The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Election results and the runoffs

Congratulations to all the winners and runoff candidates of yesterday's Bessemer elections, even to those who had to dupe their constituents in order to win. You know who you are.

And a note to those who were elected (or who may still be elected): you will be held accountable these next 4 years. The council will be more functional, and citizens interest will remain higher.

As for the mayor's race, Ken Gulley had a good showing with 2,112 votes, or 37%. He will be in a runoff with Ed May, whose 1, 312 represented only 23% of the voters who want Bessemer to continue on the path it is currently on.

Out of 5,637 people who voted in the mayor's race 4,325 voters did not want Ed May to return to office. That doesn't mean the runoff will be smooth sailing for Gulley, but optimism for him, and for the city, is inevitable.

Council district 1 - David Vance - winner (a positive change for the city)

Council district 2 - runoff - Chester Porter and Sherrina Rice - this will be positive change for the city if Chester Porter wins. Remember when John McCain was running for president and it his candidacy was labelled Bush's third term? Think of Rice as a continuation of Louise Alexander.

Council district 3 - Sarah Belcher - winner - this does nothing for our city

Council district 4 - Donna Thigpen - winner - let's just hope that she comes around on the school board money owed by the city. Other than that issue, I think she will be an upgrade to the council, and will help to return the body to civility.

Council district 5 - runoff - Ron Marshall and Albert Soles - Marshall got 7% more of the votes that the incumbent. I predict he can hold on to win the runoff. Ron Marshall has wanted to put his management skills to work for our city for a long time.

Council district 6 - Jesse Matthews - winner - the only incumbent with a recommendation from the Progressive coalition, and in part because we were frightened of his opponent, Ed May II. The voters must have felt the same way as he only got 18% of the vote. I think Ed May II's poor showing is a direct result of how the voters feel about his father.

Council district 7 - runoff - Earl Cochran and Cleo King - Cleo has a mountain to climb to reach 50% but the voters who cast their lot for Labrenda for the most part don't appreciate Earl, the man who beat their favorite 4 years ago. So if they come back out to vote, they may chose Cleo King. Let's hope they do.

School Board - Hattie Aikerson retains her seat and Earlene Cochran wins the other open seat. I don't have a lot of insight on how this will affect the board, but we can't expect too much change with only one new member. However, is much change needed? The board, for the most part, is doing a good job.

I will be writing about the candidates who are still in the running until the runoff in October. But for the next few days, I get to take some time off from politics. For the candidates, they had better be out there today, courting voters.


Richard Hanna said...

Excellent analyses and commentary, Joe. We should all be encouraged.

Anonymous said...

Only 5,652 Bessemer residents bothered to vote this week. In 2002, when May challenged Mitch, 7,745 came out to the polls. That is a sad and disturbing commentary on Bessemer . . .

As far as the race results are concerned, it's over - Gulley won! May's pitiful 1,312 votes won't give him the base he needs to win in the run-off. If you assume that the same number of people vote in the run-off, May will need an additionasl 1,515 votes to win. That's more than he received in this week's general election. On the other hand, Gulley only needs to pick up 715 votes from the 77% of the voters who voted against May.

Of course, word on the street is that Alexander and Davidson are considering backing May - Hmmm???
Either way, it doesn't matter. May will have to hold on to more than 2/3 of the remaining vote pool, and that, especially given his ineffective campaign organization, is not going to happen.

Also, after May's statement to the press on election night - you know, the one about not having bothered to even get out and personally campaign - I'll be surprised if he can even hold onto the folks who voted for him the first time. You've got to figure that they too will finally see that he really doesn't get it. Sadly, he never has. By his own words, May has proved himself arrogant, lazy and clueless.

This election cycle has the potential to bring some long overdue, positive change to Bessemer. In fact, it already has. With the departure of Davidson and Alexander from the Council - along with Stephens, who will soon be elected to the County Commission, the tenor of the council has alreay changed dramatically. At this point, it doesn't even matter who gets elected to the remaing disputed seats,Bessemer will have a much better and hopefully far more effective Council next time around.

The future of Bessemer is looking much brighter these days.