Wednesday, May 31, 2017

General Election Predictions

Image result for boulder city city hall

In only a few days Boulder City’s election will have come and gone but before it does, I would like to put forth my insights and predictions.  

I said after the primary that as goes question 1, so goes the election (My post here). I felt that if question 1 passed then Walker and Milburn would be our councilmen and if it failed then McManus and HarHay. I no longer feel that way. Walker nor Milburn have tried to make question 1 a defining issue and I believe they will pick up many votes that will vote No on 1 but Yes to them.

So, let me tackle question 1 first. As a supporter (I write why here), it is hard for me to say, but Question 1 will not pass. I think Question 1 is gaining supporters as education about the issue increases but while the supporters are well funded and have good advertising it was too little, too late. The mayor may have been well intended but he should have released earlier exactly what changes he hoped to make and why. It felt rushed and it fueled those opposed to question 1, who while less funded are very passionate and hardworking and will prove successful. But if this is close and I think it will be, look for a better worded proposal that changes the amount of homes per developer to 60 or 70 instead of just eliminating the 30, soon.

Cam Walker is having a very difficult race after running unopposed the last cycle. I feel that this race is so tight that I almost hate to make a prediction. But incumbents are hard to topple. Especially when most people are happy with the city. Cam has served us well and most people are happy and while it will be close, I think Cam Walker will win reelection.

Conventional wisdom states that if Cam wins then John Milburn also wins but I don’t buy it. John has a wonderful, long history in Boulder City. He is a good man and everybody who knows him, loves him. One would think, this is a pattern for a win in a small town, but I just don’t feel the passion. I am glad he doesn’t take the election too seriously but I almost get the feeling that win or lose he’ll shrug his shoulders and say, “okay.” Maybe I miss read him but I think many will have my same read and he won’t be our next councilman.

So, if Cam wins and John Milburn doesn’t, who will get those extra votes? Warren Harhay. Warren has proven a far better candidate than I ever thought he would. He was completely unknown coming into this race. He has not been involved at all prior to the election that I know of. While this bothers me, I don’t think it will bother most voters. Usually he comes off happy, funny and very personable. He has a charm that people relate to and we are all drawn to his, “I’m no politician,” line. After doing all he needed to lock up the hardline Community Alliance vote by convincing them he stood with them in principal, even though he did not sign their pledge, he didn’t stop there and shook hands, knocked doors and did the, "in the trenches" work. I think many votes may get cast for Walker and Harhay.

That leaves Kiernan McManus. Kiernan has been engaged in local politics for some time. Early on he was endorsed by the Community Alliance. I was at the meeting when the Alliance debated whether they should support two candidates or just McManus fearing that any support may take away from McManus. He was the tried and true candidate to their causes. In fact, it was interesting in the recent forum Harhay stood up for property rights over a historic preservation law patterned after Connecticut’s. A key issue for many on the Alliance who felt such a law could have saved the hospital. So why does their leading candidate fall behind to the new guy? I have a great respect for Kiernan. His level of engagement is impressive. I think he really is a deep, independent thinker that would add much balance to the council but I think he will lose. Why? As Annie said, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” He is sour faced in photos and when you meet him. I don’t know if I have ever even seen a smirk on the man and that matters.

Lastly question 2. Have you seen any signs supporting question 2? Me neither. It has no champion and without one, people will not vote for it. It will be a decisive No.

Did you want to yell at your screen and say, “You are crazy.” Question 1 will pass with flying colors and Milburn and Kiernan will win in a landslide. Then get out and prove me wrong. Voting is in a few days and nothing would make me happier than a high turnout that makes me wrong on all counts.