For some reason, I didn’t feel nearly as invested in this election as I did two years ago. It felt like there was so much more at stake two years ago, this year it just seemed like any which way the election went, it wouldn’t be THAT bad if any of the candidates won this time around. This year the City Council race was kind of “meh” and even though the outcome was pretty much as my gut anticipated — although I expected Jane Sullwold to do much much better than what actually happened — Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft ran a nearly pitch perfect campaign. She had collected nearly all the important endorsements, but she also had a good ground game and it showed in the outcome.
Tony Daysog ran a lean campaign but in the end the combination of name recognition and the door-to-door campaign put him over candidates that had a lot more money. Name recognition was probably the biggest asset in Tony Daysog’s corner. If Beverly Johnson had stayed in the race, it’s pretty much a gimme that she would have won, probably beating out Tony Daysog, but perhaps not Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.
In the end I think Stewart Chen lost the campaign for himself because with the amount of money raised and the type of endorsements he had, he should have easily won over Tony Daysog. I think the endorsement scuffle might have lost him some key votes and in the end, it doesn’t appear that the addition of the AEA endorsement was much help on election day.
Of course unless Rob Bonta’s slim lead is completely obliterated with provisional votes and whatever random assorted ballots have been left uncounted, Stewart Chen will eke in to fill out Rob Bonta’s vacated seat.
Interestingly enough, someone pointed out that with this election and the departure of Doug deHaan from the City Council this will be the first time in Alameda’s history that there is not a white male member of the City Council.
On to the School Board, while some of you may think that I was freaking out about the Trish Spencer win, in actuality, I had resigned myself to the fact that she would win weeks and weeks ago.
And honestly, given that she has been largely ineffective in actually accomplishing anything despite the eye rolling campaign literature dropped for her that claimed she would be “collaborative” and “accountable” there isn’t much damage that she can do. Essentially she’ll simply continue on, as usual, asking questions and voting “no.”
I think the surprise outcome in the election will be that fact that Barbara Kahn will challenge everyone’s expectations of what they believe that she will and will not do on the dais. In the end, this is a lady with a lot of integrity and when she says “xyz” I believe that she will do “xyz.” So while she may not be a fan of the Superintendent, she may just be what this Board needs which is someone who will provide respectful and thoughtful opposition without being obstructionist.
Since I’m on the subject of the School Board, what I would like to see, next time around when the Board is discussing the compensation package for the Superintendent, for the bonus stuff to be tied to issues that may be more challenging. Such as better relations with the Teacher’s Union, perhaps there can be something tied to the number of face to face meetings with AEA reps. Anyway, think about that School Board.
I’m glad that Niel Tam was able to retain his seat, while he is generally known as the quiet one, oftentimes saying less is more. I have to say that I am sorely disappointed that Ron Mooney was unable to keep his seat, he is definitely someone with a lot of knowledge on how school district finances work and so his knowledge and passion for the subject will leave a huge hole on the School Board.
I will point out that one active candidate actually pulled in less votes than a candidate who had pulled out of the campaign in the early stages. I guess asking questions and just showing up to meetings wasn’t enough to sell voters. Did anyone else realize that Kurt Peterson had been endorsed by CSEA, that’s the non-teachers union in AUSD. Yeah they didn’t seem to work as hard to get him elected as AEA worked for Trish Spencer, Barbara Kahn, and Jon Murphy.
It appears that most voters still largely do like the Alameda Hospital, re-electing the incumbent candidates back into office. I think Michael McCormick’s huge margin shows the power of the title next to the person’s name. If I recall correctly, Michael McCormick was the only one of the two incumbents to mention that he was a sitting member of the Healthcare District as opposed to just putting “Incumbent.” It really is the only explanation that I have for the vote disparity between his total and Jordan Battani’s total number of votes.