State and Local Independent Expenditure

2019 Election Results are in…

Independent Expenditures

The State and Local Independent Expenditure (IE) Program was used in 244 races in 2019. Of those races, 115 were for primary or general elections occurring before Nov. 5, and had a win/runoff rate of 76.32%.  On Nov. 5, there were 129 state or local elections. To the right are current stats on our results.


Of the 129 races, incumbents were supported in 66 (51.16%) and challengers were support in 14 (10.85%). Open seat candidates were supported for the remaining 49 (37.98%) races. It is of note that state and local REALTOR® associations usually support incumbents in 65% of races. But this year, they shifted more resources to open seat and challenger candidates.

Of the 129 races, 25, or 19.38%, were in support of REALTOR® candidates, which is on-par with previous years. Here are the stats for REALTOR® running for office.

Election Results

  • Wins (65.12%)
  • Run Offs (0.78%)
  • Too Close To Call (5.43%)
  • Losses (28.68%)

REALTOR® Candidate Results

  • Wins (52%)
  • Run Offs (4%)
  • Too Close To Call (4%)
  • Losses (40%)

Highlights for November 5 Election Night
Updated November 13, 2019

  • REALTOR® Champion Tate Reeves picked up the open Mississippi governor’s seat in a tight race.
  • Despite a lot of sweeping change in Virginia, REALTOR® Champions still won 75% of their races.
  • The New Jersey REALTORS® won or protected 70% of their targeted legislative seats.
  • REALTOR® Allan Domb was re-elected to the Philadelphia City Council in a campaign that many consider a pre-cursor to running for mayor in 2023.
  • REALTOR® Champion Erin Mendenhall was elected mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • REALTOR® Champion Buddy Dyer was re-elected mayor of Orlando, Fla.
  • REALTOR® Champions won three out of four races in Spokane in an election that received a lot of press coverage regarding our activity.
  • REALTOR® Scott Delano was elected to the Mississippi State Senate in this program’s first “do-over” election.

2019 State & Local Independent Expenditure Program Totals

This gives the 2019 program a combined win/runoff rate of almost 70.48%, which the highest win/runoff rate for this program since 2016. That number may move slightly with races to be called.

  • Wins (57.38%)
  • Run Offs (13.1%)
  • Too Close To Call (3.28%)
  • Losses (26.23%)
  • Pending (0.01%)
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Telluride REALTORS® Elect Three REALTOR® Champions to Town Council

In the mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, ten candidates were running for four available seats on the Town Council. The 175-member Telluride Association of REALTORS® (TAR) made the most of the opportunity to promote candidates who espoused the values of affordable housing; sustainable growth and development; economic vitality and vibrancy; civility and collaboration; and who favored the construction of a community recreation center. With an Independent Expenditure from the REALTOR® Party, TAR conducted a joint campaign for four REALTOR® Champions, three of whom won seats on the council.

“We are so grateful for the support and guidance from the National Association, and ecstatic about the outcome of the election,” says Robyn Pale, TAR Executive Vice-President.  In October, she and several members of the TAR board conducted an annual Candidates & Issues Forum that drew record attendance and reached even more of the community via radio broadcast.

Once TAR had vetted and identified the candidates it would be supporting, the board voted to apply for a grant from the REALTOR® Party to mount an independent expenditure campaign to support all four individuals.  Matthew Hintermeister, the association’s RPAC and Government Affairs chair, can’t say enough good things about his first experience working with NAR’s Campaign Services team. “We provided them with our details, and they took it from there,” he says.  “The campaign they put together was so well orchestrated, and well designed, and rolled out quickly. They really took the time to listen to our feedback, and were highly responsive to our requests; for example, when we asked them to implement Spanish language ads: no problem!”

The grant from the REALTOR® Party amounted to about $3,600 per candidate, funding a campaign called “Telluride Matters” that was composed of three mail pieces, a month of online advertising and full page ads in the local newspaper, and live GOTV phone calls.  Of the candidates TAR supported, three won in landslide voting: one, a TAR affiliate member; another, whom TAR had previously supported in a mayoral race; and a third described by Pale as “a like-minded business woman.” As there was no advance polling, Hintermeister says he was definitely nervous watching the returns, but notes that in the end, “the opposing slate, all incumbents, received only eleven more votes in total than our strongest candidate.”

According to the next day’s Telluride Daily Planet, “If there was one message that came through loud and clear on Tuesday night, it was that Telluride voters were not looking to be saved by the [opposing slate of] candidates.”

“This campaign was a big move forward for us,” says Hintermeister, adding that, overall, it improves the standing of REALTORS® in the community.  “Telluride has some big housing and zoning challenges on the horizon, and it’ll be interesting to see how they play out; our REALTOR® members and affiliates will certainly be breathing easier knowing that they have some champions on the Town Council.  Ultimately, it will be good for the whole community.”

To learn more about how the Telluride Association of REALTORS® is making a difference in the vitality of its town by supporting Town Council candidates who align with core REALTOR® principles, contact Robyn Pale, TAR Executive Vice-President, at 970-728-5172; or Matthew Hintermeister, RPAC and Government Affairs chair.

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Independent Expenditures

The State and Local Independent Expenditures (IE) Program is an exciting program to assist state and local associations that want to get involved in local and state elections. The program provides each state with funds that can be used to support candidates for political office who support REALTORS® and the real estate industry.


Application Process

If you are interested in running an independent expenditure campaigns, please review the following steps then contract Mitchell Norton at

Choose your Candidate
Does your association want to support someone whom has helped with previous issues? Do you have a REALTOR® who wants to run for public office? The first step is for your association to choose who will make a great candidate to support.

Develop your Campaign Plan
Once you select your candidate, what can you do to support their election efforts? Whether you choose to conduct polling, consider messaging or develop direct mail, this program can provide your IE campaign the resources for success. See sample Independent Expenditure campaign materials.

Design your Budget
You have developed your campaign plan, now decide what your budget will be for this independent expenditure campaign. Will your association be contributing funds to the IE, with RPAC money or other funds? You will need to know this to apply for the IE program.

Fill out the Application Form
The online application will allow you to give NAR all of the information needed to get your IE request underway.

Committee Review
The REALTOR® Party Trustees for State and Local Campaign Services Committee considers all state and local association requests to run an IE. The Trustees will review the application for the IE, as well as information regarding the race to make a recommendation about supporting your IE.

Run the Campaign
If your IE is approved by the REALTOR® Party Trustees for State and Local Campaign Services Committee, then it is time to implement your campaign plan. The Campaign Services staff will help make sure all the parts of your campaign plan come together to support your candidates who support the real estate industry.

Report on your Results
Win or lose, NAR wants your feedback on how the IE Program worked in your area. Tell us your campaign story. What tools were effective? How can we approach campaigns differently to make the IE program even better? Your feedback will be an important part of improving the IE program.

Questions? Contact Mitchell Norton at 202-383-1091.

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