And We’re Off to the City Races……….

The City campaign season moves into full swing and the races are all confirmed. Due to term limits and redistricting, there will be 5 new members of City Council in January. Three seats – Districts B & C and At-Large 2 – are term-limited while Districts J & K were added in redistricting.

Additionally, we’ll be voting on Mayor and Controller. Controller Ronald Green escaped without an opponent as did District E Council Member, Mike Sullivan.

All other incumbents drew opposition. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look more closely at each race and strive to learn more about the candidates and their campaigns. Financial reports are due in mid-September and this will also allow for a better understanding of the serious candidates.

There are enough candidates in some of these races to potentially cause run-offs, thus carrying the season forward through early December. I will go out on a limb and predict that District B will definitely go into a run-off. There are 8 candidates in this grass-roots, neighborhood race. It is unlikely that any one candidate will garner more than 50% of the vote in the first round.

The Mayor has drawn five opponents. However, she is still the strongest contender in the field. Having raised $2 million to date, she is running an aggressive campaign to voters. Of course, she still has to govern during these tough times and this keeps her in the news most every day. The drought is certainly not making her life any easier as the city struggles deal with the infrastructure demands every day.

The biggest question for this election cycle is if anyone cares. I predict that apathy will be the winner of the November 2011 election cycle. Even with all these competitive races and local issues that are touching our lives every day, people don’t seem aware that an election is upon us.

Many people tell me that they are already focused on the 2012 elections and I understand that. But hey, the President can’t fix your water main break. Others tell me that “voter fatigue” has set in with people. “There’re just too many elections”, they say. Get over it people! Study the candidates and vote.

Today’s Chronicle has a good summary of the races. Click here to read it. Also, Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff is conducting detailed interviews with most of the candidates. Click here to learn more about them.

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