I just saw the final vote count.
Hester 422 62%
Blackley 255 37%
Lacy 439 38%
Johnson 424 37%
Holmes 147 12%
Me 134 11%
In looking at the stats from the east and west sides of Selma, I can see the following things. I did much better in the west side than I did in the east as a percentage of the vote. That tells me that some people paid attention to the fact that I was from the west side. The final tally also tells me that I was only 1% behind a man who has been here in Selma all his life. I have only been here three years.
Debbie Johnson and Jackie Lacy had a lot of core support, name recognition, and are incumbents. They have been here all their lives. Jackie won a huge support base in the Black vote. I still pulled down 134 votes. Sure, that is less than a third of their vote totals. I had no campaign workers except my wife. I did not have yard signs all over town. I had less time to campaign than I wished I had. I still came in a close fourth to third place and took some conservative votes. Imagine what could have been if I was here longer, knew more people, had more resources, and had name presence all over town. Even better, if we actually elected people by district, as we should be doing.
If you want more of the same out of your town council, congratulations. You got if for at least two more years, Selma. You just elected two liberal Democrats for town council and a Democrat for mayor. If you did not vote in this election, don't complain about the results of what you get from your town government. For the 134 of you who did vote for me, I thank you with a deep sense of gratitude. For those who didn't, if you only knew what you are NOT going to get as a town council member, you would have voted differently. But hey, that's politics.
There is one story I found amazing today. My wife and I put out flyers the past two Sundays. One woman confronted my wife who was at the west side polling place. She railed on my wife telling her that if she was going to vote for me before, she certainly would not do so now. The reason? She found a flyer on her automobile in a church parking lot. Oh, the horror!! Wake the children, call the neighbors!! An election flyer on an automobile on the sacred acre of the church parking lot! She was nasty, judgemental, and rude to my wife, from all accounts.
You know what folks? I have been active in the church for fifteen years since becoming a born again Christian. I have seen many false holiness, false humility, and self righteous people in churches. This just adds one more to the list. Just because our "church gatherings" are not necessarily on Sunday and apparently we should be meeting in a building on a Sunday rather than BEING the church all week long, we are somehow anathema. There is no pleasing bitter people like this. I won't even try. I just wish that she had said these things to me, to my face rather than berating my wife.
I got a call from "The Smithfield Herald" reporter Jordan Cooke this evening asking for my feedback and thoughts on the election. I told him much of what I have written here. I am newer to the area, I didn't have the budget, name recognition, incumbancy, and know as many people as the others did. I didn't have the campaign time I wanted to devote. No excuses, just fact. There is also the "redneck factor", as I call it. I can't help the fact that my parents raised me in the northeast. I moved to the South by choice. I ended up in Selma by choice. I am choosing to serve my community. This is my home. However, there are some that will never vote for me simply because I am from "up north" originally. I was born further south than most people who live here. I have lived in North Carolina almost half of my life. Oh, well, can't please everybody. Also, the election is non-partisan, you pick two candidates, and I am listed last of the four on the ballot. I have seen this affect races before, and this is no different. No excuses, just fact. There should be a few interesting quotes in "The Herald" on Thursday.
I learned some things about the local political process and climate. I learned some about campaigning. I also learned a lot about people. I have not decided two years inadvance as to whether I will run for office again. I have been asked three times already. The next municipal election is a full two years away.