It's election day here in Flagstaff, with Mayor and 3 city council seats up for grabs. The election is held by mail, which is no where near as much fun. I really enjoyed working a polling place on local election days in the past. It was kinda fun to see who came out to vote as a way to take the community pulse. But vote by mail is cheaper and gets a higher turnout, even if it does take away an entertainment opportunity for me.
Most of the attention has gone to the Mayoral race, where a two term incumbent is facing an energetic newcomer. The incumbent, Joe Donaldson, has been exceedingly mediocre in his two terms. He hasn't really screwed anything up (which is an improvement on some previous Mayors), but he hasn't really accomplished much of anything either. A nice enough guy, but I'll be glad to see him replaced. His challenger, Sara Pressler-Hoefle (http://www.saraformayor.com/welcome), is a candidate that I've supported enthusiastically. She's a dynamic progressive who offers a strong mix of energy and ideas. I've volunteered a fair chunk of time on her campaign, and I hope that it's a "victory" party tonight. The last local poll was too close to call, but I'm optimistic.
Our city council has been split for years between the "business/growth" faction and the "environment/quality of life" faction, and this election is unlikely to change that dynamic. Three seats are up for election. There are two really good progressive candidates, one really bad business candidate, one long time "rabble-rouser", and two "who?" candidates. Al White, a really good incumbent, looks like a shoe-in, so it's really a race for two seats. Very hard to predict between Karla Brewster (really good progressive), John McCulloch (rabble-rousing former council member with a high entertainment value), and Morgan Hagaman (law and order, more cops and more business conservative), as each has a strong local core constituency but low name recognition amongst the broader general public. As with most local elections, turnout will be the deciding factor.
My ballot went in weeks ago, as did Sweaterman's, and Zymurgian turned his in yesterday. I'm sure Gandhisxmas has voted, but I'm not sure when or for whom. Tonight I'll be watching the results from Sara's (hopefully) victory party with my usual mix of optimism and cynicism. If all politics is local, then this should be entertaining.
Added: We have a new Mayor. Sara won big.