Caravati, Schilling Win Council Election

The winners of today’s election for City Council have been announced: Democrat Blake Caravati has won re-election and Republican Rob Schilling has won David Toscano’s seat. The surprise upset means that a Republican will hold a City Council seat for the first time in twelve years. Democrat Alexandria Searls lost to Schilling by eighty-something votes, according to early results. The winners will take office in July. Jake Mooney should have a couple of articles on the topic in Wednesday’s Progress.

111 thoughts on “Caravati, Schilling Win Council Election”

  1. Now, we have a republican on City Council. He has a lot of expectations to live up to but this change is good for Charlottesville. Good luck Rob!

  2. Will this lost result in fingerpointing or the realization that the dems for change are just a little outside the mainsteam? I not saying they have a bad message or anything approaching that. Just that we now know that there there is a level that is too far out of the manistream that even dems will not go for.

    I thinks the fingerpointing goes directly back to the nomination process and the votes that Salidis was able to draw away.

    The Meadowcreek Parkway Lives!

  3. Blame Jake Mooney for this one I suppose? After all, his biased reporting, blah blah blah.

  4. More than 80% of ‘the mainstream’ stayed away from the polls for this election. Ms. Searls’ defeat can in no way be interpreted as a rejection of her and Democrats for Change’s platform. What we witnessed was simply the result of dilution of the liberal vote, and the Dems’ not getting out sufficiently the vote. Jean-Marie Le Pen would have stood a chance.

  5. At the State Bureau of Elections’ site you can get the stats on voting by precinct, but they appear to be inaccurate. (They don’t list a single write-in for example, which I’m fairly sure is in accurate.)

    According to this, considering only Schilling vs. Searls, Schilling took Recreation, Clark, Walker, JPA and Venable. In Walker (a good-sized district in terms of turnout), he actually beat both Democrats.

    Overall, Schilling got 29.33% of the vote and Searls got 28.19% — a difference of 1.14%, or 84 votes.

    Stratton Salidis put on, in my opinion, a good showing. He got 8.3% of the vote, getting a total of 614 votes. In Clark, a smaller district, he actually got an impressive 15.4% of the vote. His lowest percentage was 6.2%. In Recreation, where he got 10.2%, that amounted to an impressive 169 votes out of the 1,653 votes cast. For a candidate that said repeated that he didn’t actually intend to win, he got an admirable number of votes.

    Anyhow, that’s my quick run-down of the facts.

  6. Will this lost result in fingerpointing or the realization that the dems for change are just a little outside the mainsteam? I not saying they have a bad message or anything approaching that. Just that we now know that there there is a level that is too far out of the manistream that even dems will not go for.

    I suspect that’s not the case. (Naturally. :) Looking at the good showing that Salidis had, I don’t think that being too liberal was a problem. I think we’ve got a combination of a few factors here:

    * Poor promotion by Democrats. As a party, we figured we could just coast to victory. Big mistake.

    * A Democrat running as a Republican. Schilling was virtually indistinguishable from a Democrat in terms of his public positions. He was so centrist as to be a Democrat, save for the party label. That surely drew away centrist Democrats’ second votes.

    * Stratton Salidis may have (I hope we’ll get the figures to know for sure) drained off some of Alexandria Searls support. Given that people have two votes, I’m not sure to what extent that’s true. And, for the record, I’d never begrudge him for that.

    * No message. No candidate had a clear message in this race, but Schilling had the closest thing to a message — an elected school board. Short of that, there was absolutely nothing for people to get behind and get excited about, hence the low turnout. Democrats have gotten lazy, but Republicans were charged up, so Republicans voted and Democrats stayed home.

    Just some ideas off the (sleepy) top of my head. I’m sure we’ll see lots, lots more discussion about this in the coming week or two.

  7. This election was little difference in terms of turnout from the last election. If her platform wasn’t to blame(clearly I think it was) you admit that a tiny band of republicans got out and OUTWORKED a superior force of liberals who were caught at the switch sleeping. So according to you Seals simply didn’t get out her vote and Schilling did. That a good enough reason to win for me.

  8. Plain and simple: The dems dropped the ball. They’ve gotten so used to winning that they didn’t work hard enough.

    What will be interesting is what happens next. Will Shilling spend the next four years being a thorn in the majority’s side – can you say the phrase “four to one vote” thirty times in thirty seconds – or will he try to work with existing council to try and get his message (whatever that might be) heard?

    And how will the dems react? Will Caravati and company listen to any of his ideas or just outvote him into political oblivion?

    This democrat hopes that they all take this opportunity to listen to each other and maybe even find some good ideas they all can agree on. Children, play nice…! :)

  9. Hmm, any word on how many people wrote in Waldo? I know there was a bit of a campaign for that, though Waldo himself didn’t support it from what I understand.

  10. The official tally is listing 0 write-ins, but the handwritten list that I saw earlier today listed something closer to 100 write-ins, though I have no idea of how many of those were for Mickey Mouse, etc.

    And you’re right, I actively discouraged people from writing me in for this very reason: I sure will feel like a heel if it turns out that I got as many votes as Alexandria needed to beat Schilling.

  11. Waldo, how could you possibly leave off the single most important reason Searles lost: The how-to-elect-Schilling primer that Jake Mooney ran in the Progress disguised as “Region and State” news on Election Day? That was important for several reasons:

    *Hundreds, nay, thousands of voters hang on Jake Mooney’s every word and do whatever he suggests.

    *All Republicans are almost Shriner-like in their idiocy, and are not able to vote in large numbers for their candidate unless pushed in that direction by a single news article.

    *The editors at the Progress, who are all-powerful to an extent that only X-Files fans can appreciate, willed it to be so!

    I hope this will clear up any lingering confusion about yesterday’s vote. Now let’s move on to the real question: Will Mr. Mooney begin using his power to accomplish a yet greater evil?

  12. This is a very cogent, thought-compelling post, the sort that I hope we will see more of in coming weeks. Tell me more, Anonymous!

  13. LosNaked, your post was scored for “Funny”, I sure hope you were kidding.

    Schilling is about as far from Jesse Helms as you can get in the GOP; not exactly what you’d call “evil” even if you’re from the far left wing of the Dems. Maybe some other voters took my approach: rate the candidates as to how close they are to Stratton Salidis on every issue, and vote for the two most different.

