Friday, July 18, 2008

Goldman's lack of traction and Wolf's write-in chances

As we enter the Dog Days of 2008’s summer, lazy, hazy, crazy ol’ Richmond is about to be all shook up by stumping candidates. Richmonders will have lots of choices to make when they cast their ballots on November 4.

In each of this city’s nine districts voters will be choosing their representatives on the School Board and City Council.

Of course, the citywide race to determine who will be Richmond’s new mayor is going to be stealing the show most of the time. No doubt, what role the sitting mayor might yet play will, from time to time, upstage even the most determined propagandistic efforts of the five mayoral candidates.

This piece will not endorse anyone, nor will it attempt to be comprehensive. There’s plenty of time for all that. I just want to make a few observations about what has stood out, to me, so far.

So, I’ll start with Paul Goldman, who seems to be in the process of morphing into a local Ralph Nader ... of a sort.

Goldman has gotten more news coverage than any of the five in the mayoral race. He’s been busy as a beaver making news. His admirers include some prolific bloggers, so, buzz-wise, Goldman might seem to have succeeded in putting himself on the same level as the perceived front-running threesome -- Robert Grey, Dwight Jones and Bill Pantele.

Yes, I am saying that at this point, Lawrence Williams, who had raised zero money through June 30, doesn’t seem to be a factor. Perhaps that will change.

Back to Goldman: With all of his publicity he only raised $3,500 through June 30. Through the same period, Jones took in $130,656, Pantele took in $129,477 and Grey took in $96,100. While an insurgent candidacy like Goldman’s may not need to match his well-heeled opponents, dollar for dollar, in this case the candidate just seems to be gaining no traction outside of his cadre of loyalists.

So, I’m not breaking any news when I say it looks like we’re in store for a three-man race to run City Hall, with Goldman acting as a Nader-like spoiler. If that’s true, the question becomes, who will Goldman hurt the most?

Well, I don’t know the answer.

Another good question is, can anybody carry five districts?

Remember, simply getting the most votes isn’t enough. If no candidate carries five of the nine districts, there will be a run-off.

Another person in the news who interests me is Carol A.O. Wolf, who presently represents the Third District on the School Board. Wolf had last-minute trouble with her petitions and didn‘t qualify to get on the ballot.

Thus, Norma Murdoch-Kitt is alone on the ballot, running unopposed for Wolf‘s seat on the Board. Maybe...

But Wolf is still mulling the possibility of waging a write-in campaign. It’s my understanding her decision is soon-to-come.

If she has been persuaded by the many calls for her to run and chooses to do so, it seems to me Wolf has what it takes to make such a bid viable. With her unvarnished style and the substance of her advocacy, Wolf has made some friends -- many of them parents of kids in public schools -- during her six years on the Board. She could probably put together a decent war chest and volunteer organization.

And, speaking of write-ins, it's hardly too late in the summer for Mayor Doug Wilder to have a squirrelly seizure -- “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” -- and begin hinting he, too, might run for reelection as a write-in candidate.


Scott said...

I am hoping Gwen Hedgepeth 'spoiled' Pantele's chances for being Mayor, but I guess you can't get past your whining about Gore surrendering.

Paul H said...

Thanks for opening this discussion. Here's my reaction for what it is worth.

1. Nobody seems that enthusiastic, including Goldman. Maybe it's the weather.

2. All my candidate can talk about is his campaign fund. I know from personal experience he can talk extemporaneously on almost any subject in city government. Maybe he's saving it for the playoffs. I'm not sure.

3. In the one forum I attended, Lawrence Williams made the most practical and intelligent statement of the night.
"local neighborhooods should control local schools"
I broke out in spontaneous applause.

3. Why couldn't Carol Wolf get her homework done? She is passionate and dedicated. She could have gotten a couple hundred signatures in a heatbeat.

4. Why can't Google spellcheck blog comments?

F.T. Rea said...


That whining about Gore remark seems rather odd and out of place.

Gore? What does he have to do with this? You haven't read where I blame Gore's defeat on Nader.

Are you sure you want to throw that sort of crap at me?