Sam Talarico and I had a friendly bet about this race.
Before I get into our predictions and the results I want to say that this race is about as depressing as the Mayor's race was encouraging for me.
I agree with Sam Talarico that the six Republican candidates were all strong candidates and that each of the six candidates could have won many of the previous "at-large" races.
This contest proves to me beyond "the shadow of a doubt" that the voters choose which candidates to vote for based on "name recognition" more often then not.
One of most contentious issues in this race was Harrison Square. I think everyone agrees that a majority of Republican voters opposed the Harrison Square Project as proposed. Sam Talarico has admitted this several times and he is one of the project's staunchest supporters. Brown, Bender, and Crawford all supported Harrison Square. I would have thought that this would have hurt them. This shows you that I do not have a career as a "pundit." The three losing candidates either opposed the project or were "on the fence."
Another contentious issue is the smoking ban. Bar owners are upset (And they SHOULD be) that Fort Wayne City Council is getting into their affairs and trying to put them out of business. Bender supports making the smoking ban less restrictive. Brown and Crawford support the ban as is.
I looked at their campaign finance reports a couple of weeks ago, so my numbers are not current; however, I believe that they spent money as follows: Crawford spent the most by a lot, then Mildred, then Gutman, then Brown, then Morris, then Bender.
I truly think that people often vote based on name recognition. Marty Bender is well known due to his previous time on City Council and his current position in the Fort Wayne police department. Liz Brown has some name recognicition due to her recent campaign for School Board and may have got same name recognition due to the recent Bill Brown campaign. Doctor Crawford has a lot of name recognition as well.
I voted for the three candidates who came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. I RARELY seem to vote for the candidates who win elections. In fact, in yesterdays Republican primary Matt Kelty is the only candidate I voted for who won, the rest lost.
Back to my freindly bet with Sam Talarico. The bet was close, with neither of us doing particularly well; however, Sam Talarico won the bet, lunch is on me.
If you look at the percentages of votes each candidate received Sam was off by 14.3% and I was off by 14.5%. Sam picked Brown and Crawford to win and I picked Crawford to win. So Sam won!
Just let me know a couple of days that work Sam and we will get together and lunch is on me!