Call it scorched earth, call it stupid, but, writing this post before meeting up with the Dayton Daily News editorial board questioning the writer’s intelligence is what I do. I want people to think, to analyze, to look at things with more than the same old thinking. Martin Gottlieb at the Dayton Daily News, a publication that literally makes everything about black and white:
Mayor Rhine McLin is being challenged by Southeast Priority Board Chairman Gary Leitzell.
So the question arises: can a first-time candidate — known in certain circles, but lacking a public reputation — who is endorsed by the Republican Party beat an incumbent Democratic mayor in a hugely Democratic city at a time when there’s a lot of public dissatisfaction with the state of things?…
One cannot honestly discuss Turner’s victory without mentioning race. He did not make a racial appeal, but he won almost exclusively on the basis of white votes, including some liberals…..
So Leitzell has less time, tougher demographics and apparently limited money. (At the last deadline for filing his financial report, he had raised so little he didn’t have to report the amount.)…
Whether he’s a good candidate has yet to emerge. As to the issues, he sometimes seems to have the perspective of a community activist, complaining about the city’s unresponsiveness to citizens and businesses. But that sounds like what challengers always say.
If you read Martin’s post- the keys to getting elected are simple: be black, endorsed by the Democratic Party and raise lots of money. The only way you lose if you are like that- is to embarrass yourself enough publicly that the newspaper can’t ignore it (and they are willing to overlook a lot).
When it comes to if someone is a good candidate- one has to wonder what that means to Gottlieb. First, he ignores that the City Commission is five equal votes, and the Mayor’s position is mostly ceremonial if done right. Second, he doesn’t really identify what he considers as qualifications- other than the being black, dem and flush with cash. Matt Joseph and Nan Whaley had zero qualifications other than being backed by the party with no real opposition. Some would say they still don’t have any.
Rhine got into the Statehouse because her Daddy was there. If she was just any mortician running for Mayor- would Gottlieb question her qualifications (other than the all important three?).
Gary Leitzell is as good a candidate as any- in fact, that’s what this country was founded by- citizens who were fed up with unresponsive government.
About the only thing Martin does get right- is that we have been hurt by not having primaries. However, I can state as a candidate in the primary he waxes poetic over- the Dixon/Turner, that the standards of scrutiny at the Board of Elections in those days was much more lax. I can also look back to that race as the last inexpensive (comparatively) race for Mayor. The real solution we need to look at is to have a race for three seats one year, two seats in year three- and the candidate with the most votes- in either election- is Mayor. That way we don’t cast off so many good candidates who lose close elections.
Me, I’m just fed up with small minded columnists who get a soapbox but say almost nothing of value.