1st Edition

Local Politics and Mayoral Elections in 21st Century America The Keys to City Hall

Edited By Sean D. Foreman, Marcia L. Godwin Copyright 2015
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Some of the most populated and storied American cities had mayoral elections in 2013. Open contests in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston, for example, offer laboratories to examine electoral trends in urban politics. Cities are facing varied predicaments. Boston was rocked by the bombing of the marathon on April 15. Detroit is roiled by being the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy, and Chicago, which had an open, competitive election in 2011, is dealing with significant gun violence. San Diego’s mayor resigned in August 2013 due to sexual harassment charges and other mayors are surrounded by corruption scandals. Houston and St. Louis had non-competitive elections recently but their mayors are notable for their tenure in office and emphasis will be on public policy outcomes in those cases. Leaders in most cities face dramatic changes and challenges due to economic and social realities.

    The Keys to City Hall offers a complete and succinct review and analysis of the top mayoral campaigns in major American cities in recent years as well as the politics and public policy management of those urban areas. Emerging theories of urban governance, demographic changes, and economic conditions are examined in introductory chapters; the introduction will provide a unique and comprehensive focus on major trends in advertisement, changes in campaign strategies, fundraising, and the use of social media at the local level. In Part Two, scholars with expertise in local politics, urban public policy, and the governance explore some of the largest and most noteworthy U.S. cities, each of which has a recent, competitive mayoral election. They will also provide updated data on mayoral powers and problems faced by local executives.

    Written as lively narratives in a highly readable style, this book advances theory on urban politics by reviewing developments in the field and aligning theoretical approaches with realities on the ground based on the most recent elections and governance structures. As such, it will be a much needed resource to scholars interested in local politics, and the public policy debates of specific major urban and metropolitan areas.

     Part 1: Thematic Approaches  1. The Political Environment for Mayors in the 21st Century Sean D. Foreman  2. Regime Theory and Beyond: Urban Governance and Elections Marcia L. Godwin  3. A Descriptive Analysis of Female Mayors: The U.S. and Texas in Comparative Perspective Melissa Marschall  4. Running and Winning: Examining Patterns of Latino Candidate Emergence and Success in Mayoral Elections Carlos E. Cuéllar  Part 2: City Case Studies  5. Boston: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same Joseph P. Caiazzo  Part 2: Case Studies  6. Chicago: The Election of Rahm Emanuel Dick Simpson, Missy Mouritsen Zmuda, and Betty O’Shaughnessy  7. Cleveland: A Sour Note in the Rock and Roll City William J. Miller  8. Detroit: The Financial Crisis and the Emergency Manager Robert J. Mahu and Lyke Thompson  9. Los Angeles: The Perfect Non-Campaign: The Election of a Hipster Mayor Fernando J. Guerra and Brianne Gilbert  10. New York: From Entrepreneurialism to Populism: The Rise of Bill de Blasio as "Everyman’s" Mayor of New York City Larry D. Terry II  11. Miami, Miami Beach and North Miami: Under Scrutiny, Under Water, and Under Arrest Sean D. Foreman  12. San Diego: Paradise Regained? Nonpartisan Appeals and Special Election Rules in San Diego’s 2013-14 Mayoral Race Steven P. Erie, Vladimir Kogan, Nazita Lajevardi, and Scott A. MacKenzie  13. St. Louis: Race and the Reelection of the Longest Serving Mayor of St. Louis P. Frances Gouzien and David C. Kimball  Part 3: Conclusion  14. Lessons Learned and Keys to Winning Mayoral Elections in Big Cities Marcia L. Godwin and Sean D. Foreman


    Sean D. Foreman is Associate Professor of Political Science at Barry University.  A Board member of the Florida Political Science Association since 2008, Foreman was the organization’s president in 2012-13, and has been State and Local Government section head for the FPSA for the past five years.

    Marcia L. Godwin is Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.  Professor Godwin has a background in local government administration in Southern California and provides commentary on regional political issues to local media. Her research also includes local government innovation and redevelopment. She has been the faculty advisor for a number of doctoral dissertations in public administration and chairs the University of La Verne’s Institutional Review Board. Professor Godwin is the State, Local, and Urban Politics Section Chair for the 2014 Western Political Science Association Conference.

    "The journey of getting elected mayor of a large U.S. city and then governing it successfully has been wrought by significant challenges in recent decades. Precipitous population losses, civil unrest, economic decline, infrastructure deterioration, property devaluation, corruption, social decay, and globalization have changed the landscape of these elections and subsequently affected the choice of mayoral governance styles. This book presents a provocative account of these changes as well as a much needed augmentation of what we know about elections for local chief executives (i.e., mayors). Presently, we know much more about elections for presidents and governors."—J. Edwin Benton, Ph.D, University of South Florida