Three Key Local Races To Keep Your Eye On In 2017

No matter what political party you support, Americans all over the country are frustrated with the current state of politics. Governing has become so heavily saturated with partisan politics, it seems like representatives on every level are looking out for their party before the people. All over social media, I see demands for change in the 2020 midterm election, but what about taking action in 2017? Although 2017 may not be the most highly anticipated election year, people are running for office all over the country in hopes of bettering their communities. Although it may not seem important to stay up-to-date with other community’s local politics, these three key elections are proof that local elections have a major impact on the community, and may just inspire you to keep tabs on your own local election.

1. New York Mayoral Race

There’s no need to explain why the mayoral race for the largest city in the United States is a big deal. Right now, there are ten contenders looking to challenge incumbent mayor, Bill De Blasio, on November 7th. New Yorkers looking to narrow the playing field before November 7th should register to vote by August 18th in order to be eligible to vote in the September 12th primary.

2. New Jersey Governor Race

Another major 2017 election is taking place right next door in New Jersey. Chances are, you’re familiar with the current controversial governor, Chris Christie, but Chris Christie won’t be in office much longer. New Jersey’s governor is subject to a two-term limit, so there isn’t an incumbent running for the gubernatorial office this year. New Jersey’s governor also yields more power than other state’s governors due to a unique rule in the New Jersey constitution. The Garden State’s constitution allows the governor to appoint the entire cabinet, rather than holding elections like the ones that happen in most other states. This means that not only will the voters be deciding their governor, they will also be deciding the governor who elects the rest of their states cabinet. This will be a major boost in power to whichever political party wins in November. New Jersey residents looking to vote in the 2017 general election should register by October 17th in order to choose the next governor.

3. Atlanta Mayoral Race

Similar to the circumstances surrounding the NJ governor’s race, Atlanta’s incumbent mayor has reached his term limit, and people are chomping at the bit to fill the soon-to-be vacated seat. The unique thing about Atlanta’s election is that it is non-partisan. This means that anyone can run for mayor, and there is no primary to weed out potential candidates. Although many candidates have already announced their intention to run, the official filing date isn’t until September 25th, so there is potential for even more candidates. Voters hoping to decide the next governor amongst the vast sea of candidates should register to vote by October 10th in order to be eligible to vote in November.

Even if you don’t live in the voting districts of these races, you’re going to want to tune into these races as we near November 7th. How can you make sure you have the most up-to-date information regarding each race? That’s where Advocate comes in. Advocate is a new app that allows users to keep up with their representatives, from their mayor all the way up to the president, as well as keep tabs on key local elections. You can follow all three of these races and the individual candidates through Advocate, and even endorse your favorites. Things are changing all the time, and you don’t have to wait until 2020 to once again have your voice heard.

Samantha Yancey

Editorial Contributor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Major: Music and Dramatic Arts Heart Belongs To: Coffee, Fossil Accessories, and Disney Music Guilty Pleasures: The Twilight Saga, Jonas Brothers, and Chicken Tenders

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