An anticlimactic November

August 19, 2015 · Posted in All politics is local, Campaign 2015 - Salisbury, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, Politics · Comments Off on An anticlimactic November 

One reason the Salisbury city elections were changed beginning this year was the abysmal turnout they usually had in the spring. Sadly, turnout will likely be lower still thanks to the lack of a mayor’s race. The deadline came and went today and Jake Day is the only candidate who filed for mayor.

Voters in District 5, on the city’s far east side, will have even less reason to show up because incumbent Council member Laura Mitchell was the only one bothering to run in her district.

On the other hand, there are old-fashioned shootouts in the other four Council districts. Two incumbents lumped together in District 3 will tangle as both Tim Spies, who won in his second try in 2011, and 2014 appointee Jack Heath will both battle for that seat along with Kevin Lindsay, who was one of 11 unsuccessful applicants to succeed Terry Cohen when she resigned last year – it was the seat Heath won appointment to. It’s a district that takes in the Camden neighborhood by Salisbury University and hops across the Wicomico River to take in areas along Pemberton Drive.

There are two others who tried for the Cohen chair that are running for election this year: Sarah Halcott in District 1 and Muir Boda in District 2. Halcott faces two foes who are familiar with each other: incumbent Shanie Shields and 2013 opponent April Jackson in this inner-city and near west side district. Boda, who is in a district with no incumbent, has three fellow challengers in Keyvan Aarabi, Marvin Ames, and Justin Gregoli. Ames ran for the District 1 County Council seat last year but lost in the Democratic primary. District 2 covers the close-in neighborhoods on the north and east sides of Salisbury (and is my home district.)

Instead of running again for mayor, Jim Ireton opted to run for City Council in District 4. He will face two others vying for the seat: Kenneth Vickers III and Roger Mazzullo. That district is perhaps the largest in geography as it takes in most of the commercial center along the northern fringes of town before veering toward downtown Salisbury.

And downtown will have a friend in Day, who has to be pinching himself and wondering how he was fortunate enough not to have an opponent in his run for mayor. It’s very possible, though, that he may just switch roles with Ireton as he would likely seek to be Council president after being put on the Council as Day did after the 2013 election. (Ireton has served on City Council before, though. He was on it for about a year before leaving – as the story goes it was to take a job out of town.)

With no incumbent in District 2, that will be an interesting race as the victor may be the only newcomer to city government. Boda has run for City Council twice before, losing to incumbent Debbie Campbell in 2009 and finishing fourth behind Mitchell, Cohen, and Spies in 2011.

Out of the 16 total candidates, there are six incumbents (one by appointment), four who have sought election at least once before and lost (including the appointee), four who tried for appointment (one apiece being also in the previous two categories), and five who are apparently political neophytes. Some have steeper learning curves than others.

Interestingly to me, the lack of a primary election means financial disclosure statements will not be due until a week before the election – so no one will know just how the money supply is for candidates until the last minute. (Had the primary remained in place, it would have been held in early September for voters in all but District 5 as the three or four candidates otherwise would have been whittled down to two in each race.) One can ask the legitimate question of who, if anyone, Jake Day will ask his donors to give to now that he is in the clear. (They can also ask about Laura Mitchell.) As two incumbents who got a free ride, their backing could make a difference.

So the first hurdle is crossed, eleven weeks before we actually vote. For a candidate, 77 days can seem like an eternity until they get to mid-October and wonder how they will get through the next few weeks with all they need to do. I look forward to hearing some new and good ideas for the city of Salisbury from this group.

Cohen out, so who will be in?

August 6, 2014 · Posted in All politics is local, Delmarva items, Politics · 3 Comments 

It came as a surprise to many that Salisbury City Council member Terry Cohen resigned with a little over a year left on her term. Citing her family’s “major life changes” she’s resigning as of August 8.

