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Stewart’s Blog: Outcome in Four Local Races will be Enlightening

Posted on November 8, 2016

Stewart’s Blog: Outcome in Four Local Races will be Enlightening

I have been following the local campaigns over the last six months. After the primaries in August, I zeroed in on four races that I believe will tell us a lot about how our community views change, party labels, qualifications and personalities when the results are known Tuesday night.

The four races can be divided into two groups. The first group features two races that pit status quo against change. The second group of races will require voters to choose between qualifications and personalities.

The first group includes the race for State House District 9 and State Attorney.

In this race, both Loranne Ausley, running for State House District 9, and State Attorney candidate Jack Campbell, are favored by the traditional Leon County political power structure. This is due, in part, to decades of public and community service by the candidates, their families, and close associates.

The challengers of the status quo, Jim Messer and Pete Williams who are both Republicans, appear to have been able to reach voters with a message that has not been discarded because of political affiliation. Remember, I said appears.

The winners of these two races will tell us if Leon County voters chose to look past party labels and break with the past or if they are content with the candidates that are products of the traditional Leon County political power structure.

The second group includes the races for the Leon County Property Appraiser and Leon County Supervisor of Elections.

No matter how much you like Alan Williams and Akin Akinyemi – and I like both of them, it is clear that Mark Earley and Greg Lane posses the superior “on paper” qualifications to carry out the constitutional duties of the offices they seek.

However, for some voters in some races, there are reasons to support a candidate that is not based on qualifications. For example, familiarity, race, endorsements, and personality.

The winners of these two races will reveal just how much qualifications matter to voters in Leon County.

One closing note. I chose these four races because they are one on one affairs, appear competitive, and/or feature candidates from both parties.

Look for the post-election analysis next week.

3 Responses to Stewart’s Blog: Outcome in Four Local Races will be Enlightening

  1. Midtown Guy Reply

    November 8, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Good choices to analyze.

    I certainly crossed over party lines in my voting and also voted for the most qualified. Now if we could just get the School Superintendent position changed from an elected to an appointed one after this year’s fiasco.

  2. Mr. Curious Reply

    November 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Is there a way to get ALL local elections moved to non-partisan? This is about Tallahassee and Leon County, not about Democrat or Republican.

    I’m personally tired of seeing people vote for the party instead of people looking at who the person is and are they the best qualified for the position they seek.

    I know seeking the same for state and national elections would be pushing it, to say the least. Our local elections should be local and stepping away from partisan politics would help our local system.

  3. Steve Reply

    November 9, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Clearly the Democratic flaw showed in all these races. It’s more important to cheer (vote) for the home team than it is to actually examine who is really the best.
    Early may be the exception but Ausley is the antithesis.

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