    Seriously, a lot of this is probably a reaction to one-party rule, plus a chance to vote for a Republican who doesn’t carry the ideological baggage that made the GOP an endangered species in this city to begin with. Repub voters being more energized is just a reflection of that – they had a solid chance to go from zero to 20% representation, while for the Dems the only question was whether their majority would be 5-0 or 4-1. It’s hard to imagine anything Searls could do to remove that inertia. Add the parkway and the math (one Repub vs. two mainstream/left Dems and a fringe greenie) and I don’t think you need to point fingers or accuse the Dems of incompetence.

    – Bruce

  14. Thank you so much for all the support from everybody on this site.

    I have known how special Rob is for many years, now the people of Charlottesville have either found this out, too, or will in the near future.

    I do have to say, though, he is “on loan” ; > .

    Thanks again for everything!

    Joan Carlin Schilling

  15. If you’re one of the Democratic insiders who stayed to the bitter end at the primary and — while softly chanting, “Baaa, baaaa…” — cast your final vote for Searls because that’s what the big boys told you to do, then hang your head in shame.

  16. That’s not true, beacuse I know for a fact that I wrote in Waldo Jaquith, as did my wife and at least a dozen other people. My other vote was cast for Schilling. Point being that ‘zero’ cannot be accurate.

  17. My pleasure!

    I supported Rob, and I’d like very much to see him do what he’s promised he’ll work for. And if the other 4 council members give him too much trouble, we’ll vote another one out and see if that helps at all. ;)

  18. Lloyd Snook has failed his party. His mistake was not just a tactical one- it was strategic. His entire vision for the party is a failure. The politics of exclusion have come back to haunt both him and the Democratic party. This should mark the end of the ‘Snook Cabal’ (which he denies even exists).

    Mr. Snook, we appreciate your efforts and intent to guide the party. But it is time to step aside and allow the new generation of centerist leadership to take the reins. They know how to bring new blood into the party. They’ve proven that they know how to run an election better than anyone else in town. If you will just let them have the support and resources that they need, they will win and win again. Please, for the good of your party, resign immediately.

  19. On the contrary, Ms Searls’ defeat can be DIRECTLY attributed to a rejection of her and the party as a whole. They did not motivate the base to show up at the polls. Period. In a town that is so heavily Democratic, that points to extremely poor election management. You gotta get out the vote to win, and this slate of Dems didn’t inspire the populace to do anything but vote for Schilling. If people had been excited about the candidates, they would have voted.

    Give Schilling credit – he worked hard, stayed on message, and stole some votes.

  20. The real value of having Schilling on the Council, IMHO, is that there will be no more unchallenged decisions. Currently, there is nobody with a public voice to really challenge or criticize decisions, and the Dems have had a free ride to do whatever they wanted to do. That all changes in July.

    Likewise, if the council makes a good decision (hey – there’s a first time for everything!), there will be a contrarian voice to agree with the decision, giving it far more acceptance.

  21. * A Democrat running as a Republican. Schilling was virtually indistinguishable from a Democrat in terms of his public positions. He was so centrist as to be a Democrat, save for the party label. That surely drew away centrist Democrats’ second votes.

    I think this may really be the heart of it, and incidentally, his real message.

    It’s not that he’s a Democrat in Republican clothing, it’s that he’s moderate. Centrist, as you said. He’s not way out right, nor way out left. He took a stand that both Democrats and Republicans could agree with. Result? Elected!

    Frankly, I don’t believe that it would’ve made a difference had he called himself a Democrat (or Independent)… except for possibly making it harder for him to get campaign funding.

    The next 4 years will be telling ones for him. Not just in what he succeeds at, but in what he tries; and how the other Democrats respond to his efforts. I’ll make this prediction, if we see nothing but 4 to 1 votes while he’s in office, more (far left) Democrats are going to be outvoted. It’s my belief that the people of Charlottesville want someone that will (or at least claim to) work for the good of C’ville and its residents without partisianship. Petty partisian bickering will only lead to the further elimination of anyone who is far left (or right, for that matter). At least, that’s how I feel, and I suspect I’m not alone.

    Up to now, all the bickering couldn’t be called “partisian” because they were all Democrats. So I don’t know what their excuse was. ;)

  22. I sure will feel like a heel if it turns out that I got as many votes as Alexandria needed to beat Schilling.

    Don’t – you have no way of knowing for whom, if anybody, those voters might have voted for (or not voted for) had they not written in your name.

  23. You obviosuly have not been very observant of how City Council or the city Democratic Party actually works. The Democratic Party and the City Council in Cville are hardly monolithic. Very few (if any) decisions or proposals are made without THOROUGH discussion, criticism, challenge, etc. In fact, it’s quite maddening sometimes how totally contrarian the folks within City Council or the Democratic Party can be. But in the end, this broad range of input produces good results. Charlottesville is simply one of the best-managed cities in the country. And the Republicans now have an opportunity to prove that they can be just as inclusive and responsive as the Democratic City Councilors have been. I hope Schilling can live up to the challenge and I wish him the best.

  24. “But in the end, this broad range of input produces good results.”

    I suppose that depends on your definition of “good results,” doesn’t it? Many, including myself, would argue quite the opposite.

  25. “Charlottesville is simply one of the best-managed cities in the country” Based on what? The AAA bond rating that is more a function of high property values and being surrounded by the county who gives them 5 million a year and the University who jobs and buying spin millions in the community. The city sits in a financial catbird’s seat, don’t confuse that with good mangement.

    Need I point out the christmas tree, yellow bikes, traffic calming and the millions lost on the Omni. All in all Charlottesville has been more lucky than good.

  26. Need I point out the christmas tree, yellow bikes, traffic calming and the millions lost on the Omni. All in all Charlottesville has been more lucky than good.

    Whoo, yeah, that $500 damned near sank our bond rating.

  27. Nah. Had Waldo run it would have been a rout rather than a mere defeat. Here is something from the chalkboard which ought to be repeated here:

    “A pro-Parkway friend of development replaced another pro-Parkway friend of development. Deep down Toscano was already a Republican. That’s all. As to Waldo, he needs to get out of Charlottesville and go to college while he still can.”

  28. Y’know, it’s hard enough running a website, and even harder running a website where people can post just about anything (and do so :), but what really sucks is having to moderate up a comment like that as +1, Interesting. :)

    (I was tempted to declare it a flame, because your real comment was “Waldo would have lost because somebody else says he should get the hell out of town,” but that wouldn’t be fair. :)

  29. You miss the point. The bond rating is not in any danger. It was just about management not financials- which are in good shape DESPITE city council management.

  30. 1) The money for the Yellow bikes was DONATED to the City by DMB

    2) The AAA bond rating is directly related to City Management and considering we are one of only a handful of cities to have it, I would dare to guess that it points to good city management.

