Winners and losers in City Politics
Well, not really. It’s not a wrap quite yet. As we go to press, the final results in November’s General Election, held nearly one month ago, are still not in.
Surprisingly, it’s not the LC Bored of Elections’ fault. For a change.
Nope, this time it’s a “too-close-to-call” result in the race for Maumee City Council that forced a mandatory recount which is not yet complete as we go to press.
Keeping that little morsel of unknown aside, we soldier on. With all valid provisional and absentee votes counted, and less than twenty per cent of registered voters bothering to cast a vote, we bring you the TCP Winners and Losers of the late great twenty nineteen election.
Winner: Newly elected Toledo District Three Rep Teresa Gadus. Gadus entered the race behind the eight ball. She got in late, after endorsed Dem and incumbent Peter Ujvagi backed out at the eleventh hour. With no campaign infrastructure or cash, she finished second in the primary to R Glen Cook. Cook had already run for office four years ago and had the means and the experience on his side.
In typical District Three fashion, turnout was abysmal and Gadus squeaked through, winning by a mere twenty two votes. This is a landslide victory compared to the twenty oh six special election held to replace then disgraced District Three Council Rep Bob McCloskey. In that election Mike Craig beat then-incumbent Taylor Balderas by a scant five votes.
Losers. Lucas County non-voters. We could have registered this in the “winner” category, since the vast majority of eligible voters chose to be non-voters. That means that non-voters cast more non-votes than voters cast votes. That sentence sends our head spinning.
It also means that non-voters could have determined the outcome in several close races. Many more than twenty-two eligible voters chose to stay home in the District Three race. If a few dozen had chosen Cook over Gadus, the outcome would have switched. In Maumee, third-place finisher and Council Member-elect Scott Noonan beat Carrie Hartman, the first loser, by eight votes.
Over in Jerusalem Township the top two vote-getters for a seat as a Township Trustee finished in a dead-even tie. One vote either way would have determined the winner.
The non-voters have had their non-say, but will still be represented by electeds they didn’t choose. A representative democracy isn’t supposed to work this way. Our admonition to all those who sat on their hands on E Day? You had your chance. Now keep your complaining mouths shut.
Winner. The afore-mentioned Scott Noonan appears to have completed the comeback of the Century. If the results hold up after a recount, and it is likely they will, Noonan will have risen from near defeat in the Primary to election a mere two months later. Noonan is a genuinely nice guy, so having said that it follows from conventional wisdom that he should finish last. It’s good to see a nice guy finish, well, not first, but at least with a victory and a seat on Maumee Council.
Winner. Tom Puffenberger. This could have gone either way. We could have pegged Judge Josh Lanziger the Winner here. Lanziger won re-election, retaining his seat with a margin of a bit less than four hundred votes out of more than thirty-one thousand cast. But he had to spend a boatload of campaign cash to win, and nearly didn’t. It is rare for anyone to take on an incumbent judge, and unheard of for an incumbent judge to lose. Yet Puffenberger nearly pulled it off. If he had won, it would have been one for the ages. As it is, it had to throw a scare through incumbent judges of the GOP persuasion across the County.
Loser. The Mark Wagoner GOP. See above. The GOP didn’t win much this cycle, and nearly lost a race that shouldn’t have been close. Wagoner was supposed to revive the moribund GOP from the doldrums of the Stainbrook years. No sign of life yet, though. Many months ago we warned of a GOP resurgence against the dominant Dems in the County. We’re still waiting.
Winner. Local schools. Both Springfield Local and Washington Local voters passed levies for their respective school districts. Along with the Senior Levy, which passed easily, LC proves once again its support for young and old alike.
Loser. The Bored of Elections. Another year, another set of delays in reporting the outcome. Can we please get it right just once?
Honorable mention winners. Incumbents on Toledo City Council, who won easily, and newcomer Sam Melden, who also breezed to victory. Also Maumee Mayor Richard Carr, who had a much easier road to re-election than we expected. And the Village of Harbor View, with a tiny population but a sense of civic pride. None of the elections in the Village were contested, yet a hearty twenty-six souls showed up at the polls. Impressive!
Honorable mention loser. The Village of Berkey. True, fifty-eight folks went to the polls to vote in the uncontested race for Mayor. But not a single Berkeyite filed petitions to run for the Village Council nor the Clerk-Treasurer. Shameful. Make sure you don’t complain about lack of representation because you all had your shot at representing your own selves.