Way to go Gus!
Yeah, there's going to be a runoff election on Nov. 14 between Tim Keller and Dan Lewis, but you already know that. And it doesn't take much so-called analysis from alleged experts to figure that Keller's going to be the next mayor.
So instead of projecting and pretending to be deeply insightful about something so obvious, I'll give you my take on last night's winners and losers.
And that biggest winner is Gus Pedrotty. The 22-year-old UNM graduate got 6.85 percent of the vote – OK, let's round it up to 7 percent. That's a hell of a showing for a kid who basically had no money, name recognition, campaign staff or money.
What Gus does have is energy, youth and passion and ideas His energy and passion are infectious, and at 22-years-old, he just turned himself into a somebody in this community. Now, that might not be saying much considering the pathetic state of this city, but being a somebody at 22 is a hell of an accomplishment.
And, get this: On election day, Gus got more votes that Wayne Johnson, the Republican Bernalillo County commissioner in the race who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Damn good job, Gus.
Here are some other winners:
- The city of Albuquerque and its sick economy. That's because the paid sick leave ordinance was defeated, and defeated by the narrowest of margins: 718 votes. The seven-page proposed law would have crippled small businesses, stifled entrepreneurship and turned the city into a lawsuit hellhole.
Since we're already an economic hellhole, we didn't need this strange law, which would have amounted to an ATM for lawyers.
- City Councilor Ken Sanchez. I thought Sanchez was toast based on his support of the hated Albuquerque Rapid Transit project. But Sanchez won the election outright with 51.82 percent of the vote.
- Bot Cornelius, the political “consultant” who took 81-year-old Ricardo Chaves' money. Chaves loaned his campaign $500,000 and spent about $300,000. Cornelius was paid $175,000 for his alleged consulting. And what did that $175,000 get Chaves? A massive 475 votes – you read right – or 0.49 percent of the total.
Good job, Bob.
- Tim Keller. The smiling auditor smiled his way through the campaign without ever furrowing a brow, not even when answering questions about Albuquerque massive crime increase. Some in the chattering classes figured that Keller would top out at around 25 or 30 percent. But, apparently people like his smile and he got basically 40 percent of the vote. And that's in an eight-person race. It was an impressive showing.
- Brian Colón and the people who contributed to his campaign. The lawyer and former chair of the state Democratic Party raised more than $825,000 for the campaign. And for that he got 16.38 percent of the vote. It looks like Colón's political career is over.
- Wayne Johnson. What the hell was wrong with him? He's a Republican and he spent the entire campaign attacking, well, another Republican, Dan Lewis. I'd like to find the genius who advised Johnson to rip a fellow Republican instead of a Democrat. The attacks on Lewis backfired and Johnson got a massive 9.63 percent of the vote.
Whatever it is that drove Johnson to attack Lewis, I don't know. But it made Johnson look sleazy and pathetic. And it's another example of how inept and stupid Republicans can be.
- Ricardo Chaves. As I said earlier, he spent around $300,000 and got 475 votes. You do the math.
- Dan Lewis. Even though he came in second with 23 percent of the vote and will be in the Nov. 14 runoff with Keller, I have to say he lost.
Because he was one of the first people to announce for mayor and he spent the entire campaign talking about crime. That should have been a winning strategy because 99 percent of city residents think crime is the most important issue. But Lewis couldn't connect with voters. Maybe it's because he's a Republican and because people are holding Mayor Richard Berry's failed eight years in office against all Who knows.
- Democracy and a political blogger. Blogger Joe Monahan gushed in his blog this morning about the high voter turnout. Really?
There were 96,971 votes cast for mayor, or about 29 percent of registered voters. Joe, 29 percent is pathetic! I'll say it again, a 29 percent voter turnout is pathetic.
It's even worse when you consider that the city is in the middle of an epic crime wave. We're being assaulted, robbed, burglarized and shot, and our cars are being stolen at record rates and numbers, and only 29 percent of the registered voters went to the polls. Anyone who raves about a 29 percent voter turnout is out of it.
- The NAIOP and Chamber of Commerce crowd. These lovers of Mayor Berry's ART project were basically behind Johnson and Colón. And they lost.
- Public campaign financing. Keller boasted constantly about how he hated big money in politics and how he was the only publicly financed candidate. But the PAC, or Measure Finance Committee, formed on his behalf raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from big-money organizations. Talk about hypocrisy.But I guess progressive big money is more equal than conservative big money. Talk about hypocrisy.
Here are the vote totals and the percentages:
Tim Keller: 38,156; 39.35 percent
Dan Lewis: 22,238; 22.93 percent
Brian Colón: 15,884; 16.38 percent
Wayne Johnson: 9,342; 9.63 percent
Gus Pedrotty: 6,638; 6.85 percent
Michelle Garcia Holmes: 3,748; 3.87 percent
Susan Wheeler-Deichsel: 490; 0.51 percent
Ricardo Chaves: 475; 0.49 percent
Sick leave ordinance:
For: 45,333; 49.61 percent
Against: 46,051; 50.39 percent