Norris, Szakos Win Democratic Nomination for Council

Democrats have nominated Mayor Dave Norris and Kristin Szakos as their City Council candidates, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports, meaning that the third candidate, Julian Taliaferro, has failed in his bid for reelection. (Norris is seeking a second term, Szakos her first.) Right now there’s no word on the percentages, nor is there word on the outcome of the sheriff’s race.

1,644 Charlottesville Democrats participated in the convention, which has got to be a record—and by a longshot—as a result of the party’s move to a firehouse primary. The system long used by city Dems involved several rounds of balloting, the number of rounds increasing proportional to the number of candidates, which meant that voters participating in the process could have to spend hours casting a series of votes. A really good year might involve 500 votes, so 1,644 is really a huge turnout, comparatively speaking.

11:55 PM Update: James Brown has been nominated for Sheriff, Bianca Spinosa reports for CBS-19. Though the numbers aren’t final, Norris received approximately 80% of the vote, Szakos 61%, and Taliaferro 40%. Remember that voters are ranking the three candidates from their favorite to least-favorite, with the top two being their candidates of choice, so the total percentage is way over 100%. If I’m doing the math rights, this means that 80% of voters named Norris as their #1 or #2 choice, 61% named Szakos in those positions, and 40% named Taliaferro.

May 11 Update: The party has released the voting tallies. Dave Norris got 1,261 votes, Szakos 974, and Taliaferro 684. Weighted by precinct population, it came out to 80.49 “precinct votes” for Norris, 61.13 for Szakos, and 43.32 for Taliaferro. In the sheriff’s race, it was 661 (40.83) for Baird, 744 (47.78) for James Brown, and 177 (11.39) for Phillip Brown. You’ll note that total would have left Baird the winner, but James Brown won. That’s because this was instant runoff voting (IRV), with voters ranking their choice of candidates from most favorite to least favorite. Dropping Phillip Brown out of consideration, as the lowest vote-getter, and factoring in the second choices of his supporters, that left Baird with 701 votes and James Brown with 839. In a traditional election, Baird would have won with a plurality, but not a majority. Under IRV, the candidate that is preferred by the greatest number of people wins, which is how James Brown won. I’m a moron. The specific breakdowns are below the fold.

City Council Ballot Votes (Number of 1st and 2nd ranks)

Norris

Szakos

Taliaferro

Total

Alumni

56

37

27

60

Carver

132

108

81

174

Clark

146

103

72

167

JPA

153

104

88

182

Recreation

329

282

146

423

Tonsler

78

66

38

100

Venable

133

101

72

165

Walker

234

173

160

321

Total

1261

974

684

1592

City Council, Proportion of Ballot Votes

Norris

Szakos

Taliaferro

Total

Alumni

0.93

0.62

0.45

60

Carver

0.76

0.62

0.47

174

Clark

0.87

0.62

0.43

167

JPA

0.84

0.57

0.48

182

Recreation

0.78

0.67

0.35

423

Tonsler

0.78

0.66

0.38

100

Venable

0.81

0.61

0.44

165

Walker

0.73

0.54

0.50

321

Total

0.79

0.61

0.43

1592

City Council, Precinct Votes

Norris

Szakos

Taliaferro

Total

Allotment

Alumni

6.63

4.38

3.20

14.20

7.10

Carver

7.15

5.85

4.39

17.38

9.42

Clark

10.05

7.09

4.95

22.09

11.49

JPA

13.62

9.26

7.83

30.71

16.20

Recreation

15.98

13.69

7.09

36.76

20.54

Tonsler

5.94

5.03

2.90

13.87

7.62

Venable

10.40

7.90

5.63

23.92

12.90

Walker

10.74

7.94

7.34

26.02

14.73

Total

80.49

61.13

43.32

Sheriff First Count Ballot Votes (Number of 1st ranks)

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Alumni

20

36

6

62

Carver

55

97

27

179

Clark

59

99

13

171

JPA

85

75

21

181

Recreation

166

201

39

406

Tonsler

21

55

20

96

Venable

73

75

20

168

Walker

182

106

31

319

Total

661

744

177

1582

Sheriff, Proportion of Ballot Votes

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Alumni

0.32

0.58

0.10

62

Carver

0.31

0.54

0.15

179

Clark

0.35

0.58

0.08

171

JPA

0.47

0.41

0.12

181

Recreation

0.41

0.50

0.10

406

Tonsler

0.22

0.57

0.21

96

Venable

0.43

0.45

0.12

168

Walker

0.57

0.33

0.10

319

Total

0.42

0.47

0.11

1582

Sheriff, Precinct Votes

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Allotment

Alumni

2.29

4.12

0.69

7.10

7.10

Carver

2.89

5.10

1.42

9.42

9.42

Clark

3.96

6.65

0.87

11.49

11.49

JPA

7.61

6.71

1.88

16.20

16.20

Recreation

8.40

10.17

1.97

20.54

20.54

Tonsler

1.67

4.37

1.59

7.62

7.62

Venable

5.61

5.76

1.54

12.90

12.90

Walker

8.40

4.89

1.43

14.73

14.73

Total

40.83

47.78

11.39

Sheriff, Instant Runoff Ballot Votes (Number of 1st ranks for Baird and J. Brown plus second choices of P. Brown supporters)

