Now that. Was an election.
Like many of you, I’ve been watching the results come in for the last 12 hours or so, marveling. There’s Kentucky, but there’s also my little home suburb here. The most overtly conservative candidates for city council, one an incumbent, finished last and next-to-last in a five-way race for three seats. (Which is to say, neither one will be raising their right hand at the next meeting.) That’s Grosse Pointe Woods, reliably red. In G.P. Park, which has been trending blue for some time, there’s now a progressive majority on their council, with two conservative incumbents sent packing. G.P. City elected a progressive mayor (a woman, no less) and an actual progressive lefty gained a seat on the G.P. Farms city council.
All of this would have been unthinkable just four years ago. Everything is changing.
One of the losing candidates in the Woods was a young man who ran a campaign right out of the 2004 playbook. He promoted his degree in public administration from Liberty University. He used “family” in his campaign tagline. He said he works in federal law enforcement, but when I asked him directly which branch, he refused to answer, pleading the Hatch Act. OK, then! Moving on!
Local elections are the ones where I have almost always crossed party lines, and ours are nonpartisan. Competence in running a small city — or in our city-manager system, overseeing the running of a small city — can be found across the political spectrum. But when you blow all those dog whistles, I am outta there. And the Hatch Act? Please. As a friend of mine commented when I told her this, “If they haven’t thrown Kellyanne Conway in prison yet, I think he’s safe.”
So, a good day for Dems and non-Trumps of all stripes. Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has to be sweating right now.
I was also interested in what happened in Fort Wayne, which I see Alex covered in the comments on the last thread. You may not have seen this column by the publisher of the morning Journal Gazette, though, an open letter to a council candidate who eked out a tight win:
Your large postcard featured you gripping a baseball bat and included, in capital letters, the phrase: “BEAT THE MEDIA.” There were four references to The Journal Gazette, the only media identified by name.
So yeah, invoking newsroom violence in a tight-knit business community? Sure, that’s just fine. More:
During the election cycle, the editorial board does make recommendations in local races. It is always our intent to inform and share our insights based on both our news-side coverage of the candidates, our observations and research, and our interviews with them.
This year, you did not respond to multiple requests to meet with our editorial board before the May primary election and, again, before the general election. You also did not respond to calls from a news reporter preparing an election preview story. All were opportunities we provided you to identify the issues you considered most important and to explain to our readers, many of whom are avid voters, your plans for addressing those issues.
Don’t show up for your endorsement interview, don’t return reporter calls, then send a mailer like that. These people are simply awful.
Health care is a winning issue. I think that’s the takeaway.
What happened in your neck of the woods?