Cohen was originally elected as part of a reform-minded slate in 2007, and found a natural ally in then-Council member Debbie Campbell. And while those who advocated for reform eventually turned on Louise Smith, who was one of the two new Council members elected in 2007, the real change in Salisbury came when current Mayor Jim Ireton was elected in 2009. Campbell and Cohen became more reviled as the obstacles to Ireton’s agenda, eventually leading to Campbell’s defeat by Jake Day in 2013 as well as Cohen’s removal as City Council president, where she served from 2011-13, to be replaced by the newcomer Day.

Of course, the blogs which focus more on local politics are already aflame with comments and suggestions for a replacement for Cohen, with the situation further complicated by Day’s required military reserve service occurring this week – however, they have until September 5 to name a replacement and they’ll begin accepting applications Monday. That replacement will have just 15 months to serve out Cohen’s term before he or she stands for election, if desired.

Two of the names most bandied about to fill Cohen’s seat are Josh Hastings and Muir Boda. As most locals know, Hastings is already running for a County Council District 3 seat as the Democratic nominee while Boda ran at-large and finished third in the Republican primary behind Matt Holloway and John Cannon – respectively, present and former County Council members. There are others who are being mentioned, mainly on the Democratic side, so the obvious question is whether the Democratic-dominated City Council will stay loyal to party or not.

Yet what do I always hear from Democrats when the Republicans are in charge – we need to have bipartisan consensus, they say. Well, here’s an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and select the best candidate out there. (Worth noting: the city elections are non-partisan.)

I believe in having everyone at the table.  All are stakeholders in this city whether you are a homeowner or business owner, landlord or renter, employer or employee, you have a right to be heard.  We all have a stake in this community and passing it on to the next generation better than we received it is not just the right thing to do, it is our duty.

Join me as we bring forth a positive message of healing, reaching out to our neighborhoods that are disenfranchised and opening up our doors for business.  We have so much work to do and it is going to take all of us putting aside our differences to do what is best for Salisbury.

These were Muir Boda’s words in 2011, just before the general election where he finished fourth – it was the same election where Terry Cohen retained the seat she’s vacating, along with Laura Mitchell and Tim Spies. For the most part, the message rings true still today.

As the city moves into a phase where the downtown may be revitalized, I want to make sure that’s not at the expense of the neighborhoods. As a homeowner in one of the city’s most transient neighborhoods – most homes on his block are rentals – Muir has an interest in maintaining the sometimes-neglected corners of the city. I think he would be a fine choice for this sudden vacancy.

Showing how useful we on the Shore are

You know, it’s interesting. While Republican gubernatorial candidates come down, talk to the people, and press the flesh at open (or at least nominally priced) events, those on the other side are going to be far from the limelight and even farther from a bus stop.

No, Ken Ulman isn’t exactly stopping in a transit-oriented development, and you better check for a nitrogen-reducing septic system since that area is pretty far outside the urban core. But the list of sponsors is the A-list of local Democratic officials from Salisbury and surrounding areas – although interesting exceptions to the list are Delegate Rudy Cane and Salisbury City Council members Tim Spies, Terry Cohen, and Laura Mitchell. Are they supporting Doug Gansler, Heather Mizeur, or waiting for a better offer? I know Mitchell gave to Martin O’Malley in his re-election effort, so perhaps she’s not as impressed with the mini-me?

The interesting piece of the puzzle is that I received this from a Republican friend of mine who got this invitation, with another intriguing sidebar being that one of the sponsors listed here was apparently the guest of a sitting member of County Council at our Wicomico County Republican Club Crab Feast. While we don’t mind taking money from Democrats, who wish to donate of their free will – unlike the usual case with their side and their oppressive taxation – you wonder what might be said at this Ulman soiree regarding the Republican candidates who showed up at our Saturday event.

Now this list of sponsors is nothing new at local Democratic events. Although not all are presently elected officials, most are regular supporters of local Democratic candidates for whom big government and/or the “good old boy club” mean enhanced business and personal fortune – for example, Marty Neat is a local bank CEO.

