Recently my hometown, Jacksonville, Fl elected Alvin Brown (D), to be our Mayor. Mayor Elect Alvin Brown defeated Mike Hogan by a margin of a little over 1,000 votes, out of 193,320 total votes. Voter turnout was a little over 37%. The talking heads are starting to speculate that the results, of our Mayoral race, are an indicator of what is going to happen in the 2012 election. I hear what they are saying, and my answer to them is “not so fast, it aint so”.
What happened in our Mayoral election had more to do with how each candidate campaigned, than any other single factor, in my opinion, and I am right here, smack dab in da middle of it all. I did not even realize Hogan was running until after the primary. Heck, my brother worked in his campaign, and I still did not know he was running for Mayor. I do not know who he was reaching out to, but it certainly was not to me.
During the time frame running up to the general election, the same thing happened. Except for one memorable commercial, I would not have known he was running. There seemed to be a disconnect between him, and independent minded voters like myself. I do not remember one press conference, nor one speech, from Hogan. It seemed as if the election was just a formality to him.
In contrast, Mayor Elect Brown seemed more engaged, in the campaign, and worked harder to get his message out, than Hogan did. He was also more visible than Hogan. Brown ran an amazing grass-roots campaign, and worked for every vote he got. He knew it was a toss-up, and campaigned hard right to the end.
If there is any lesson to learn here, it is do not think any election is a given. It’s not over until all the votes are counted.
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