    3) City Council does not “manage” city government..that is why we have a City Manager, Asst. City Managers, Directors, etc.

  31. 1. City council approved the bike project and it failed. The money has nothing to do with management. The point is who decided to do this ill fated program.

    2. Ratings are based not a subjective management but on financials. You could have great financials and a city manager under a corruption charge and your rating won’t change. It points, quite clearly, to greater cash flow vs current debt levels. That’s what a financial rating agency does balance sheet reckoning not “this city has a great mananger this one doesn’t”.

    3. City council employs the city manager and directs him to carryout policy. If you don’t thinks this matters then why talk about city council at all. They raise the taxes, approve the projects and change the policies. They must and do manage the city just not the nuts and bolts.

  32. Posted before the election

    “Schilling for sure (Score: 1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous on Monday, May 06 @ 13:55:45 EDT

    and Blake. I think that Schilling will be elected because as a long haired republican he doesn’t seem like a fire breathing Christian right republican that scares C-ville to death. As to years living here Toscano had not live in the community but 5-6 years before running for office. Seals seems very far left and is a shining example of the reason that the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves. The nomination process used came up with not the second best candidate.

    The fourth candidate Salidis(sp) will pull needed votes from the dems. and a 1% to 3% could mean problems, like Nader in Florida.

    Lastly don’t discount the rath of the Alderman road neighbors who are VERY upset with Blake about the new parking garage and have a very good way to show it. This is an election where 200 votes can make an enormous difference.

    There seems to be a strong uncurrent from moderate Dems who want to bring the party back from the edge(ie Dems for Change). So I could see some blake/Schilling votes for a sense of balance.

    With Toscano leaving, the need for a financial watchdog has appeal to many who are unhappy with the current council. Schilling seems like a acceptable version of one.

    PO ”

  33. City council approved the bike project and it failed. The money has nothing to do with management. The point is who decided to do this ill fated program.

    I’m yet to see an iota of evidence that the program has failed. I find the yellow bikes tremendously useful, and I know quite a few other people who feel the same way. I see them all over town, and I’m always pleased to find one when I’m on the way somewhere.

    “It’s a failure” is a statement that people have made repeatedly without any more evidence than “they’re gone.” No they’re not. This city is approximately 6,600 acres. There are 53 bikes. That’s one bike every 124 acres. The problem isn’t that the program is a bust — it’s that it’s too successful!

  34. Has your head been in the sand for the last 6 months? Coming from a position of being the total underdog, Waldo organized the best campaign this city’s seen in a long time. He built his own power base almost completely outside of the existing Democratic establishment. His campaign raised more money from a wider group of sources than any other candidate. From this position of initial weakness, at one point he beat the mayor in the popular vote. The Republicans even supported him- Rob Schilling said quite clearly that if Waldo had won he would not have sought the Republican nomination. So without opposition, how could Waldo have been routed? Are you foolish enough to think that Stratton Salidas could raid his support?

    He came 2 votes from winning the primary. Since then, even the old-liners have been quietly moving into his camp. Unlike all the other candidates after the primary, the ‘Waldo for Charlottesville’ campaign never disbanded. As far as they are concerned, the 2004 race is already underway.

    You and I may know that Schilling is ultimately not much different from a right-wing Democrat. But that excuse won’t save the party leadership that will have to bow out following their loss.

    Face the facts- Waldo’s organization is better organized and more efficient than the party as a whole. Waldo will sweep the 2004 election, just as sure as death and taxes. The entire party knows that if they had nominated him, there would still be a full roster of Democrats on council.

    You can ‘tsk’ at his youth and his brashness, but he will still win. He and most of his supporters are under 24 years old- they show not the least sign of giving up and unlike their aging opposition they can do this for the next 40 years. And they’re only going to get better at it.

  35. Amen to that. It was a very poorly run campaign by all accounts. How else can one explain that a pseudo-Republican with an unnerving smirk whose platform was his guitar won? And who’s the genius that put all of the Caravati-Searls campaign signs behind shrubbery and fire hydrants? They couldn’t even put them where they’d be seen! Also, green is a terrible campaign color– not just for the social baggage it carries in regard to politics, but it blends too well into our beautiful C-ville foliage. Next time go with… red? ;)

  36. Please! No one cares about his age anymore. That is a non-issue and will certainly not be an issue in 2004. What I want to know is why everyone thinks that Snook did something wrong? Was he in charge of the campaign? I know that aside from forums we never heard a peep out of the Democratic campaign. Why was that? I live in one of the districts that Searls lost (though I voted for her) and I don’t remember getting any flyers or phone calls. Did they do that this election at all? Do they ever?

  37. Does it say anything to anyone about this campaign that everyone seems to think that Alex’s last name is Seals? Good going Dem Party! Get that name out there!

  38. “Waldo organized the best campaign this city’s seen in a long time”. It was good but Schilling’s was better. Against overwhelming odds Schilling did what was needed to win. Political campaigns are ultimately judge on results. Schilling did what everyone thought was impossible and pulled off a huge upset. Give credit where credit is due or perhaps blame where blame is due.

    Waldo did get screwed by the nomination process but those where the rules of the game he was in.

  39. Yes, Snook was essentially in charge of the campaign. Following the primary, there was a meeting of a dozen or so people to discuss the campaign. There was a new camp of people who urged that the campaign be conducted under the assumption that Republican opposition would emerge in response to the weak-appearing Alex Searls. They advocated a broad, populist campaign a-la Waldo designed to bring in marginal and new voters. But as co-chair, Snook had the last word insisting that the old guard was enough to win and that if any opposition emerged, something better could be thrown together at the last minute.

    This reflected Snook’s philosophy of tacit exclusion. The idea being that if he can chug along with a only a few hundred people really involved in the party, it is easier to engineer outcomes of elections due to the historically predictable behavior of those few voters. This is how puppets are made. Under Snook’s philosophy, it is dangerous to invite new people into the Democratic party. They are unpredictable and would upset the internal balance of power and endanger his own political survival.

    Thus it was that Lloyd Snook ignored the early pleas of those who wanted to reach out to people like you and broaden the reach of Democracy in Charlottesville. His own desire to hold the reins tighter overcame his desire to lead his party to a more certain victory.

    Now, Snook’s place in the Democratic party is less defensible than one in a Shakespearean tragedy.

  40. The rules need to change to ensure unwanted candidates don’t get picked. The Democratic primary rules *MUST CHANGE*. Comparing Waldo’s campaign to Schilling is like saying that Michael Jordan is better than Nancy Kerrigan. Different arenas people!!! Schilling was the only one interested in running on the Republican ticket, remember. Gee, that must have been a tough primary running against imaginary candidates!

  41. I agree with the bulk of your sentiments. Waldo did an impressive job during the primaries and is well-positioned for 2004. However I was a little disappointed in that there were actually very FEW young people at the Democratic nominating convention. In fact I think Waldo and his girlfriend may have been the only people in that hall who were 24 or younger. When I walked in the room that day, my first thought (as a Waldo supporter) was, “Where are Waldo’s people?” But Waldo was clearly the sentimental favorite of the crowd. And the Dems for Change backed him en masse. If Waldo had succeeded in getting just a few young people to attend, that plus the DFC folks would have carried him to victory.

    There were a lot of people at that convention, myself included, who came away feeling disappointed that a true DFC-er did not carry the day. Remember, when it came down to a final vote between Alex & Waldo, the party regulars all lined up behind Alex (to them she was more acceptable than Waldo) and the progressives all lined up behind Waldo. In other words, Alex emerged from the convention WITH NO CLEAR CONSTITUENCY within the party. This was her great undoing. The DFCers never got over it and therefore didn’t apply their energy to the general election campaign. The party regulars never had her high on their list to begin with so pretty much abandoned her during the general election campaign. She was left with a very small group of supporters, no machine of her own, dependent on the (obviously insufficient) coattails of Blake Caravati, and little Party support. It would have taken a true Schilling-esque effort on her part to overcome such odds.

  42. However I was a little disappointed in that there were actually very FEW young people at the Democratic nominating convention. In fact I think Waldo and his girlfriend may have been the only people in that hall who were 24 or younger.

    I know that people have done the math on this, but I can assure you that there were a couple of dozen or so. Not like that’s anything to get particularly excited about — but I do know that the majority of these folks will consequently vote often and now pay much more attention to the city and politics.

    We did manage to activate a whole lot of voters that were 30 and under, and I learned a lesson in the process: the “young voter” demographic in Charlottesville really extends from 18-30, or thereabouts. I found that 18-year-olds had the same concerns, thoughts, and insights on Charlottesville as 30-year-olds did, much to my surprise. I’ve learned my lesson, though, and made a great effort to expand my concept of this group appropriately.

    Remember, when it came down to a final vote between Alex & Waldo, the party regulars all lined up behind Alex (to them she was more acceptable than Waldo) and the progressives all lined up behind Waldo. In other words, Alex emerged from the convention WITH NO CLEAR CONSTITUENCY within the party. This was her great undoing.

    That’s very interesting!

  43. Waldo–my mistake. When I walked into that room all I saw was a sea of grey heads. And I got very nervous. But if there were a couple of dozen young people who did show up, that’s an excellent start. I hope you can keep them engaged in the process. For example, when does the Democratic Central Committee re-elect its membership/officers? It would be great to get some young people on that Committee. Also do you think anyone will ever succeed in turning out legions of UVa students to participate? Or is that a battle not worth fighting?

    It is clear to me that the party needs to do a lot more outreach to young people & disaffected people of all stripes if it wants to thrive in the future.

  44. Warning: the following all-powerful reporter is solely responsible for Alex Searls’ loss.

    By JAKE MOONEY

    Daily Progress staff writer

    Republican Rob Schilling became the first member of his party to win a seat on Charlottesville’s City Council in 16 years Tuesday, taking second place behind Mayor Blake Caravati and slipping narrowly past Democrat Alexandria Searls.

    Schilling, who has lived in the city for three years and has never held elective office, beat Searls by 84 votes in Tuesday’s election. He finished 359 votes behind Caravati, a Democrat who won all but one precinct.

    Independent Stratton Salidis, who opposes large new road construction and favors self-directed education for city students, earned 614 votes, nearly doubling his total from the 2000 council election.

    In all, 4,375 people turned out for the election — 22 percent of registered voters in the city. There were 115 write-in votes, though information on who received them was not available Tuesday.

    Democrats who attended a reception at The Nook after the results came in exhibited a mix of relief at Caravati’s victory and shock at Searls’ narrow loss.

    “I’m very surprised,” Caravati said. “It’s a bittersweet victory for me. Alex really worked hard, I think the party worked hard, but obviously we didn’t work hard enough. The low turnout was a major factor here.”

    In a room crowded with prominent local Democrats, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, could be heard offering solace to the mayor. “It’s a wakeup call,” he told Caravati.

    Even before he arrived at the reception, Caravati called Schilling to offer congratulations. Minutes later, he brushed aside suggestions that the Republican’s often-harsh criticism of city government in recent months would cause lingering bad feelings.

    “He was campaigning,” Caravati said. “He did a good job. For someone who doesn’t have the depth of civic affairs that maybe Alex and I did, he ran a great campaign.”

    An emotional Searls left the gathering a short time after the vote totals arrived, offering no comment on the race.

    Across town at a Republican gathering at Lord Hardwicke’s restaurant, a beaming Schilling promised to work for higher teacher salaries, tougher law enforcement and an elected city School Board. He thanked Charlottesville’s relatively small Republican base and credited crossover Democrats and independents with pushing him to victory.

    “As I was out at all these different places, I can’t tell you how many people I talked to who said, ‘I have never voted for a Republican,’ or ‘I haven’t voted in a City Council race in 16 years,’” Schilling said.

    He beat Caravati only in the traditionally conservative Walker precinct, and there by only two votes, 560 to 558. Voter turnout in the precinct was the highest, though, at 38 percent, in sharp contrast with turnout numbers of 14 percent in the traditional Democratic strongholds of Venable and Tonsler.

    Like Caravati, Schilling downplayed the tension among candidates that became visible at times during the final weeks of the council race. In particular, Schilling frequently slammed city government as inefficient, short-sighted and unresponsive to the will of city residents.

    “I don’t think I was ever personally critical of them,” he said from a corner of a packed room at Lord Hardwicke’s. “If I don’t like somebody’s ideas, I try not to make it a personal issue, and I appreciate that on the other side.”

    Of Caravati’s phone call, Schilling recalled, laughing, “He told me I’ve got two days off and then I’m going to have to sit down and start getting up with the issues.”

    Toward that end, Schilling said, “I intend to sit down with people that are experts or knowledgeable on both sides of many issues and listen to their opinions and run them through my own filter.”

    The last Republican to win a seat on the council was the late Darden Towe, who won in 1986 and was defeated in 1990 by David J. Toscano.

    Toscano, a Democratic former mayor and three-term council member whose seat Schilling will fill in July, was cautiously optimistic Tuesday night about his own successor.