Obviously the take here will be but a drop in the bucket for the overall campaign. But Brown’s is a campaign which eschewed the Eastern Shore on its announcement tour back in June, unlike his Republican counterparts, so it’s apparent that all the Eastern Shore is good for to them is money. These sponsors are donating it willingly so that the rest of us will be compelled to part with ours in a not-so-voluntary manner.

Salisbury money races have surprising leaders

If you were wondering whether the challengers could financially keep up with the incumbents in the Salisbury primary elections, wonder no more. The initial pre-primary financial reports are out and there are some intriguing results.

First of all, it’s no surprise that the small District 1 race has attracted very little in the way of contributions; in fact, challenger Cynthia Polk begged off the detailed report as she didn’t raise enough. Fellow challenger April Jackson has only raised $595 from just four contributors, with the most interesting one being $200 from Friends of (Delegate) Rudy Cane. Incumbent Shanie Shields has raised $860 from 19 different benefactors, with the largest being a city-mandated maximum contribution of $250 from former Salisbury mayor Barrie Tilghman.

As would turn out to be the case for most contenders, the largest expenditure for the District 1 aspirants was signage, although Shields spent over $150 on a fundraiser which apparently only about broke even, based on contribution amounts.

More surprising was the amount of money raised on the District 2 race and who’s raised it. Jacob Day is the clear fundraising leader, with 50 line-item contributions (some were by couples) totaling $6,295. Out of all eight candidates, Day just missed being the overall head of the class – with a caveat, as I’ll explain later. Former mayor Barrie Tilghman maxed out her contribution to Day with $250, but so did a number of others I recognized as local builders, realtors, and developers – Brad Gillis, Michael Weisner, Ronald Morgan (of Becker Morgan Architects), members of the Gilkerson family, and so forth. Also worth noting on Day is that 30% of his individual contributions came from outside the area. The only other candidate with a similar profile is Jackson, who received two of her four donations from a Florida family – perhaps related?

Meanwhile, Jack Heath finished a distant second in contributions with $2,400 from 26 benefactors. A number of prominent local Republicans were in that group, including former County Executive candidates Ron Alessi and Joe Ollinger, who both chipped in $100 apiece. However, Heath also has over $2,800 in loans outstanding – all to wife Linda.

In a bit of a surprise, incumbent Debbie Campbell lags behind in the money race having raised only $1,026 from ten contributors, including $250 from herself.

As was the case in District 1 signage was among the leading expenditures for all three District 2 contenders, although Heath has also invested in a mailing. (It may not have reflected on this report, but my fiance and I both received a mailing from Day yesterday so his fundraising prowess is being spent.)

The mayor’s race, though, proves to be an interesting case in campaign finance.

Incumbent Jim Ireton takes the prize for neatest and easiest-to-decipher report, for the most part. There are 79 contributors listed, who donated a total of $5,818.65. (Five donated a hokey amount of $20.13, which explains the odd total.) His contributors run the gamut from local progressives to a number of local politicians like former County Councilman David MacLeod, Register of Wills Karen Lemon, and perennial Orphans’ Court candidate Peter Evans. There are also Democrats from around the state who added to the pot, such as Delegates Luke Clippinger, Maggie McIntosh, and Anne Kaiser, along with unsuccessful District 1 write-in Congressional candidate John LaFerla. Even Salisbury University president Janet Dudley-Eshbach and local left-wing activists Mike Pretl and Harry Basehart added a few dollars to Ireton’s till.

On the other hand, challenger Joe Albero raised the most money with $6,550. But as I said earlier, there’s a caveat – Albero donated $5,000 to his own cause. The other $1,550 came from just a dozen contributors, several of which were businesses. Included among that subset were Electrical Solutions, Gary Pusey & Sons, MoJo Management, Market Street Inn, Ltd., and Crown Sports Center. It’s not illegal, but Albero has by far the highest proportion of these business-based contributions. A perusal of Albero’s Salisbury News website shows several of these businesses are also advertisers.

