The stupid election

Today was why none of the incumbents should be re-elected.

It requires 500 signatures to run for Dayton City Commission while it only takes 50 to run for Congress. And, you have to collect them in the dead of winter. And, then make sure people write proper- or they don’t count. And, then if more than 4 people pass that bar, there has to be a stupid runoff election like we had today that was ridiculously expensive just to cut one candidate.

The goal was to be in the top 4- and that’s all I wanted. No mailers, no new literature other than some absentee chaser cards. Some new big signs and stakes, and two videos- one of which was banned by Facebook, and some very precisely targeted boosting on FB.

Who did we target? Well, that was the problem- there hadn’t been a primary for Dayton races for so long that the only list was the voters who voted in the Fairchild/Ward race last year. And that wasn’t very many voters. Because we had to boot up the campaign so quick- we didn’t have time to target any new voters, just because the voter data is so wretched.

Turns out only 5.1% or 4500 odd people voted. Many didn’t cast 2 votes.

Tomorrow- voters won’t see a single Esrati sign out. They’ve all been picked up. No garbage anywhere. None of my signs were in medians, or in front of vacant homes or stuck on street corners. I don’t roll like that. I didn’t knock on doors, or ask others to. All I had to do was come in fourth.

It’s a lesson I learned in the Army- define what a win is, and get it with the minimum of risk and waste of resources. There is no prize for coming in third, second or first. In fact, coming in higher would have spooked the incumbents who have access to all of the cash they could ever want or need. Why poke the bear?

Over the next six months I will ask for people to help. You can sign up at

And, I’ll need donations. You can donate at

Congratulations to Valerie Duncan for doing so well for her first race.

Hopefully now, the League of Women’s Voters and the NAACP may even consider having a candidates night or two.

And maybe Dayton voters will ask the incumbents why they haven’t fixed the charter so we don’t waste money like this again.

update- next day, read my first comment with this article.

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