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Alumni

22

39

0

61

Carver

63

111

0

174

Clark

62

107

0

169

JPA

89

87

0

176

Recreation

173

223

0

396

Tonsler

23

67

0

90

Venable

76

87

0

163

Walker

193

118

0

311

Total

701

839

0

1540

Sheriff, Proportion of Ballot Votes

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Alumni

0.36

0.64

0.00

61

Carver

0.36

0.64

0.00

174

Clark

0.37

0.63

0.00

169

JPA

0.51

0.49

0.00

176

Recreation

0.44

0.56

0.00

396

Tonsler

0.26

0.74

0.00

90

Venable

0.47

0.53

0.00

163

Walker

0.62

0.38

0.00

311

Total

0.46

0.54

0.00

1540

Sheriff, Precinct Votes

Baird

J. Brown

P. Brown

Total

Allotment

Alumni

2.56

4.54

0.00

7.10

7.10

Carver

3.41

6.01

0.00

9.42

9.42

Clark

4.22

7.27

0.00

11.49

11.49

JPA

8.19

8.01

0.00

16.20

16.20

Recreation

8.97

11.57

0.00

20.54

20.54

Tonsler

1.95

5.67

0.00

7.62

7.62

Venable

6.01

6.89

0.00

12.90

12.90

Walker

9.14

5.59

0.00

14.73

14.73

Total

44.46

55.54

0.00

15 Responses to “Norris, Szakos Win Democratic Nomination for Council”


  • James Brown won the Democratic nomination to run for sheriff. First reports, early reports say he received 54% of the vote. Guess we will know more shortly!

  • Norris and Szakos had a noteworthy lead over Taliaferro. Not surprisingly there were quite a few Taliaferro single-shot votes.

    James Brown first, Baird a pretty close second, and Phillip Brown a distant third. Shame it wasn’t Brown, Brown, Baird.

    All in all a pretty effin’ fantastic outcome.

  • formercvilleresident

    poor julian taliaferro. i think he is crying like a baby. plus he got his rear end handed to him this time.

  • While there were several other reasons Baird didn’t achieve the landslide of votes he anticipated, I’m almost sure Baird trying to ride Talioferro’s coattails cost Baird a few votes too.

  • Waldo, thanks for the link. Charlottesville Tomorrow has now published our more complete story of the caucus with an 18 minute podcast interviewing the candidates, voters, and head teller David Repass.

    Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow

  • I have to say that it’s web sites like this one, Brian’s, and the Hook that play such an extraordinary and crucial role in government transparency these days. Not too long ago, we were still getting all of our political coverage from the DP and Harold Wright.

    Now we have instant access to the latest news about Council, the Water Plan, BOS, and yes, even Demopublican/SOTLR’s legal adventures. Greater numbers of voters have a better opportunity to be educated than at any time in history.

  • Demopublican/SOTLR’s legal adventures? HaHaHa!

    Somehow, at the conclusion of the current adventures in 2010 or whenever, I would like to be sure you get one of the first copies of the book!

  • I’ve changed the link to point to your more complete story, Brian—thanks for that.

  • Does anyone have the exact vote totals yet ?

  • I’m sure somebody has the exact totals, TJ. But they sure seem to be dragging their feet in releasing the figures to the public for some reason, don’t they? I’d be even more innterested in whether the ballots are secure and can’t be screwed around with since things didn’t go as planned. :)

  • Query for any who might know: didn’t we change city council elections to save money & line up with other elections and aren’t we having a second primary in June for the governor’s race? Why is having two primaries within a month of each other less expensive than what we used to do? Couldn’t/shouldn’t the primary for local stuff and the primary for state stuff have been, well, held at the same time?

  • Waldo — double-check your figures. James Brown won both a plurality of the first ballot votes, and a majority of the precinct votes.

  • I agree with you, Dave. I sat here for 30 minutes trying to figure out what Waldo was talking about.

  • D’oh. Thanks. I’ve corrected the mistake in a manner that fits the error. :)

  • Since councilors are not elected to represent precincts but rather the whole city, why are the votes weighted by precincts? I know it was the case when the Dems had a caucus arrangement but does it really fits in with the spirit of the unassembled caucus? Why not one man, one vote? Is it really necessary for a person who moves from Recreation to Alumni to lose a part of his voice?

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