Local Election Predictions

4 Nov

Normally, I would have made an endorsement post like I have for the previous three years, but there are few local candidates to whom I would give an endorsement.  So, I just skipped it.  I figured it would be more interesting to make some predictions on election eve…but only for the races I’m interested in.  It’s my blog and that’s how I roll.

When it comes to winning elections, there are four things a candidate needs to do to win a race.

1.)  Define yourself

2.)  Define your opponent

3.)  Define the stakes

4.)  Raise a fuckload of money

Who has done the best job accomplishing these four things in their respective race?

Let’s start with the local Congressional races…

Projected Winner:  NY-26 Christopher Lee (R)

The DCCC has dumped nearly $2MM into this race and I am still trying to figure out why they bothered.  Alice Kryzan is going to get smoked in this district, it’s not even gonna be close.  While Chris Lee has nothing in his past which would indicate even a shred of credibility as a candidate (aside from winning membership in the lucky sperm club), Alice Kryzan is exactly the kind of candidate that can’t win in a rural/new money Republican district.  Lee’s money advantage and his enrollment advantage in the district make it simple for him to simply play defense and win.  Kryzan was defined early as a traditional liberal trial attorney who wants to raise taxes, take away your Doctor and help fix the environment.  Not winning issues in this district.

For all of Jon Powers flaws, he was the one Democrat who could win this district.  He had crossover appeal as a vet and former Republican.  It was easy to project McCain/Powers voters in the hinterlands of this district, but very few McCain/Kryzan voters.  Unfortunately, this seat goes to a douche like Lee by default.  He’ll take the the GLOW counties 70-30 and Erie/Monroe County 52-48 based on heavy Obama turnout which will give a slight boost to Kryzan and arm people with false hope as the early returns trickle in.

Projected Winner NY-27:  Brian Higgins (D)

Brian Higgins has turned out to be a pretty damn good Congressman, eh?  He is in tune with his district on local issues and is a leader for progress on the waterfront.  He has also exercised independence from the party on national security, war funding and ethics reform.

Dan Humiston appears to be a guy who felt like wasting a couple hundred grand on a Congressional run to help market his company.  There is no explanation for his half-assed campaign and he has done absolutely nothing to define himself, his opponent, or the race.  His slogan is “It’s Time”.  What the fuck is that supposed to mean?  Ya know what, “it’s time” for Higgins to win by a landslide, I’ll go with 80-20 as heavy Obama turnout bumps up Higgins numbers.

State Senate Races:

SD-58:  Bill Stachowski (D)

Whoa!  Someone woke Bill Stachowski up.  After 30 years of simply being present, the Chauncey Gardner of local state politicians woke up in August to find he had an actual race on his hands.  Stachowski is the most unexciting of our local state delegation and has little to show for thirty years of unfettered incumbency.

Enter bejoweled sideshow Dennis Delano.  The Buffalo cop did a good job early of defining himself and raising money but he didn’t do enough work on defining his opponent as a do nothing boil on the ass of the WNY political scene.  Delano didn’t do that because in so doing he would have exposed himself to be less than literate on the issues and also exposed himself to criticism from the local Dem machine.  He had hoped to get enough of an early lead to play defense, but it hasn’t worked.  Heavy turnout for Obama in the heavily Democratic 58th will swamp Delano and ensure that Stachowski can go back to his regular schedule of naps and ignoring problems.

SD-59:  Dale Volker (R)

Yes, the epitome of everything that is wrong with Albany will be sent back for yet another term of spending $1MM on staff and thumbing his nose at responsible, ethical government.  What a dick.

Early on, Kathy Konst couldn’t seem to decide between running for Congress in the 26th or taking Golisano’s money to run in SD-59.  She got off to a lousy start and Volker had a tough primary battle on his hands.  Konst should have used that time to better define herself with a solid ground game, biographical mailers and some limited media buys in the far reaches of the district.  For some reason, she didn’t get her house in order.  After his primary win, Volker immediately went for the jugular and defined Kathy as a quasi-felon for voting chicanery and exposed her husband to be the worst businessman this side of Ken Lay.  Her seeming lack of answers and slowfooted response to Volker’s charges absolutely destroyed her.  She has gotten her shit together in recent weeks, but it’s too late in the game for a candidate with a short budget.  Golisano didn’t seem to come through with the money needed to win and now she’s damaged.  ‘Tis a shame, she would have been a phenomenal state senator.  Let’s hope she recovers and can seek another office in the future.

SD-61:  Joe Mesi (D)

Would I tell Joe Mesi he was unqualified to serve in the State Senate?  Would I tell him that I think he’s not smart enough for the job?  Would I tell him to his face that he is one of the least qualified candidates to ever run for political office in WNY?  Not a chance, he’d punch my face in.  So, I’ll predict that most voters in SD-61 will be intimidated by Mesi showing up at their house to deliver a ferocious beatdown if he finds out they voted for a joke like Mike Ranzenhofer rather than him.

There are no winners in this election, especially those who will be represented by either one of the laziest and most uninspired county legislators in recent history or a guy who until last year made a living by getting punched in the mouth.  Democratic turnout in this district should be strong, especially in Mesi’s stronghold of Tonawanda and I think it’ll be enough for him to eke out a win.  Ranzenhofer did a poor job of defining himself since he has 20 years of doing pretty much nothing as a legislator.  What a FAILboat of an election.

The rest of the races were over after the primaries due to gerrymandering or I just don’t care.

As my friend DJ Lance Rock would say…

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