Since today was a holiday, tomorrow may be a relatively busy day for City Clerk Brenda Colegrove (or her assistant Kim Nichols, or both.)
Experience tells us that a large percentage of would-be candidates file on the very last day (about 20 percent of those who ran did so for the 2010 primary election) and the recent news that two incumbents, Gary Comegys and Louise Smith, won’t run for City Council again should open up the field to would-be challengers.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the current seven-person field for the March 1 primary swell to ten or eleven since two seats have now opened up. So who would that benefit?
Obviously a larger field will help the lone incumbent, Terry Cohen. It wouldn’t surprise me to see her become the top vote-getter as those who don’t care for her style or voting record split their votes among a larger number of contenders. Others who have name recognition, like previous aspirants Muir Boda and Tim Spies, will also be assisted by a larger field, which may intimidate a number of voters into picking the ones they know.
The other key with a larger field will be getting financial resources to compete. Even those who strive to campaign simply by knocking on the thousands of doors around the district (essentially spending nothing on media) will have to have some funding to purchase literature. Some may request yard signs, and those cost money too. You don’t have to spend the most money, but you need some to be competitive and stand out on a crowded ballot.
On the other hand, if the field stays relatively small and only one or two are eliminated in the primary, that could allow some upsets to occur because most are assured a longer campaign. A lot can happen between now and April 5th, and today’s frontrunner could become tomorrow’s alsoran with a verbal gaffe or embarrassing incident from the past revisited.
But my prediction is that we will see a nine- or ten-person scrum as two or three file tomorrow. I don’t have any sort of insight on who these people would be except that I will not be one since I don’t meet the residency requirement. But we could see a couple of former players jump back in or maybe some exciting newcomers will take their shot.
The campaign will roar to life once the close of business arrives tomorrow. It should be fun.