It’s also worth mentioning that while Albero’s “official” shell of a mayoral website that’s currently ‘under construction’ has an authority line, Salisbury News – a site where Joe freely takes swipes at his opponent under the guise of “news” – does not. The same is true, however, of the rarely-updated On Your Side blog where Campbell is listed as a contributor along with Council president Terry Cohen, although Debbie apparently hasn’t authored a post since at least 2011. Neither Campbell nor Cohen post an authority line there, although tucked at the bottom is a disclaimer that they speak for themselves and not the whole Council.

Once again, signage seemed to be the largest expenditure in the mayoral race. But it’s interesting to note that the services of DiCarlo Printing were sought by both mayoral candidates as well as Jacob Day. John Robinson’s printing business was also a supplier to Albero and Day. The other candidates mainly utilized other local printers for their signage, although Campbell chose an out-of-state printer for hers. And while I don’t want this to be perceived as “pick on Albero” day, shouldn’t he have included the cost of his “Albero for Mayor” shirts as an expenditure? While he hadn’t officially filed yet at the time the shirts were designed and purchased, it would probably be prudent for the record to know where that money came from and who the supplier was.

But to me, the biggest surprise was how poorly the District 2 incumbent is doing in the fundraising department. While it’s quite likely she can survive the first round based on her name recognition, it’s very difficult to make up ground in the remaining weeks before the general election. In the last several cycles, those who finished “in the money” in the primary went on to win almost every time. The one recent exception I could find was where Gary Comegys overtook Tim Spies to grab the third and final spot in 2007 – Spies was third in the primary. But the dynamics of a “top three” race are different than this winner-take-all set of battles.

On Tuesday we will find out if all that money raised by the challengers is enough to secure a position in the General Election April 2.

Open season

The political ascendancy of Laura Mitchell continues, apparently.

Laura finished in third, 122 votes behind first-place winner Terry Cohen, in the city’s March 1 primary but made up all that and more as she zipped by both Cohen and Tim Spies to win a four-year term on City Council. While it’s possible that absentees could push Terry Cohen into the top slot (13 votes separate Mitchell and second-place Cohen) the fact is that a woman who hadn’t even raised enough money to need a financial report in the primary beat out a field that was by and large comprised of previous candidates and well-financed challengers.

Perhaps the main ingredient in her success was her independence. It was no secret that Terry Cohen and Tim Spies were running as a Camden tag team, with several joint appearances and fundraisers. On the other hand, Muir Boda and Orville Dryden had a number of common financial backers and while they weren’t overtly running as a slate those allied with Cohen and Spies created the perception that Boda and Dryden were. Mitchell seemed as though she was the compromise candidate between the two camps, although as I revealed in my look at the last financial reports Laura had some prominent Democratic elected officials bankrolling her.

Still, Laura overcame some rumors dogging her and a campaign that was a little bit short on specifics to win a seat on City Council as the lone political newcomer. Tim Spies was successful in his second try at the brass ring and Terry Cohen won another four-year term.

So the Council appears set for two years, and the Camden neighborhood will be calling the tune. Look for a renewed push to get Mayor Ireton’s neighborhood housing initiative passed and an all-out war on the $96 million business of rentals to begin, along with a deterioration in town-gown relations with Salisbury University. The question now becomes this: is this the end of the 3-2 Council? I think it is, but that doesn’t bode well for the City of Salisbury.

Tales from the voting booth

A quick update…

First, I can almost guarantee that I won’t have the results from Salisbury’s election first tonight because I have a job to do. It pays better than this site, although if the advertisers from another somewhat disgraced site wished to invest in mine this enterprise may make me more coin than my job.

Anyway, I voted today around 3:00. There were two items I found worth mentioning.

First, I asked about turnout at my polling place (Wicomico Presbyterian) and I was the 375th voter. If this is relatively accurate then I think turnout isn’t going to be much greater than 15 to 17 percent, and that doesn’t bode (no pun intended) well for the challengers. It’s the faithful voters who showed up in the primary who are voting in this election, too – so the results will likely be similar. Had there been 500 voters at the precinct I believe the challengers had more of a chance. Let’s hope I’m wrong on that one for Muir Boda’s sake.

