Saturday, August 05, 2006

Some Post-Election Footnotes

While the 11th hour victory by Republican candidates brought back memories of the days of Boss Crump (How many votes did you deliver? Just enough to win.), it does show how tenuous is the Republican hold on the county offices. It sure appears that the Democratic tide will sweep most of them out of office in the next two elections.

That said, an atypical group of African-American leaders is meeting to consider their next steps. At the most, they may give support to calls for recounts, but at the least, they are concerned about the widespread lack of confidence in the election process and want to discuss ways to correct it.

Mayor A C Wharton flexed his political muscle as the top vote-getter on election day, reinforcing his reputation as the most popular office-holding in Shelby County.

When he takes office on September 1, he will make history. He will be the first county mayor who is a lame duck on the day he takes office. That's because he's the first mayor affected by terms limits.
Look for him to be more forceful in his agenda and his determination, not just because he only has four more years to get them done, but because he'll need to be more assertive as the political insiders and big contributors will almost immediately be looking ahead to the next candidate for county mayor.

Despite the Wharton mandate, Commissioner John Willingham shouldn’t be hanging his head too much. True, he only got 25 percent of the vote, but considering that he had no money, no organization and no real party help, it’s a respectable showing and points to the mayor’s wisdom in reaching out to the Republican leaders to the point that they had no enthusiasm in looking for a contender that could have gotten full party backing. More to the point, Commissioner Willingham's message about the dysfunctional local tax structure was right on target, and it is likely to be proven again as early as next year with another county property tax hike.

Although they were unopposed, it was also good to see the votes of confidence – as reflected in their receiving more than 100,000 votes – for Judges James Beasley and Larry Potter. Apparently, their fairness and their diligence have not gone unnoticed. Sadly, Probate Court Judge Donn Southern lost his seat. He’s one of the best judges on the bench in this county, and his successor can’t begin to live up to his credentials or his judicial temperament. But, such is politics.

In the election for U.S. Congresman, State Senator Steve Cohen faces a major hurdle in the latest model of the the Ford family, this time, Jake Ford, who at this point appears to be the perceived favorite. If he is to win, Senator Cohen will need to mend some fences quickly and allay some widely-held notions in the black community that he had no serious interest in their votes. That perception could only have been strengthened by interviews on election night that showed him surrounded by white faces at his headquarters.


Anonymous said...

This is the first I have heard of anyone thinking that Jake Ford is a perceived winner in the upcoming election.

1. Running as an independent against a duly elected democrat in the primary election. The Fords are really a greedy and self-centered bunch.

2. Jake Ford has no other credential other than his name. Have you see the silly infant and teen age album pictures on his WWW site? Is that all their is?

3. It's a sad commentary on the voters of the ninth district if they would elect Jake after turning down Joe, Jr. There was a lot of anti_Ford vote in that election.

4. How high can Harold, Sr. raise his retainer fees if he has a member of his family at every level of government? City . . .County . . .State . . .
US House . . .US Senate. . .

Anonymous said...

5:02 PM
Regarding your #3 comment -- what about the mandate that Sen. Kathryn Bowers received for re-election after her indictment? Her seat is in District 9. The voters in that district are very interesting and unpredictable.

Anonymous said...

Heaven help us. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be Jake Ford. If anyone is really listening to this board. Tell your family and friends that JAKE FORD can not be trusted. Don't get me wrong, I admire a small few of the FORD family. Maybe Joe, Jr., Joe, Sr., and Harold Sr. but Jake does not have one tenth of the character of those men that I just mentioned. Seriously, I have been in the presence of all four. His election would be a travesty for this district.