Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some quick thoughts on Springfield's new city council

The bad news: The power of at-large incumbency continues to rule.  All four incumbents were re-elected; newcomer Thomas Ashe won a seat (and came in third of the five in number of votes) Almost 2,500 votes separatied the lowest ranking incumbent, James Ferrera III,  from the next top challenger, Vera O'Connor.  No offense to the winners, but this is why we need ward representation.

The good news; 4 of the 8 ward races were really tight, meaning good campaigns and good competition.  In ward 6, winner Keith Wright and Amaad Rivera were separated by  6% of the vote, about the same percentage that separated ward 2 winner Michael Felton from Thomas Sullivan.  In ward 8, winner John Lysak got less than 4% more votes than Orlando Ramos.  And in the closest race in the city, winner Claudo Concepcion received 86 votes more than former councilor Carol Caulton-- that's less than 2.5% of the vote.

Of course I am personally disappointed that the candidate I supported in my ward, Amaad Rivera, did not win a seat on the council.  But really, this guy should be mayor.  We haven't heard the last of him, and I hope that's true for some of the others.

I'll compare turn-out totals tomorrow and see how we did.

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