Sunday, January 08, 2006

Two for one...

As has been known for a while, former congressional candidate Tony Salazar will run against Courtney Watson for the District 1 seat on the council. This should be a good race, but as I said in the comments section of this blog recently, not a very important one.

The Democrats can win or lose this seat and not face significant hardships in holding onto the council majority. The Republicans, meanwhile, must win this seat and then must take one of the three Democratically-controlled seats in Districts 2, 3 and 4.

In my previous comment, I said the Republicans probably had the best chance at winning in District 3, where they are running a long-time community activist, Donna Thewes, against a newer community-activist and King's Contrivance village board member, Jennifer Terrasa. However, looking at the election results from 2002, when Guy Guzzone took 2 out of 3 votes in that district, I'm not so sure. Indeed, the closest race in the middle three districts in 2002 was actually in District 4, where Ken Ulman won with only 59 percent of the votes. At that time, he was a young political neophyte running against an established community member, Joan Lancos, who had been on the county planning board for many years.

What does this all mean? Well, the Republicans probably have a fair shot at winning in either District 3 or 4. But the Democrats have a fair shot at winning in District 1. So, for now, I'm calling it a wash and moving on.

Also mentioned in the above story is a little spat that occurred during approval of the delayed smoking ban on Tuesday night. Guy Guzzone, miffed by Chris Merdon's reluctance to take a vote on the other smoking ban legislation (that which was proposed by county executive James Robey), vented his frustration while the council was in session.

"The lack of courtesy is pretty disturbing," Guzzone said, as Merdon tried to move on.

Guzzone claimed that in his seven years on the council no member who sponsored a bill had been denied an up-or-down vote on it until now.

"That's a speech, not a point of order," Merdon said, cutting him off.

The two then continued their verbal sparring after the meeting, albeit through a middle man/reporter.

"Far from bringing us together, he's ripping us apart," Guzzone said after the meeting. "I believe Mr. Ulman and the county executive are owed an apology."

"Chris Merdon didn't have the courage to stand up and say what he really believed," Guzzone added. "There was no compromise."

Merdon rejected the criticism, saying that "all the rules were followed."

"The majority of the council took a vote," he said.

Merdon then criticized Guzzone, who had served as council chairman for three years until last month, when Merdon won the job with support from Councilman David A. Rakes, an east Columbia Democrat.

"It sounds like there's still sour grapes over Mr. Guzzone's leaving the chairmanship," Merdon said. "He hasn't acted right since he left the chairmanship."

Glad to see we've elevated the level of debate.


Dave Wissing said...

Don't know if you caught it at my site, but Patrick Black, a newcomer finally publicly announced he was running for the Republicans in the 2nd District at the Friday Happy Hour. This was the name I had heard about towards the end of last year but they were waiting for the new year to make it public.

Also, I just got back from Tony Salazar's announcement and Black was specifically ackowledged in front of about 150 people as the Republican nominee for this District, so that just about makes it official other than the paperwork

Hayduke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hayduke said...

Thanks for the pointer. I just noticed it on your site.

I guess with Black's announcement, that pretty much rounds out the field for council candidates.