Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the Money

On Nov. 6 Richmonders in nine districts voted for their choices to represent them on City Council. Seven of the incumbents faced challengers, two incumbents ran unopposed. Three of the incumbents lost their bids for reelection. But before the votes were cast the candidates raised and spent a lot of money, all to try to win a job that pays just $25,000 per year.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, of the seven contests the candidate who spent the most money won four times and lost three times. For what it’s worth, the candidate who spent the most money, Charlie Diradour, lost. The one who spent the least, Jimmy Ray Hart, also lost.

The winners in the seven contested districts were:
  • First District: challenger Jon Baliles spent $66,316. He got 6,183 votes.
  • Second District: incumbent Charles Samuels spent $61,995. He got 5,179 votes. 
  • Third District: incumbent Chris Hilbert spent $41,060. He got 8,037 votes.
  • Fourth District: incumbent Kathy Graziano spent $95,855. She got 7,974 votes. 
  • Fifth District: challenger Parker Agelasto spent $38,066. He got 4,995 votes.
  • Eighth District: incumbent Reva Trammell spent $64,192. She got 4,933 votes.
  • Ninth District: challenger Michelle Mosby spent $13,403. She got 3,662 votes.
Without opposition, incumbents Ellen Robertson and Cynthia Newbille won reelection in the Sixth and Seventh Districts, respectively. 

The losers in the seven contested races were:
  • First District: incumbent Bruce Tyler spent $77,850. He got 6,159 votes.
  • Second District: challenger Charlie Diradour spent $115,375. He got 4,700 votes. 
  • Third District: challenger Erin Delp spent $599. She got 1,739 votes. 
  • Fourth District: challenger Johnny Walker spent $13,254. He got 3,756 votes. 
  • Fifth District: incumbent Marty Jewell spent $24,530. He got 4,995 votes. And, challenger Lee Shewmake spent $4,775. She got 921 votes. 
  • Eighth District: challenger Jimmy Ray Hart spent zero. He got 220 votes. And, challenger Dawn Page spent $15,022. She got 3,292 votes. 
  • Ninth District: incumbent Doug Conner spent $76,314. He got 2,032 votes.
It’s also worth noting that three of the five candidates who spent the most money per vote lost. Conner spent $37.56 per vote and lost. Diradour spent $24.55 per vote and lost. Trammell spent $13.01 per vote and won. Tyler spent $12.64 per vote and lost*. Graziano spent $12.02 per vote and won.

The best bargain?

Mosby upset Conner by spending just $3.66 per vote. Outspent by Conner by over five-to-one, Mosby took 64 percent of the vote.

Now, dear Richmonders, the nine winners get to spend your tax money as they see fit.

* Tyler is still not sure he lost. Consequently, instead of conceding, he has filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the election.  

No comments: