City Democrats Open Caucus

Charlottesville Democrats have agreed to move to a firehouse primary, Rachana Dixit writes in the Daily Progress, which is hoped to result in significantly increased participation in their City Council nomination process. The idea is that there will be a single location on a single day where Democrats can show up, rank the candidates from their most to least favorite, and then go on with their day. Folks who can’t make it can vote absentee. And at the end of the day, the votes are tallied, and the most popular candidates will get the nod. Opponents worry that this process will be more expensive and time-consuming for candidates, while supporters hope that it will increase participation and result in stronger nominees with broader support.

6 Responses to “City Democrats Open Caucus”

  • Does this mean that tall of the candidates are going to have to ask each possible voter for his support by caucus day or will he have to run ads? Maybe they’ll just have a web presence.

  • My guess is that candidates like Linda Seaman, Peter Kleeman, and Waldo, would have done well in a primary like this one. So bring it on. Kevin Lynch’s comment about the focus changing if one is running a city-wide campaign really gets at the crux of the problem for me: candidates for city council, in the primary AND the general election, SHOULD BE running a city-wide election. Til now, the primary has been controlled tightly by party activists, not those Democrats who have little to do with party politics beyond voting on election day. (This would be most of the people in Charlottesville.) Kevin suggests the current system allows candidates to focus on policy; it seems to me they would be focusing on swaying the votes of the small number of people who are willing to sit through the long day.

    City-wide primaries and elections for School Board have given us candidates and elected officials who are much more knowledgeable about school issues–and incidentally a more diverse School Board, too. I think this move could reinvigorate the Democratic Party. Perhaps we will even see a greater variety of Democrats on City Council.

  • Will be more impressed when there are some Council members who are not Democrats.
    We have heard this line before-remember “Democrats for Change?”
    End one-party control of our city government.

  • “My guess is that candidates like Linda Seaman, Peter Kleeman, and Waldo…” are they known by the likely voters?
    I believe that Edwards and Norris were members of Dems for Change and they have successfully ascended to office. I believe that the Szakoses were also members.

  • If I remember correctly, there were over 200 members.

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