If it were up to people who read monoblogue and Two Sentz, though, Muir would be a shoo-in. Here’s the results of our joint poll:

  1. Muir Boda, 34 votes (38.2%)
  2. Laura Mitchell, 22 votes (24.7%)
  3. Terry Cohen, 14 votes (15.7%)
  4. Orville Dryden, 13 votes (14.6%)
  5. Tim Spies, 5 votes (5.6%)
  6. Bruce Ford, 1 vote (1.1%)

Of course, I think the influence of having an ad for Muir Boda on my site and Laura Mitchell on Two Sentz just might influence the poll. If nothing else, I suppose that proves blog advertising works (see first paragraph above.)

Finally, I had a nice complement from the young lady who’s running Laura Mitchell’s campaign, or at least I presume she does. She thanked me for my fair coverage of the race, and not jumping into the rumor mill about Laura’s living arrangement.

Now maybe there was something to the rumor, but since the protagonist seemed to backtrack from it I doubt it. And hers wasn’t all that important of an issue, just like who Jim Ireton sleeps with was but a sidebar to the real issues surrounding the mayoral race two years ago. It hasn’t affected his job performance, although I was pretty skeptical about that anyway.

So after tonight’s count we will probably have an idea of who will be representing District 2 for the next 4 1/2 years, since the next time these seats will be contested will be the fall of 2015. Unless it’s close enough to require an absentee count and we end up in a tie, I think the top three in the primary will prove to remain in those positions.

If so, beware – it’s open season on landlords and other small businessmen in Salisbury.

Updated City Council financials

With less than a week to go until the General Election on April 5th, the candidates are trying to raise money for the final push. My analysis of the latest report will be broken into two parts: total money raised, and money raised since the initial reports were completed on February 23rd.

Total contributions to date:

  1. Muir Boda – $3,250
  2. Tim Spies – $3,010
  3. Terry Cohen – $2,836
  4. Orville Dryden – $2,750
  5. Laura Mitchell – $1,970
  6. Bruce Ford – $310

Since the first report – this shows contribution trends:

  1. Laura Mitchell – $1,820 from 31 contributors
  2. Muir Boda – $1,615 from 16 contributors
  3. Terry Cohen – $681 from 15 contributors
  4. Tim Spies – $650 from 13 contributors
  5. Orville Dryden – $650 from 6 contributors
  6. Bruce Ford – no contributions, aside from a loan to himself

Once again we have two groups of contributors giving to two separate candidates. Terry Cohen and Tim Spies are now the largest beneficiaries of this trend since eight of Spies’ 13 donors also gave to Cohen. Some key donors among them were Dana Kennan ($100 apiece), Scot Disharoon ($100 to Cohen), P.E. Bolte ($100 to Cohen), S.J. Disharoon ($100 to Spies), and Todd Smith ($100 to Spies). All are listed as a Salisbury address.

On the other hand, Muir Boda has broken away from Orville Dryden to some extent. While they were nearly joined at the hip on the first report, only five of Boda’s 16 contributors also gave to Dryden. Largest among them was the Maryland Realtors PAC, which gave the maximum $250 to both. Also maximizing their contributions to Boda were Deborah Anderson of Salisbury (Boda’s treasurer), Jonathan Boda of Santa Monica, California, and John Cannon of Salisbury. Jeffrey Benner of Salisbury also gave Boda $100.

Dryden received a major contribution from F.M. Young of Salisbury, who donated $150.

Perhaps the most “independent” candidate was Laura Mitchell, whose contribution list didn’t feature a single person who gave to another candidate. However, there were some well-known Democratic elected officials on the list – Trudy Andersen and Harry Basehart from the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee, Delegate Rudy Cane, and Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton. Andersen and Basehart gave $115 and $140, respectively, so I would consider them “major” contributors. Others who fall into that category include Lynda Donaldson of Selbyville, Delaware ($125), Michael Weisner of Salisbury ($140), Sharon Barto of Parsonsburg ($100), R. Neill Carey of Salisbury ($100), and Patrick Bostian of Salisbury ($250).

