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 […]
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. The Fan District is split between two voting districts. Most of it is in the Second, the southern fringe is in the Fifth.
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 mid-July piece will just make a few observations about the contest to elect Richmond’s second strong mayor of the modern era.
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.
Hey, 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 might run for reelection as a write-in candidate.