Years since Republican control of major cities

At least at the local level

A large urban–rural divide is a current feature of American politics. Republicans rarely win cities, and Democrats rarely win rural areas. This goes beyond regional concepts like "the heartland" and "coastal elites", and is replicated within just about every state.

There are many ways to slice and dice that divide. This post takes one of them. Republicans can rarely win in a major city. But how rarely? How long has it been since a Republican candidate has won the mayorship of major American cities?

From longest to shortest, here is the list of Republican shutouts in American municipal politics, among the top 20 largest cities:

City No R mayor since Notes
Chicago 1931 Officially nonpartisan since 1999
Philadelphia 1952
Indianapolis 1956
Denver 1963 Officially nonpartisan
San Francisco 1964 Officially nonpartisan
San Jose 1967/∞ Officially nonpartisan; elected office created in 1967
Seattle 1969 Officially nonpartisan
Washington, DC 1975/∞ Elected office created in 1975
Houston 1982 Officially nonpartisan
Austin 1991 Officially nonpartisan
Columbus 2000
Los Angeles 2001 Officially nonpartisan
San Antonio 2001 Officially nonpartisan
Phoenix 2004 Officially nonpartisan
New York City 2007 Bloomberg changed from R to I in 2007
Charlotte 2009
Dallas 2011 Officially nonpartisan
San Diego 2020 Current R officeholder; offically nonpartisan
Jacksonville 2020 Current R officeholder
Fort Worth 2020 Current R officeholder; offically nonpartisan