Miami's six-term mayor, Maurice Ferre, was the most notable casualty as several big-city mayors Wednesday savored their reelection in Tuesday's municipal elections.
Ferre, who lost the black support that kept him in office two years ago, conceded defeat in his quest for an unprecedented seventh term.
Ferre finished third behind Raul Masvidal and Xavier Suarez, who square off in a runoff next Tuesday. Ferre previously had said he would study legal action in the wake of allegations of ballot tampering and a tabulation error that upset early results.
Koch, Young Win
Incumbent mayors who were returned to office include Edward I. Koch in New York, Coleman A. Young in Detroit and Kathy Whitmire in Houston.
Interim Mayor Palmer DePaulis, appointed last July, won election in his own right in Salt Lake City. He is the city's first non-Mormon mayor in 13 years. Seattle Mayor Charles Royer won reelection, thwarting City Council President Norm Rice's attempt to become the city's first black mayor.
Nationwide, Democrats and Republicans informally inaugurated their 1986 election campaigns on Wednesday, posting rival claims of success after the off-year balloting produced a GOP runaway in New Jersey but a historic Democratic sweep of Virginia.
Democratic Party Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. hailed moderate Gov.-elect Gerald L. Baliles in Virginia as the "profile of a winner," and said the accompanying first-time statewide victories Tuesday by a black and a woman showed a "powerful, historic and positive force." The state constitution prevented the incumbent, Democrat Charles S. Robb, from running for reelection.
But, at the White House, spokesman Larry Speakes countered that Republican GOP Gov. Thomas H. Kean was reelected by a landslide in New Jersey, and said the "significant thing" was GOP control of the State Assembly for the first time since 1972.
Leaders of both parties had agreed in advance that New Jersey and Virginia were the key battlegrounds as they looked ahead to the 1986 congressional elections.
Baliles, who won 55% of the vote over GOP rival Wyatt B. Durrette, celebrated the victory with his ticket-mates, Lt. Gov.-elect Douglas Wilder--the first black elected to statewide office in Virginia--and incoming Atty. Gen. Mary Sue Terry, the first woman.