    “You have to hope that he’s going to be willing to work with the other councilors for the best of the city,” Toscano said. “He’ll have different views, of course, and different emphases, but historically the best councils work as a team.”

    “Given what I saw in the campaign and how civil it was, I think there’s a reasonable chance that all these folks are going to be able to work together,” he added.

    “You never know until you sit down at the table.”

  45. By JAKE MOONEY

    Daily Progress staff writer

    As if there wasn’t enough to worry about in Tuesday’s City Council election, many in Charlottesville spent the day consumed with two questions: whether voters would show up, and whether they would be able to work the machines.

    In the end, they did and they could — sort of.

    A late-day surge in voting pushed voter turnout numbers to a respectable 22 percent, lower than the 28 percent of the last council election but the same as in 1998, the last time four candidates ran. Election officials, meanwhile, reported no major problems with the Hart InterCivic eSlate Electronic Voting Systems that got their first Virginia test run Tuesday.

    During the day, though, there was some uncertainty on both counts. “The first word is ‘quiet,’” Democrat Michael Manto said, sitting outside the Fry’s Spring Beach Club with buttons and stickers for Mayor Blake Caravati and Alexandria Searls. “This is the quietest, I’d say, in the last six elections.”

    Across town at the Carver Recreation Center, former Republican council candidate Jon Bright admitted some disappointment at the slow stream of voters that trickled past the station in the parking lot where he handed out Rob Schilling paraphernalia.

    As of 1 p.m., 158 people had voted at the precinct, officials said. At the same hour on Election Day in 2000, 263 people had voted.

    “It just seemed like a compelling reason to vote,” Bright said of Schilling’s strong campaign. “Of course as a Republican I care who wins and who loses, but I just want to see the entire community participate in the election. … I don’t get it. I’ve been here since 6 o’clock this morning. I was expecting to see car after car after car.”

    Bright, whom some Republicans had mentioned as a write-in candidate to accompany Schilling, said a few people told him Tuesday that they would support him. “Maybe three or four, I guess.”

    Yards away, Democrat Waldo Jaquith had some write-in tales of his own. While handing out fliers outside the Downtown Recreation Center, Jaquith said, “I had a lot of people — easily a dozen — tell me they were going to write me in. I just told them, ‘Here’s a ballot. I urge you to vote for Blake Caravati and Alexandria Searls.’”

    Jaquith narrowly missed winning one of the party’s spots in the council race at a February nominating convention, where he and other Democrats signed an oath to support the two nominees.

    Like Jaquith and Bright, few past or present city officials spotted at the polls had an explanation for the low voter participation numbers. Former mayor Nancy O’Brien, voting at the beach club, blamed a low-key campaign and a lack of media attention.

    Herman Key, chairman of the city Planning Commission and a Caravati/Searls supporter at the Tonsler precinct, summed up the prevailing bewilderment. “I’m sure the weather played a part, but I don’t know,” Key said, punctuated by a thunder clap. “Maybe it’s a general sense of voter apathy. If someone could figure that problem out, they’d be rich, rich people.”

    Stratton Salidis, an independent council candidate who came in last with 614 votes, paused on the Downtown Mall while bicycling to work to weigh in. “I think in general we as a society are not very active citizens, and part of my campaign was really just to get more people interested and to get people thinking long-term.”

    The machines, meanwhile, appeared to be a success, even if some voters had reservations.

    “I think people are going to mess up on it,” voter Ellen Gwynn said. “I do know someone. … She’s elderly, she’s also very smart. She came to the machine wanting to vote for two people and she left the machine voting for just one.”

    At Carver, though, 88-year-old Llewellyn Thomas and his 92-year-old wife, Hilah B. Thomas, reported few problems. “I think the mechanics will work all right if people understand, but I think for a long time they’re going to have to explain it to people,” he said.

    The new machines’ biggest payoff may have come at the end of the night, when city voter registrar Sheri Iachetta emerged from her office with election results at the unusually early time of 8:15 p.m. That, she said, was after the city electoral board double-checked the experimental machines’ results.

    “I’ll tell you, the election officials loved it,” she said. “We’re going to be out of here before 9 o’clock. That’s unheard of.”

  46. Snook has devoted a lot of time to the Party. The least you people could do is be a little grateful. Searls losing was a blessing in disguise to many of us and we aren’t huting over it. We’ll have another chance to get a Dem back on the ticket in 2006. Why blame Snook?

  47. The trouble with turning out legions of UVa students to vote is that they are not city residents as such. While in college, you can legally keep your registration in your parents district. I know that I remained registered in Charlottesvile throughout 4 years of school in another city and state. The percentage of UVa students who are from Charlottesville is probably not all that high.

  48. For example, when does the Democratic Central Committee re-elect its membership/officers? It would be great to get some young people on that Committee.

    That’s going to be tough. The problem is that most of my peers have 0 interest in politics for politics’ sake. They want issues, they want solutions to problems, they want a cause. The generation before mine had that — the Vietnam War. That was the only thing that activated them, and those are the people running the party now. My generation needs at least something on a Charlottesville scale. Otherwise, they’d just as soon join up with the party as sign up for the Elk’s Club.

    Also do you think anyone will ever succeed in turning out legions of UVa students to participate? Or is that a battle not worth fighting?

    It’s definitely a battle worth fighting, but it’s an ongoing one until UVa gets involved. Getting students involved is a challenge anew every 4 years — we have groups like GRUVA (GReens at UVA) and the UVa Democrats to thank for the activity that exists now. But it’s going to take a shift on UVa’s part towards community involvement (as per the UVa 2020 plan) to get students involved in the community and party as a default.

  49. Blame Lloyd Snook because he intentionally ran a campaign of exclusion rather than inclusion. There are some excellent comments about that elsewhere in this thread that explain this in detail. He has indeed given a lot of time to the party and we should be grateful for that. But his vision for the party is one that is ultimately selfish despite it’s practical origins.

    You are also right that Searls’ loss was a blessing in disguise. It was a blessing in the sense that it revealed much of what is ultimately unsustainable about the Snook philosophy. It was a blessing by demonstrating the dangers of using Snook’s preferred method of all-day Primary balloting rather than a weighted, instant voting system that would tend to produce centrist, well-liked candidates rather than Le Pen type political accidents (Searls’ rise had very similar mechanics to that particular French embarrassment).

  50. yeah, you’re the only one that has seen them!! Lemme guess, the reason we don’t see them is because they are being used, right? It was a feel-good idea that failed. Accept it.

  51. The party regulars never had her high on their list to begin with so pretty much abandoned her during the general election campaign. She was left with a very small group of supporters, no machine of her own, dependent on the (obviously insufficient) coattails of Blake Caravati, and little Party support.

