republican mayors. I don't know about these other cities though.

Julius Firefly (#13,153)

I find it interesting that none of these dates are national election days, when Democratic voter turnout is usually highest. Why so many off-year elections?

carpetblogger (#306)

@Julius Firefly Off-year muni elections keep political consultants working year round.

demograph (#3,589)

San Jose: Nov 2, 2010, no?

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