This report also revealed that Mitchell had made $150 from 4 contributors prior to the last report, so she was correct in stating she didn’t meet the $600 threshold at that time.

Apparently Bruce Ford is self-financing his campaign at the moment, loaning his coffers the $494 in expenses he paid in the last reporting period. He reported no other contributions.

But Laura Mitchell seems to be the political flavor of the month – even opponent Muir Boda gave Mitchell a total of $45. Whether that will haunt him in the end remains to be seen, but the biggest money seems to be moving to the race between Mitchell and Boda for that number three slot – Cohen and Spies could be considered shoo-ins, while Dryden and Ford may be too far in arrears to have a good chance at leapfrogging two or three spots, respectively. The contributions seem to reflect that reality.

And what of the two who didn’t make it? Michael Taylor didn’t file a report, as presumably he didn’t raise or spend any money after the primary. But Joel Dixon spent the remaining $715.81 after paying his bills on a good cause, as he donated the remainder of his campaign account to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

As was the case before the primary, I should also send kudos to Brenda Colegrove, the Salisbury City Clerk, for making these reports available in a timely manner. It’s nice to get this information before the election to assist in this important decision.

And a note to Tim Spies: this time when you cite my information, print the whole thing.

Boda wins Council poll again

Perhaps this is more reflective of the preferences of my readership than of the actual future election, but Muir Boda was the choice of those who responded to my Salisbury City Council poll. In the real vote earlier this month, Boda finished fourth.

The conservative lean of my readership is also reflected in who the bottom three finishers were, as they all tied.

There were just 62 votes cast, with the lower number expected when I changed the poll rules a little bit to discourage frequent repeat voting. I may relent on this slightly for the next version, but the results were pretty much what I figured they would be.

Here’s the order of finish:

  1. Muir Boda – 18 votes (29.03%)
  2. Orville Dryden – 15 votes (24.19%)
  3. Terry Cohen – 8 votes (12.9%)
  4. Bruce Ford, Laura Mitchell, and Tim Spies – 7 votes apiece (11.29%)

Truthfully, when I advertise Boda and have been critical of Tim Spies in this space, I got the results I figured I would. But I’m going to do one more poll before the election, tweaking things a little bit more and perhaps utilizing Two Sentz’s blog to help weigh results more to the center.

New City Council poll

March 13, 2011 · Posted in Campaign 2011 - Salisbury, Delmarva items, Politics · Comments Off on New City Council poll 

There’s a new sidebar poll on the City Council race, with an important difference.

I have changed the parameters to discourage frequent repeat voting. Although someone could skew the results to an extent, it’s going to be a little more difficult to do.

As for the poll this replaces, I found it interesting that support for creating five single-person districts in the city is reasonably strong. Over 50 percent (51.42% to be exact) favored that option, although a small portion of that group advocated adding two at-large Council members to base it more closely on Wicomico County. 40 percent favored the current system, while the other 8.57% would like all five elected at-large.

It’s highly doubtful this will happen anytime soon, though, as primary results indeed suggest three City Council members (Terry Cohen, Tim Spies, and Debbie Campbell) will represent the Camden neighborhood. Obviously they’ll have nothing to do with making that neighborhood just one of five districts; meanwhile areas like Johnson’s Lake, Doverdale, and the southeast quadrant of the city where I live may have no local representatives if results hold true.

Salisbury Council field set

March 9, 2011 · Posted in All politics is local, Campaign 2011 - Salisbury, Delmarva items, Politics · Comments Off on Salisbury Council field set 

After all the absentees and provisional ballots have been counted, the six contestants who presumably advanced by last Tuesday’s initial results indeed held on. The battle for the sixth and final spot went to Bruce Ford over Joel Dixon by a 307-302 count, his largest margin.

