November 17, 2003
Following the November 4 elections, the national sweepstakes propelled new mayors to victory in Knoxville and Boise. In addition, long-time mayors in Charleston and Akron won resounding victories.
A city-by-city roundup follows.
Conference Vice President Akron Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, his city's longest'serving mayor, defeated his first challenger in 12 years to win an unprecedented fifth term.
Plusquellic, 54, received 71 percent of the vote to defeat his Republican opponent Bryan Williams. Plusquellic also defeated the term limit referendum and succeeded in electing a majority of the city council. Williams, an Ohio State representative, will lose his seat in a year due to term limits.
Plusquellic also defeated a term-limit proposal and helped elect supporters to the city council.
In January, 2004, Plusquellic begins his 18th year as mayor. First sworn in as mayor in 1987, he served 13 years on the city council gaining that seat when he was 24 in 1973. He is in line to be the next President of The Conference of Mayors for the term beginning in June, 2004.
Charlotte Mayor Patrick J. McCrory, a member of the Conference of Mayors Advisory Board, got 57 percent of the vote in beating Democratic opponent Craig Madans.
McCrory is Chair of the Conference Standing Committee on Community Development and Housing.
A Republican, McCrory serves as a member of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and also as President of the Republican Mayors and local officials.
Mayor Bart Peterson won a second term with 63 percent of the vote against his opponent Greg Jordan, the Republican county treasurer with 37 percent: Peterson won the largest percentage of the vote for any Indianapolis mayoral candidate since 1987, when former GOP Mayor William Hudnut got 66 percent of the ballots cast.
Sworn in as Philadelphia's 97th mayor on January, 2000, John F. Street won re-election over Republican challenger Samuel Katz by a margin of 58 to 41 percent.
Street, 58, was first elected to the city council in 1979 and served 20 years before running as mayor to succeed Edward Rendell, now Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania. Street heads the Conference of Mayors Task Force on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez got 76 percent of the vote, defeating GOP challenger Michael T. McGarry.
Perez, a Puerto Rican, will serve a second four-year term as the first Hispanic mayor of Hartford.
Mayor Robert A. Baines received 70 percent of the vote to his opponent's 30 percent, defeating Carlos Gonzales.
Before becoming mayor in 1999, Baines was the principal of Manchester High School West from 1980 to 1999.
New Mayors in Knoxville, Boise
With Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe leaving office, Bill Haslam won the race to replace him getting 52.64 percent of the vote against Madeline Rogero who got 46.39 percent.
Ashe was first elected mayor of Knoxville in 1987 and won reelection in 1991 and 1995 by at least a two-thirds Primary Election, Ashe was elected without a runoff to his fourth consecutive term as mayor in 1999.
He is a past President of the United States Conference of Mayors (1994-1995). As president, he fought against unfunded federal mandates that resulted in the passage of a mandate relief bill, which was signed into law by the President in March, 1995. On January 24, 2003, Ashe received the Distinguished Public Service Award of the US Conference of Mayors. This is the highest award conveyed by the conference to mayors and other citizens who have had outstanding careers in public service.
Democratic candidate David Bieter won the race to be the city's new mayor, getting 52 percent of the vote against Chuck Winder, a city council member.
An Idaho state legislator, Bieter, got 51.87 percent of the city's vote, beating two Republican candidates and avoiding a run-off election. Bieter joined the Idaho state legislature in 1999 after his father, State Representative Pat Bieter, and mother, Eloise Gamendia Bieter a well-known member of Idaho's Basque community died in a car crash that January.
A native of Boise, Bieter is a University of Idaho law school graduate and campaigned on managing the growth of the city and maintaining the quality of life in the city.