New entry or publicity hound?

Originally I was going to use this item yesterday as part of the headquarters story, but on second thought I decided it deserved its own headline and post.

In five months beyond the November election, Salisbury voters will decide the fate of three of their leaders: District 1 Councilwoman Shanie Shields, District 2 Councilwoman Debbie Campbell, and Mayor Jim Ireton. I’m under the impression Shields won’t run again; the other two are presumably going to seek another four-year term.

You may recall that earlier this year I profiled a campaign kickoff by local realtor Adam Roop, for a yet-to-be-determined city elected office. But I hadn’t mentioned this effort by political gadfly and blogger Joe Albero – until today.

Joe Albero and his rack 'o shirts.

Now I understand my political advice is generally worth the price paid for it, but it seems to me that having shirts and bumper stickers will build name recognition but not give someone a reason to vote for you. As it stands right now, the website listed on the shirt simply redirects to his Salisbury News website, not a separate campaign site.

I can already see the comment now should Joe deign to add his two cents to this conversation, something along the line of “it’s my campaign, I know what I’m doing, you simply fail to understand my master plan to win this race.” Whatever – as I said, my advice is sometimes worth the price paid for it.

But if he’s as popular as his rhetoric makes him out to be, why would he be wheeling out a nearly full rack of shirts (presumably as a giveaway to supporters?) The shot was taken as he was leaving to go to another event, as Joe said to me.

I have a hard time taking Albero seriously as a candidate until I see a formal announcement and (as a Salisbury voter myself) his ideas on how to improve the city. Several of those I spoke with this afternoon felt similarly, preferring to keep their distance for the time being.

That didn’t have anything to do with the headquarters, nor will the local GOP be actively involved in the Salisbury city races because they’re non-partisan elections. Hence the reason I decided this should be a separate post. But I took the picture since Albero’s space was placed next to the GOP’s at the Farm and Home Show; aside from that, the Wicomico GOP has no official connection to the Albero mayoral campaign – or any other Salisbury one, for that matter.

As I made clear on my comments on the Roop event, the current mayor didn’t kick off his spring 2009 campaign until November, 2008 – after the election of Barack Obama. Aside from perhaps trying to build name identification (and as a fellow blogger who HAS run for office in this county twice, I am quite aware that simply having a website doesn’t necessarily translate into lot of people knowing who you are – that’s why I barely hung on to my seat in 2010) I’m not sure what Albero’s point is, aside from perhaps a publicity gimmick to promote his site. If that’s the case, give him an A for marketing but an F for being taken seriously for future political endeavors.

8 thoughts on “New entry or publicity hound?”

  1. A point of order. Those elected next April will serve a two year term. Then in 2015 all seats will be up for election and it will be held in the fall.

  2. That’s not what the City Code says:

    § SC6-9. Election of Mayor and Council.

    On the first Tuesday of April 2011, the registered voters shall elect three (3) Councilmembers from District 2, whose terms shall run until the general election of November 2015. Thereafter, the registered voters shall elect their successors on the first Tuesday of November, and they shall serve four-year terms.

    On the first Tuesday of April 2013, the registered voters shall elect a Mayor and (2) Councilmembers, one from District 1 and one from District 2, whose terms shall run until the first Tuesday of November 2017. Thereafter, the registered voters shall elect their successors on the first Tuesday of November, and they shall serve four-year terms.

    Now they actually need to make a technical change, since Election Day is actually set for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Otherwise we would vote in certain years on November 1.

  3. It was done after the 2011 Election before the redistricting plan came down. The current situation with redistricting is still in negotiation as the NAACP got involved and there were several proposals.

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