The sole change in the order was Terry Cohen moving ahead of Tim Spies to become the top vote-getter.

Here is the final order of finish:

  1. Terry Cohen, 608 (18.63%)
  2. Tim Spies, 604 (18.5%)
  3. Laura Mitchell, 486 (14.89%)
  4. Muir Boda, 446 (13.66%)
  5. Orville Dryden, 343 (10.51%)
  6. Bruce Ford, 307 (9.41%)
  7. Joel Dixon, 302 (9.25%)
  8. Michael Taylor, 168 (5.15%)

The remaining field now has just less than a month to either hold their top-3 position or try and move up. As it stands, the key battle is between third-place Laura Mitchell and fourth-place Muir Boda – either of the other contenders need to pick up well over 100 votes on April 5th to pass Mitchell and grab the last spot.

Final turnout was 1,226 voters, or 10.64% of eligible voters. This compares to 13.7% in the last similar election (2007.)

Hopefully Dixon and Taylor, who were both worthy candidates, will consider another run in 2013 or 2015. A 2013 run would place them against incumbent Debbie Campbell should she choose to run for a third term, while 2015 would see this same situation of three seats open.

A couple upcoming events:

Tomorrow (March 10): East Main Street Neighborhood Association Forum, 6:30 p.m. (Epilepsy Center, 688 East Main Street.)
Sunday, March 13: All-You-Can-Eat Chicken and Dumpling Fundraiser for Laura Mitchell, 4-7 p.m. at Sage Diner (917 S. Salisbury Blvd.) – $20. Advance registration required.

As I find out more I’ll share.

First Salisbury absentee canvass in, results slightly change

I thought this came tomorrow but the update was today.

This will be presented in order of votes acquired today, since the pattern of these absentees may provide a clue as to how the remaining few votes could fall. It may only turn out to be a few dozen votes, but now the split between moving on and moving out is just one vote.

  1. Terry Cohen +51 (now has 583, moves from second to a tie for first)
  2. Tim Spies +43 (now has 583, falls into a tie for first)
  3. Orville Dryden +34 (now has 338, stays fifth)
  4. Muir Boda +29 (now has 409, stays fourth)
  5. Joel Dixon +24 (now has 299, stays seventh)
  6. Bruce Ford +23 (now has 300, stays sixth)
  7. Laura Mitchell +21 (now has 472, stays third)
  8. Michael Taylor +11 (now has 161, stays eighth)

Interestingly, the absentees hurt Laura Mitchell quite a bit as Muir Boda gained eight votes out of the 236 counted. While it’s only 8% of the total vote, these absentees made enough difference that the battle for sixth will remain uncertain until next week.

So it’s pins and needles for both Bruce Ford and Joel Dixon until the count (and perhaps a recount) finally ends.

Unofficial Salisbury City Council results have Dixon, Taylor out

Update: absentee ballots are counted Friday – the only rankings where that could prove a difference are Spies/Cohen and, more importantly, Ford/Dixon.

And then there were two…

If the unofficial results hold up, one of the monoblogue-endorsed candidates will be knocked out in the primary while another finished out of the top three.

According to the Daily Times, here is the unofficial order of finish – I believe this does NOT include absentee ballots since they only had to be postmarked by today.

  1. Tim Spies – 540 (18.4%)
  2. Terry Cohen – 532 (18.1%)
  3. Laura Mitchell – 451 (15.4%)
  4. Muir Boda – 409 (13.9%)
  5. Orville Dryden – 304 (10.3%)
  6. Bruce Ford – 277 (9.4%)
  7. Joel Dixon – 275 (9.4%)
  8. Michael Taylor – 150 (5.1%)

Even with the two-vote margin between sixth and seventh, it’s pretty clear that the real race right now is between two people – Laura Mitchell and Muir Boda. Any of the trio of Orville Dryden, Bruce Ford, or Joel Dixon would have to increase their voter base by half again to have a legitimate shot. On the other side of the coin, it’s clear that Terry Cohen and Tim Spies have worked together to corner a large percentage of the electorate.

