Patrick O'Donnell: 98
Pete Healey: 94
Brian Kimbiz: 91
Jason West: 25
Brittany Turner: 7
A few stray votes here and there
All in all, a good race. I don't think anyone can complain about a stolen election (and yes, I really hate that kind of whining, even when my guy loses). Brian Kimbiz, whose petititons were invalidated because he didn't realize that he needed to be registered here in order to witness the signatures, got every vote he deserved regardless, so I don't think he could argue that he would have gotten three or four more if he'd taken the time to understand the rules. Jason West and Brittany Turner were offered up as last-minute write-ins and got a respectable number of votes, given that they were only being talked about for hours at best.
I don't buy the whole idea of a stolen election, but honestly, if you want someone to run for office, do you think you could ask them far enough in advance that they could run a campaign, if you really want them to win? Both were gracious enough to let me know that they were no opposed to being written in, but both candidates could have made a real showing if they had taken the time to do it right.
- Jason just got back in town and simply didn't have the time - he wasn't here for the petition period. But if he wants to re-enter local politics, I think a thoughtful campaign would do him much better. He is a politician, and each campaign he undertakes should be part of his larger strategy, whatever that may be. It was just too impulsive to offer his name up.
- Brittany caught a lot of flack for daring to run, last minute, for Town Council. This time, she's starting to look like the perennial write-in protest vote. Brittany is extremely knowledgeable about the local scene, but has never had the opportunity to express her views in a candidate forum. I think she's too intelligent to be tossed in the race at the last minute - let's see what she's got and actually vote on her stand on issues, not just for the fun of it.
I think some of the votes for write-in candidates may have been protest votes - people didn't like the names on the ballot and voted for someone they didn't actually believe would win. That, in my view, is a waste of the democratic process. If I had my way no candidates would be on the ballot and we would have to actually pay attention to know who to vote for, but I don't have my way very often. Some very talented people were written in and could probably have won, given the opportunity for a serious campaign. A lot of races in this town could be decided very differently if folks started thinking about them earlier than, oh, the day before the election.
Congratulations to the winners, and kudos to the incredibly respectable showings for the other candidates. Now go play nice.