Because I've just spent the last 11 hours driving from Memphis to Toledo, this post-primary blog post is a bit late...but better late than never.
My primary predictions for mayor were right on with Keith Wilkowski and Mike Bell ending up on the November ballot.
Complete unofficial results are available here.
Republican Jim Moody barely edged out D. Michael Collins for third place, with only 255 votes separating the two. Ben Konop was a distant fourth, garnering only 3,393 votes out of the 36,307 cast. His poor finish does not bode will for the county commissioner re-election campaign he has to run next year, but it does present a marvelous opportunity for either another Democrat (rumors are that several area mayors are interested) or a Republican.
I think the biggest surprise in the voting was the first place finish of former district councilman Rob Ludeman, with fellow Republican George Sarantou in second place. Their top finishes clearly indicate a problem with Moody's campaign, in that he could not earn the support of voters who put these other two well-known Republicans in the top places.
What is disappointing, however, is that incumbents (or names that sound like incumbents - as in Polly Taylor-Gerken, wife of current county commissioner and former city councilman Pete Gerken) on city council did so well, despite the poor performance of city council members over the past years when it comes to budgeting, spending and deficits.
What is encouraging is the defeat of the '9 is Fine' charter amendment to create super districts and eliminate the at-large council members - a proposal I opposed. Obviously the voters understood that changing the form of government doesn't always solve the problems, and reducing the number of elected officials responsible directly to the voter does not really increase representation.
Additionally, voters rejected the re-allocation of the 3/4% payroll income tax as well. I guess they agreed with me that changing the allocation of this tax four times during a five-year period was one time too many. I wonder if the council members who supported this plan now regret not accepting Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's back-up proposal to put a similar issue on the November ballot....
The biggest problem with this primary election, however, has nothing to do with the outcome - and everything to do with the number of voters. Only 40,069 people bothered to vote. That's only 18.45%. This means that less than 1/5 of those eligible determined what the other 4/5 will live with. That's just sad.