What I would be most curious about insofar as the voter breakdown is which precincts were well-represented. I suspect the Camden area turned out well as always, which boosted the totals of Cohen and Spies. And just as it was in the last election the aspect of teams or slates may be introduced: in 2007 the sides generally were considered as Terry Cohen, Tim Spies, and Louise Smith against Gary Comegys, John Atkins, and Don Ewalt. In that case the Camden bunch had the upper hand, getting two of three elected against those candidates considered to be in the pocket of the Salisbury Area Property Owners Association, best known as SAPOA. However, we all know how the 3-2 votes tended to turn out in the last term.

Obviously Cohen and Spies are back, and Laura Mitchell may end up being considered as part of a tag-team against Boda, Dryden, and Dixon (if he can snatch sixth place over Bruce Ford.) Based on tonight’s results Camden could get the clean sweep, which would certainly elevate either Debbie Campbell or Terry Cohen to Council president and likely kill any effort for sanity in Council districts since three members – a majority – would live in the Camden neighborhood.

And now a note on my polling. I was almost vindicated on my prediction of Ford and Taylor being out, and absentees could still hold that true. Obviously Laura Mitchell polled much better once I added the Progressive Delmarva crowd and that aspect held true in the actual election, while Tim Spies also outperformed.

On the other hand, Boda and Dixon did worse in reality than my polling would have suggested, but it pegged Orville Dryden pretty well. I figured Terry Cohen would make it easily and I was right on that one.

So the next step is for the remaining six, five of whom are pretty obvious now, to catch their breath and try to claim a portion of the expanded voter universe – many more voters will partake in the April 5th election. But as it stands the next two years may be open season on the rental industry in Salisbury, and while some would consider this a good thing turning your back on a large segment of business activity may hurt the city in the long run.

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  • 2018 Election

    Election Day is November 6 for all of us. However, Delaware still has to get through its primary on September 6.

    Maryland

    Governor

    Larry Hogan (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Shawn Quinn (Libertarian) – Facebook

    Ben Jealous (D) – Facebook Twitter

    Ian Schlakman (Green) Facebook Twitter

     

    U.S. Senate

    Tony Campbell (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Arvin Vohra (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    Neal Simon (Unaffiliated) – Facebook Twitter

    Ben Cardin (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

     

    U.S. Congress -1st District

    Andy Harris (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Jenica Martin (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    Jesse Colvin (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    State Senate – District 37

    Addie Eckardt (R – incumbent) – Facebook

    Holly Wright (D) – Facebook

     

    Delegate – District 37A

    Frank Cooke (R) – Facebook

    Sheree Sample-Hughes (D – incumbent) – Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 37B (elect 2)

    Chris Adams (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Johnny Mautz (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Dan O’Hare (D) – Facebook

     

    State Senate – District 38

    Mary Beth Carozza (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Jim Mathias (D – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38A

    Charles Otto (R – incumbent)

    Kirkland Hall, Sr. (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38B

    Carl Anderton, Jr. (R – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38C

    Wayne Hartman (R) – Facebook

     

    Delaware

     

    U.S. Senate

     

    Republican:

    Rob ArlettFacebook Twitter

    Roque de la FuenteFacebook Twitter

    Gene Truono, Jr. –  Facebook

     

    Libertarian (no primary, advances to General):

    Nadine Frost – Facebook

     

    Democrat:

    Tom Carper (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Kerri Evelyn HarrisFacebook Twitter

     

    Green (no primary, advances to General):

    Demitri Theodoropoulos

     

     

    Congress (at-large):

     

    Republican:

    Lee MurphyFacebook Twitter

    Scott Walker

     

    Democrat (no primary, advances to General):

    Lisa Blunt Rochester (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

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  • Link to Maryland Democratic Party

    In the interest of being fair and balanced, I provide this service to readers. But before you click on the picture below, just remember their message:

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