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Newsmax's List of America's Top Mayors

san diego mayor kevin faulconer
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (Chris Carlson/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:19 AM

Lately we only seem to hear of the worst mayors in the United States, those who lock their cities down tight while they themselves feel free to head to the hair salon or work out with their favorite trainer at the gym.

But less known are those who strive to make their municipalities the best in the country, and who defend and stick up for their communities in the face of opposition from state and federal authorities.

Here is Newsmax's list of the 15 best mayors in America. They quietly go about the business of making their communities better for their constituents. The list contains Democrats, Republicans, and nonpartisans. Although it only includes four women, three of them managed to capture the Nos. 1, 2, and 4 positions.

No. 15: Brad Hart, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hart, a Republican, entered the Cedar Rapids mayor's office in 2018 and continues to practice business law at his firm, Bradley & Riley.

He received his undergraduate education at Iowa State University and earned his law degree at Houston College of Law in Texas.

Livability rated Cedar Rapids as being among the top 100 best places to live, and  WalletHub rated Cedar Rapids as the 15th best-run city in the United States.

No. 14: Jim Donchess, Nashua, New Hampshire

Donchess, a Democrat, became Nashua's 56th mayor in January 2016. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a nationwide shutdown of many businesses, he's focusing his efforts on economic growth.

He earned a bachelor's degree at Yale and a law degree at New York University.

WalletHub rated Nashua as the13th best-run city in the United States.

No. 13: Paul TenHaken, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

TenHaken, a Republican, has been mayor of Sioux Falls since May 2018, but he put South Dakota's largest city on the map before that as CEO of Click Rain. Under his stewardship, Click Rain was the only South Dakota company included on the Inc. 5000 list as one of America's fastest growing private companies for five consecutive years.

Livability said Sioux Falls "sits at the intersection of rural charm and big-city culture," and WalletHub rates it as the 11th best-run city in the country.

No. 12: John Engen, Missoula, Montana

Engen, a Democrat, is Missoula's 50th and longest-serving mayor. Since assuming office he's taken steps "to ensure that Missoula is a compact, sustainable city to restoring the city's once-private water system to public ownership," according to the city website.

Missoula is home to the University of Montana and is the state's second most populous city. Upwardly mobile young professionals also call Missoula home and enjoy its many bars, coffee shops, and parks.

No. 11: Bill Cole, Billings, Montana

In 2017 voters elected Cole, who's not affiliated with a political party, on the promise of making Billings more attractive to young people.

Although Billings is Montana's largest city, it still retains that small-town feeling. WalletHub rates it as the seventh best-run city in the United States.

No. 10: Steve Schewel, Durham, North Carolina

Schewel, who identifies as a Democrat, took over the nonpartisan mayoral office in 2017 after serving as an at-large member of the Durham City Council from 2011 to 2017. He holds degrees from Duke and Columbia.

Niche describes Durham as "one of the best places to live in North Carolina," prompting young families to make it their home with its numerous parks and restaurants.

No. 9: Leirion Gaylor Baird, Lincoln, Nebraska

Baird, a Democrat, was an at-large representative on the Lincoln City Council from 2013 to 2019, at which point she took over the mayor's office. She holds a bachelor's degree from Yale and a masters from Oxford.

Lincoln is known for its high quality of life, with extensive bike trails, numerous parks, low crime rate, and reasonable cost of living.

No. 8: Sam Liccardo, San Jose, California

Liccardo, a Democrat, first assumed office as San Jose's mayor in 2015, and his current term will end in 2023.

He holds degrees from Georgetown and Harvard, and previously worked as a county and federal prosecutor.

San Jose ranks as 11th on The Stacker list of best run cities in America due to its economy and quality of life.

No. 7: Martin Walsh, Boston, Massachusetts

Walsh is a Democrat serving in a nonpartisan position as the mayor of Beantown. He was first elected in 2013 and was reelected four years later.

He was born and raised in Boston and attended Boston College, where he received a degree in political science.

According to a survey conducted by Deutsche Bank, Boston had the best quality of life of any American city in 2019.

No. 6: Tim Mahoney, Fargo, North Dakota

Mahoney, a Democrat, has served as Fargo's mayor since 2015, after holding the deputy mayor position beginning in 2006.

Fargo is notable for having one of the best primary and secondary education systems in the United States. It's also above the curve for residents who continue their education after high school — and Mahoney was arguably a part of the reason.

The Stacker rated Fargo as America's sixth best-run city; WalletHub placed it at 10th.

No. 5: Kevin Faulconer, San Diego, California

Faulconer, a Republican, became the 36th mayor of San Diego in 2014 on an inclusive  platform of "One San Diego."

U.S. News and World Report ranked San Diego as one of the best places to live for quality of life, and Faulconer is one reason why. He's expanded parks and libraries and worked aggressively on a road and street repair program.

No. 4: Lauren McLean, Boise, Idaho

Although McLean, a Democrat, only assumed office this year, she'd served on the Boise City Council starting in 2011.

During her time as a city council member, she promoted initiatives that included Boise's Energy Future, which commits all city-owned properties to be net-zero energy efficient by 2040.

McLean holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a master's in public administration from Boise State University.

WalletHub rated Boise at third-best run city in the country; The Stacker ranked it fourth.

No. 3: Bobby Dyer, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach always gets high ranks for its low crime and poverty rates and its high median annual household income. The nonpartisan Dyer has been mayor of Virginia Beach only since 2018, but he served on the city council for 14 years before that.

He holds a master's degree in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University. Dyer previously worked as an assistant professor in the School of Government at Regent University.

The Stacker rates Virginia Beach as America's third best-run city, and WalletHub placed it at No. 8.

No. 2: Michelle Kaufusi, Provo, Utah

Kaufusi, a Republican, is the 45th and current mayor of Provo, a city that is routinely heralded as one of the best-run cities in the United States.

When she assumed office in 2017, Kaufusi became the first female mayor in Provo's 166-year history. Kaufusi was raised in Provo and previously served on the city's citizen's advisory board.

Her husband, Steve, played football at her own alma mater, BYU, and later for the Philadelphia Eagles.

She's since caught the attention of former Utah Gov. John Huntsman Jr., who has announced another bid for the governor's mansion with Kaufusi as his running mate.

Both The Stacker and WalletHub rate Provo as the second-best run city in the United States.

No. 1: Lyn Semeta, Huntington Beach, California

Semeta assumed office in December 2019, but prior to that the Republican served on the city's planning commission, investment advisory board, and worked as a business and real estate attorney.

Shortly after taking over her mayoral duties, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all Orange County beaches because of the coronavirus pandemic, which includes Huntington Beach. Semeta fired back a stern reply.

"Gov. Newsom's mandate to close all beaches in Orange County today was a jarring decision that significantly impacts us here in Huntington Beach," Semeta said in a news release. "Given that Orange County has among the lowest per-capita COVID-19 death rates in California, the action by the state prioritizes politics over data, in direct contradiction of the governor's stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic."

The Stacker rates Huntington Beach as America's best-run city.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
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America's best mayors, as ranked by Newsmax, quietly go about the business of making their communities better for their constituents. The list contains Democrats, Republicans, and nonpartisans.
americas best mayors
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2020-19-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:19 AM
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