    Exactly. This is a sad story. The Democratic party leadership let this woman down and should be ashamed of themselves. She won the nomination and was strongly encouraged by the party not to fund or exercise any independent campaign. She was told to be a “team player” and let the party run a joint campaign.

    Well, she bought that, hook, line and sinker. Alex worked diligently, going door-to-door campaigning. She sought no independent funding. She refused to participate in interviews or seek endorsements that would not include her running mate, Blake Caravati.

    What did she get, in return? Party leadership that took their dominance for granted. There was no serious effort to recruit new voters to the party. There was no visible “rally the troops, get out the vote” effort by the party. Time and time again, her running mate, Blake Caravati sought to distance himself from Alex. I refer particularly to statements with regard to the Meadow Creek Parkway that were reported in The Obverver. You’ll also recall that Blake Caravati had no problem with accepting a police union endorsement that excluded Alex.

    Alex, to paraphrase a line from the movie Animal House: “You (screwed) up, you trusted us.”

  52. Schilling did work hard and stay on message.

    Give the people some credit. He didn’t “steal” votes—his message appealed more than Searls’s message did this time.

  53. Lafe, do you know Rob (and company?) Because you really “get it.”

    You are exactly right. The city’s residents, despite what some (seemingly) egocentric people may think are NOT overwhelmingly far left Democrat. Charlottesville has a lot of (gasp) moderate type people who affiliate with the Republican, and Independent, and even the Democratic party.

    They are FED UP with partisanship, petty bickering and the impression these very far left people give off that they (the far left) are some how *entitled* to hold all elected offices in Charlottesville.

    The wake up call here should be to the far left Democrats. HELLO, there are a LOT of other type of people in the city and they will no longer be ignored. HA!

  54. egocentric people… petty bickering… these very far left people…HA!

    Looks like somebody’s dancing in the end zone. I know you’re happy, and I offer my congratulations, but don’t rub it in people’s faces. That’s the kind of stuff that gets posted in locker room walls.

    Harry Landers

  55. Waldo, usually you are on target but when you are off, you are wayyyyy off.

    Schilling is not a Democrat who “ran” as a Republican. If you have heard him speak, you know he is a twenty-two year Republican, but he does call himself “his own type of Republican.”

    On the other hand, Schilling made a great point with his entire campaign. What SHOULD it matter what party anyone is in terms of municipal politics? Local politics should be about issues and approaches which do not “fall out” along “party lines” because there ARE no real party lines when you are talking about many, many, city managment issues.

  56. yeah, you’re the only one that has seen them!! Lemme guess, the reason we don’t see them is because they are being used, right? It was a feel-good idea that failed. Accept it.

    Then you tell me: if they’re gone, where’d they go?

    I’m not looking for speculation here. I know for a fact that I’ve seen them all over the city, and I’ve ridden them all around the city. If you’ve seen them on a truck being shipped to Indiana or sitting at the bottom of a river, I’d love to hear about it. But “they’re gone” or “uhh…stolen?” does not a qualified response make.

  57. big foot and the loch ness monster. People have seen those creatures, you just have to look hard and have faith.

  58. Schilling is not a Democrat who “ran” as a Republican. If you have heard him speak, you know he is a twenty-two year Republican, but he does call himself “his own type of Republican.”

    I never heard a word come out of his mouth that was classically Republican, or that I would even classify as more conservative than something that a Democrat would say. If the man ran as a straight Republican, there’s no way that he would have gotten elected.

    You know, it’s funny — I was handing out sample ballots yesterday, and an old friend of mine was handing out sample ballots for Schilling. He got playfully irritated when I pointed out to every passerby that “these are for the Democrats, and those are for the Republican, Schilling.” Y’all didn’t exactly go out of your way to let people know that Schilling was a Republican, did you? And you could get away with it, because he didn’t take many positions that were particularly conservative. And you could get away with that because…well…heck, I’ve dated girls with more issues than this election had.

    But I will agree with you about partisan politics in Charlottesville: I’d like to see the party endorsements and affiliations go out the window. That is, in part, because there isn’t a whole lot that a Republican could say that’s “classically Republican” about municipal issues.

  59. you’re right Waldo, I can’t honestly say I know where they have gone. I just know that I haven’t seen one parked or being ridden in weeks. But maybe I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time..

  60. If you want to indirectly quote Schilling, at least be accurate. Rob Schilling NEVER said that if Waldo had been a candidate, he (Rob) would not have sought his party’s nomination.

    But, that said, Waldo and crew, in fact , like Schilling and crew, do seem to exhibit an energy that would be great for this city.

  61. Absolutely! By stealing votes, I was referring to the votes that would normally have gone to Democrats that went his way. He did nothing untoward or unusual – he ran a better race. Period.

  62. Lafe, do you know Rob (and company?) Because you really “get it.”

    I do not know him (and company) personally. My opinions on him and his platform have come completely from researching him, through his own materials, articles by others, and talking with people who have also researched him.

    My beliefs agree with yours regarding the make-up of the city’s residents. My impression/belief is that most of the city’s residents are “moderate” or “centrist” or what have you, at the very least when speaking about city matters. I don’t believe that a majority of voters in C’ville are far left, nor far right.

    Though I do believe that given the choice, the people will pick far left over far right. I also believe that many people were very relieved to have a choice that wasn’t either.

  63. I’ve dated girls with more issues than this election had.

    Have you ever dated a girl with fewer issues than this election had? Heh, I don’t know if such a girl exists!

  64. I just know that I haven’t seen one parked or being ridden in weeks. But maybe I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    They seem to come in waves downtown (where I spend most of my time.) For example, I haven’t seen a bike on the mall this week. Yet 2-3 weeks ago I was tripping over the things. I imagine that there’s a similar effect around the rest of the city, too. Perhaps we could collectively chart the migration patterns of the Yellow Bike (bicyclus jaundice. :)

    But if they really did all disappear, I can’t help but wonder: where would they go? Short of somebody willfully destroying them en masse, I couldn’t even guess.

  65. No, I have seen them frequently around the downtown area.

    And very occasionally further out.

    They often turn up on Locust Ave. or Park street… and usually stick around for a day or so, before someone else picks it up and bikes away.

  66. Absolutely not intended to be such (“gloating?”). Maybe it was the frustration of the many (centrists) who have felt marginalized for years and years speaking.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding.

  67. then i retract my earlier statement about the program being a failure. My apologies.

