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Election 2021: Takeaways From Major Races

From Virginia to Atlanta, here's the latest from key elections.
Election 2021: Takeaways From Major Races
India Walton | Photo by Matt Burkhartt for The Washington Post via Getty Images

With elections in 35 states yesterday, there’s a lot to keep up with. Here are the outcomes of some key races— and one ballot measure in Minneapolis.

  1. Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become the first Republican to win statewide office in Virginia in 12 years.
Election 2021: Takeaways From Major Races
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

There will be a lot of debate about what this means for Congressional Democrats in 2022, but much of it likely had to do with local issues than anything happening in Washington. Youngkin’s messages on public school calling it a “top issue”, tapping into fears about so-called critical race theory and coronavirus restrictions, were among them.

2. In an unprecedented write-in campaign Byron Brown defeated upstart India Walton, who secured the Democratic nomination.

With Walton winning the Democratic nomination, her win in yesterday’s general election was close to guaranteed. However, Republicans launched a wide-scale attack campaign. Walton has shared that local Democratic party officials did little to intervene.

She also noted that results show that the wealthier and less diverse a district, the more likely they were to write in a candidate, presumably incumbent Byron Brown.

More ballots remain, however, she acknowledged in a statement that the margins will unlikely narrow down enough for a victory.

3. Atlanta is headed to a run-off election, and it could be on its way to another Black woman mayor, as former mayor Kasim Reed trails.

Election 2021: Takeaways From Major Races
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 22: Felicia A. Moore, Atlanta City Council President, attends The Fight For Fibroids Atlanta Awareness Brunch at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta on May 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

With 40% of the vote, Felicia Moore is secure to face Andre Dickens in a run-off election. Kasim Reed, the city’s mayor from 2010-2018, trails behind them. City leaders, including its mayoral candidates, have been criticized for calling for more police during their campaigns instead of comprehensive approaches to public safety.

4. Minneapolis residents defeated a ballot measure to replace the police department with a Department of Public Safety.

Election 2021: Takeaways From Major Races
MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – JULY 2021: Minister JaNaé Bates of Yes 4 Minneapolis spoke at a press conference about the Yes 4 Minneapolis lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis to remove an explanatory note attached to the ballot question on the proposal seeking to replace the Minneapolis Police Department in Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday, July 30, 2021. Yes 4 Minneapolis is the proposed city charter amendment to replace the Police Department with a new agency.(Photo by Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

A proposed change to the city charter, ‘Question 2,’ would have created a Department of Public Safety to replace the Minneapolis Police Department.

Local news affiliate CBS4 reported that “the vote after all 136 precincts’ reporting was tabulated was 56% against, and 44% for. Charter amendment questions require 51% or more of the votes cast on each question to pass.”

While proposals to lower police budgets have garnered outsized attention, the ballot measure was tempered, creating a Commissioner of Public Safety to lead the new department and eliminating a charter requirement that set a minimum funding level for police.