Saturday, April 07, 2007

It's about time

I lost my aldermanic re-election bid to former Park and Recreation Commission President, Lee Hillstrom last Tuesday, 518-496. There are two polling places in the 3rd District in Neenah. I manned one at poll-closing time while my wife, Janet, manned the other. The vote total at my polling place was 310-305. For a fleeting moment I offered up a prayer that Janet would bring me a margin of victory from the other polling place of 6 votes. But then I remembered that Mr. Hillstrom lives in that part of the District and that he'd probably win by 100.

Janet came to pick me up and looked rather forlorn as I got into the car. I said, "Well, did Hillstrom win by a hundred?" "No," she said, "17."

So out of 1014 votes cast I lost by 22. I dropped Janet off at home and went out to pick up the rest of my yard signs – I wasn't going to risk any displeasure with my signs left up beyond Tuesday night. I then went to The Capitol Dome, the tavern owned by our 55th Assemblyman, Dean Kaufert. I had several beers with Mark Lange, the winner in District 1 over former police officer, Gary Radtke, and Mark's wife, Sue; Nick Piergrossi, the other District 1 alderman, 2nd District Alderman, Marge Bates and her husband, Forrest; Patricia and Larry Wirth.

We all got a chuckle from Channel 5's coverage of the Neenah elections. Not to say that I didn't appreciate how they presented the results on-screen. Channel 26 displayed every single solitary race from Marinette to Ripon. I saw my vote total at one point, but then waited 20 minutes without seeing it repeated; and the races weren't even in alphabetical order by municipality. So we switched to Channel 5, which did list the races by city and had far fewer of them. But when my race came up, here's what I saw:

My hat's off to Nick Piergrossi for capturing this image at his home after Channel 5 broadcast it for a couple of hours. Besides the entertaining dummies on-screen, the vote total of the politicians appears at the bottom and, holy cow! I'm winning! I was winning all night, according to Channel 5!

Turns out that they had neglected to include the vote totals from the two touch-screen voting machines. But that picture is now my PC's wallpaper; something I'll treasure until I regain a Council seat in the future.

Oh, yes. My blood is up, as they say. Just as I started to get the hang of campaiging, the race was over and I'd lost by 22 votes. I won't claim that I did everything possible. No, I only visited about half the neighborhoods in my door-knocking rounds. That was a mistake I will not make a second time.

When will I run again? I'll let you know. Until then, vote! Don't forget!

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