  68. Well, I guess someone ran as a straight Democrat and didn’t get elected.

    My point was, it shouldn’t matter, just in my opinion, *on any side* what party a person is from in municipal elections. Personally, I just listen to issues and approaches.

    On another note, did you mean to sound a tad bitter? Your last comment regarding Republicans in general wasn’t all that called for; it’s tone doesn’t sound like your usual.

  69. But, that said, Waldo and crew, in fact , like Schilling and crew, do seem to exhibit an energy that would be great for this city.

    I whole-heartedly agree. If Waldo had been on the ticket, as well as Schilling, my vote would have included both of them.

    And in 2004, if Waldo’s name is on the ticket, I will most likely be voting for him.

  70. My hat is off to the Republicans, they were able to get out the vote for their candidate. But let’s keep in mind that with 22% turnout overall, Schilling’s 29.42% represents a little less than 6.5% of the city’s registered voters — hardly a groundswell in support of the Meadowcreek Parkway, for instance — not that the Democrats did much better.

    However, the number of votes difference between Schilling and Searls was just 127 at latest count, far fewer than the number of single-shotters: 1354, which might have affected the results. A clever strategy indeed.

    That said, I’m not convinced a Republican on Council is a bad thing — I’m glad Charlottesville is progressive enough to embrace diversity. I wish Mr. Schilling the best for his upcoming term… he seems a thoughtful and approachable young man, and those virtues will surely serve him well.

  71. …for the sorry excuse of a reporter that he turned out to be. Jake was Rob Schilling’s bitch and what a fine job he did on Rob’s behalf. Nice dog, Jake, nice dog.

  72. Yeah, the Democrats choice of The Nook was sooo much better. Now there is a truly GREAT restaurant.

  73. That’s Lord Hardwicke‘s, Legal Recruiter, with an “e.”

    — The Effete Gentleman

  74. You did NOT just diss on Lord Hardwicke’s! The big man is gonna come drop his big hammer on you!

    They’ve got a dem fine burger, at any rate.

  75. Maybe the Democrats should have given Jake Mooney and the rest of the media something to report besides limp cliches and special-interest pandering. We can only hear about Jefferson School so many times before we start getting hungry for real debate on some issues that aren’t so cuddly–like thug landlords and the system of rent-check slavery, where we’re going to bury all our trash, protecting the City’s locally owned businesses from the infestation of corporate chains, or the City’s decent into NOVA-like traffic congestion.

    Schilling was no more substantial in his campaign rhetoric, but it worked to his advantage and the Dems disadvantage. If the Dems had issues with the way the election was reported, why didn’t they say so during the race? If there was information getting overlooked, why didn’t they articulate it BEFORE Schilling won?

    jb.

  76. Finally, a breath of non-Democratic air in this stifling liberal town. Hooray for change!

    Schilling is the only one I heard on the radio… did any of the other candidates put out radio ads?

    The other interesting thing I noted here is all the talk about Waldo… specifically his age being a factor in the primary… isn’t Schilling a twenty-something?

    -Politically Independent Anonymous

  77. Um….the OWNER of Lord Hardwicke’s just moved in across the street from Schilling. It was considered a kind of neighborly thing to do.

    You just might want to be a little less critical in the future,ask a question, maybe, instead of making a statement that might hurt people’s feelings…..

  78. Yep – given a choice (and come to think of it, I’m given that choice every time I eat out), Harwicke’s wins over the Nook every time. The Nook has a superior breakfast, however.

  79. Waldo wants a new chairman who will not remember Waldo’s failure to support Searls after she won the Democratic nomination. It was her fellow Democrats who failed Searls, not the other way around.

    As for Larry Sabato’s explanation of “low voter turnout:” would somebody please say why low turnout does not hurt or help both parties equally? Larry certainly hasn’t.

  80. Terribly sorry! Please post your email address so that any future attempts at humor can be first reviewed by you to ensure that they meet with your approval prior to being posted.

  81. Waldo wants a new chairman who will not remember Waldo’s failure to support Searls after she won the Democratic nomination..

    Uh…yeah, sure, I didn’t do a thing. Just sittin’ on my butt, I was…

  82. Oh, now wait just a damn second, Waldo — that should get at least a zero for “clever.”

    The original poster is the one who brought up the dog motif, not JMZ.

  83. It’s been my impression that Waldo very much supported Alexandria Searls…..

  84. What you are alleging is completely inaccurate. I witnessed Waldo endorsing Alex Searls on many occasions following her nomination. Most recently, he actively campaigned and handed out Caravati/Searls literature in front of polling stations on election day.

    Perhaps you are confusing ‘didn’t support’ with ‘didn’t manage her campaign.’ There is only so much that one can do to help a candidate if her campaign organization isn’t interested. It true that aside from his concession speech he never appeared on a podium to praise her- nor was there ever such a venue or invitation for him to do so.

    At the outset of this campaign, both Waldo and myself made it perfectly clear that we were willing to provide support in numerous ways. Our offers were never taken up on.

    I say this not in criticism of those responsible for Ms. Searls’ campaign, but rather in defense of Waldo. Presumably her campaign managers had another well-mapped strategy that did not depend on the type of support Waldo could have offered. That, however, is between them and Ms. Searls and I would not presume to step in the middle.

    To address your question about low voter turnout, I present a theory. With a higher turnout, it becomes more difficult for Republican leadership (or anyone) to influence the second choice on the ballot. Remember, the Republicans only fielded a single candidate which made a ‘bulleting’ tactic a feasible and attractive option. 31% of ballots were bulleted and it is not out of line to suggest that this allowed Mr. Schilling to gain that final percentage point. If you only need to mobilize a thousand voters, it’s not impractical to explain the strategy and mathematics and convince a lot of them that they should leave the second slot blank. But when the turnout is going to be, say, 20,000 voters, good luck with convincing any significant percentage of them.

    Fundamentally, the fewer people voting for something, the easier it is for a clever person to manipulate their votes and control the outcome.

  85. Yes, Schilling is fairly young, too. But less interesting because until now he hasn’t been particularly accomplished and doesn’t have a local track record- unlike Waldo and company who began dogging city hall when they were 15 year old mall rats. People automatically think of Waldo as being young because they remember reading news about the kid hiking the Appalacian trail, the teenager who teamed up with the ACLU to fight youth curfews, and so on and so on. To have him running for city council is the realization of a half-forgotten American myth.

    As far as I can tell, Schilling is a likable enough guy who moved to town a couple years ago and bought some real estate with his Daddy’s money. A smart, young guy, no doubt. But in a totally different way from Waldo.

  86. In the C-ville political scene, 40 is relatively young. And Waldo and I are practically thumb-sucking rugrats.

    Relatively speaking, that is.

