Friday, November 04, 2016

Time to Decide

Prior to 2016, I can't remember a political campaign season that featured such damning controversy swirling around a candidate with a genuine chance to win. Nor can I remember when I've followed a political race and remained undecided less than a week before election day. 

No, I'm not talking about the presidential race. This piece is about Richmond's mayoral race.

As far as the presidential campaign is concerned, I will vote for the Democratic Party's nominee. In the spring I voted for Bernie Sanders, because I preferred him. That was then; it was a primary. On election day, choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is easy -- I'm with her. 

Moreover, my hope is that Trump, the Bluster Meister, will set a new record for losing by the widest margin in history. Of course,  I'll settle for a Clinton win no matter how small the margin. Perhaps writer Andy Borowitz has said it best: 
Stopping Trump is a short-term solution. The long-term solution, and it will be more difficult, is fixing the educational system that has created so many people ignorant enough to vote for Trump.
Back to the local scene. The presence of Joe Morrissey on the ballot has injected much of the sizzle into the mayoral race. In April there were nearly 20 wannabe mayors trying to get enough publicity to compete with Morrissey, a feisty little dickens who has been well known to Richmonders for over 25 years. One by one the wannabes failed to gain the needed traction. 

Now, with Jon Baliles having stepped aside, on Nov. 2, we're down to six left standing. However, wags suggest only three of those six have a legit chance to win. In addition to Morrissey they are Jack Berry and Levar Stoney.

Since Baliles had a rather substantial following, if he endorses one of those two anti-Morrisseys that could put Berry or Stoney over the top. But time is running out for such a move to pay off.

In other words, it's generally accepted that three candidates -- Bobby Junes, Michelle Mosby and Lawrence Williams -- have no chance to win. Yet, by stepping down, now, any of that trio could play a role in deciding who will be the next mayor. Whether any of the three will become interested in playing such a role is not known at this desk.

The decision of which mayoral candidate will get my vote is still waiting to be made. I'm glad I had the benefit of the Bijou Salons to help me know three of the candidates a little better. Yet, those sessions with the candidates left me with a dilemma: Do I want to support the man I agree with the most? Or, the man who seems the most qualified, experience-wise? Or the man whose fresh face might best represent a city trying to turn a page on dysfunction at City Hall?

Note: To read about the Bijou Salon, click here. To read about Berry's Bijou Salon appearance click here. To read about Baliles' appearance click here. To read about Stoney's appearance click here.  

The time for deciding is upon us, candidates and voters alike. It's about choosing. 

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