Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Brilliant prognosticator or influential pundit?

You make the call, but if current trends hold, my city council picks will go 4 for 4. At least two of those look pretty solid right now.

Keith McGlashan's was the only name on the ballot for Position 1, but there was an active write-in candidacy against him. That could have presented a couple of problems. Since no opponent was named, some voters might have skipped over the race, thinking their vote would have no influence. It was also the first write-in campaign conducted via our new vote by mail elections, and I wondered if voting at the kitchen table might make it easier for folks to write in an alternative choice.

Well, there was a drop-off, but it didn't accrue to the benefit of Keith's late-entry opponent. The well funded write-in campaign, beneficiary of a third-party smear via an anti-McGlashan independent expenditure, picked up less than 20% of the first ballot count, while Keith posted the highest vote total of any council candidate, despite a drop-off of more than 1000 votes for the Position 1 race.

The other one that looks done is in Position 7, where Chris Roberts holds a 57%/42% lead over incumbent Ron Hansen. Hansen brought some troubles to the race - his CPA license was suspended, then revoked because he didn't observe the conditions of the suspension, which led to his Municipal League rating being revoked, which, well, it was a messy business. The real credit should be given to Roberts, who teaches political science at U-dub while working on his doctorate. On top of that, he's practically a full time Democratic activist and he devoted that time and activity to this race. With a margin of over 1000 votes on the first drop, all his efforts seem to have paid off. Electing young, smart, energetic liberal Democrats to public office seems to be an unqualified good thing to me.

For Position 3, Will Hall's about 400 votes ahead of Patty Hale. Again, although Hale stumbled, both when she used her position as a substitute English teacher to recruit student volunteers for her campaign, and again in her response to the reprimand her recruiting drew from the school district, but it was really a combination of Hall's experience as a legislative analyst for Snohomish County and the fact that I just like the guy that tipped me in his favor. It's a slim margin, but it's a small electorate, and it should hold up. I hope it does.

The closest race is for Position 5, where my choice, Sheri Tracey, starts out a scant 152 votes ahead with the first drop. If that expands tonight, Sheri will likely win. If it shrinks sharply or disappears, it could be days before we'll have a clear picture. The closest thing we had around here to the classic downtown v. neighborhoods battle that's a regular feature of politics in the big city down south, this one will be worth a closer look as it develops.

So, it's a ways from done but so far, so good.

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