  87. Uh…Sorry to burst your bubble but Rob bought real estate with HIS OWN money (well, his and his wife’s).

    Is it so hard to imagine that Rob worked hard, earned and saved his own money from VERY young age? When you decide at age 10, that you want to own your own house and do so by age 21 (in CA, no less) this is what happens.

    “Daddy’s money” indeed!

  88. Thanks for the post. It’s really a shame that people are so quick to make assumptions about something they know nothing about and post them on this page in a manner that treats the assumptions as fact. In this case I guess they couldn’t find anything negative to say so they just had to make something up.

  89. A smart, young guy, no doubt. But in a totally different way from Waldo.

    Yeah, it’s called “success.”

  90. I’m new to Cvillenews.com, my name is Patrick Haley and I’m the State Chairman for the Virginia Teenage Republicans. I live in the county and attend Western Albemarle HS, but I worked for Rob Schilling this spring. Rob proved on May 7th that organization wins political campaigns, even if you’re a major underdog.

    Rob did a couple of organizational and tactical things that in my opinion won him the election. No Republican that I know of in the city, and only Delegate Rob Bell in Albemarle have had this type of grassroots organization and strategy since I started following local politics.

    The first thing Rob did was he recognized his inexperience and he got help. He went to the Sorensen Institute, an organization that trains Republican candidates for elected office, and learned how to be a candidate. He got experience running Rob Bell’s phone banking effort which was responsible for Bell’s surprisingly easy win last year. He recognized that the city committee was active, energized, and VERY well led by Bob Hodous, but too small to get the job done, so he enlisted the support of the Albemarle GOP, one of Virginia’s best organized Republican committees.

    Rob developed a playbook early on based on Rob Bell’s 2001 plan, but modified for implementation in the highly Democratic city. Coinceidence that Rob Bell and Rob Schilling used the same font on all their campaign graphics? NOPE! Rob Schilling talked with Delegate Bell and used that information to plan a perfect campaign. He had a message- an elected school board, crime control, and fiscal responsibility; this message obviously resonated with the people of the city, as Democrats crossed party lines to vote for Schilling. When I was working the precincts, Democrats told me that they had never voted for a Republican before, but they were single-shotting for Rob. Part of this was due to Rob’s appearance, how can you be afraid of someone with long hair and Birkenstocks? Part of this was due to the fact that Rob didn’t advertise his party affiliation. But, most of it was due to the fact that Rob had a message based on specific issues, and the Dems simply ran to keep the status quo.

    Then comes the issue of single shot voting. I can’t believe people are whining that the Progress ran that story about it, because this strategy is unique and very interesting. I assure you, it would be newsworthy regardless of what party was using this unorthodox tactic. Rob learned from the problems with the Bright, Fortune, Pfaltz campaign, and that’s how the Single Shot idea emerged. In 2000, Republicans for the most part voted the GOP ticket. Democrats voted for the Democratic ticket. Swing voters would vote for Bright, Fortune, and Cox; or Pfaltz, Richards, and Lynch. The swing votes cancelled out because they often included some Democrats and some Republicans, and so the Dems won because their base was 700 votes bigger (Lynch beat Bright by 700 votes). Knowing that if his supporters voted for a Democrat too this year, it would cancel out their vote for him, Rob got his supporters to single shot. This meant that his votes weren’t cancelled out, and the Dems who voted for him instead of Alex, cancelled out their votes for Ms. Searls. It’s a brilliant strategy, and Rob deserves credit.

    Rob and his wife, Joan, worked tirelessly the whole campaign. Rob went door-to-door every weekend, even in the rain. He even made us volunteers go campaigning in the rain (I ruined a pair of leather boots). He did newsconferences on crime, education, and other issues of civic importance, and he had a well-run sign outfit. I bet Rob’s signs were three times as abundant as the Democrats’ signs were. Signs usually don’t do much except build name recognition, but I think that in Charlottesville, seeing a bunch of Republican signs energized GOP voters by making them feel that they had a chance at winning for once. Rob campaigned just about every day, while the Democrats did much less campaigning than they usually do.

    Rob really kicked the Democrats’ butts as far as precinct organization went. For the first time in recent memory, the GOP had someone manning every precinct from 6 in the morning until 7 at night. They had sample ballots with single shotting instructions, and they had signs in visible locations around the precints. They even had people giving Republicans rides to the polls. I want to know what was wrong with the usually commendable Democratic precinct organization? I remember me and the other Schilling precinct worker were at Recreation at about 5 o’clock waiting for the busses of Democratic voters to arrive. They came en masse for Creigh Deeds in the special election, but there was no sign of any busses this time. Rob Schilling had an organized plan for when he was going to be at what precinct all day. By contrast, Alexandria Searls was in Richmond for half the day, and when she got to Recreation at about 4, I heard her tell Blake Caravati that she was going to WALK over to Carver. That’s a long walk, it would probably take 45 minutes or so. That’s 45 minutes of face time she wasted walking to Carver instead of driving. And she blames the Democratic party for her loss?

    There were a bunch of little things Rob did right also. He went with the city cops and rode around Belmont one night at like 3am. Maurice Cox is the only other council candidate to do that according to the police chief. Rob had African Americans working his booths in the predominantly African American precincts, I saw Kenny Jackson working at Tonsler. Usually, the GOP doesn’t even field a poll worker for that precinct. Rob campaigned in Belmont- a neighborhood Republicans often pass over because of its liberal voting tendancies. Rob listened to the residents, and they came through for him- he beat Alex Searls in Clark precinct. Finally, Rob ran an honorable campaign. When someone tore down his signs in the Greenbriar neighborhood two weeks before the election (the Democratic signs were untouched), he and Bob Hodous made an effort to call all his volunteers and make sure they didn’t retaliate. Being the brash young high schooler I am, I was tempted to do it, but I didn’t because Rob explained the importance of running a classy race, and I think it paid off for him.

    On this thread, I’ve heard people blaming all sorts of people for the Democrats’ loss. Some people blame Searls for running a bad race. That’s partially true, she didn’t have a message other than she was with Blake. Some people blame Blake for not helping her enough, that’s partially true, but I saw him at Recreation trying to get people to vote for her. Some people blame this Snook guy for not organizing well. That’s partially true, the typically well-oilled Democratic election day machine was beaten by the tiny City GOP with the help of county residents who volunteered to help Rob Schilling. However, I think we really need to give Rob Schilling the credit instead of blaming other people for the loss. He ran the PERFECT race and won in the most Liberal locality in the state. Congrats Rob, you earned this win!

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