Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Saint Paul's revenge: a traitorous mayor expelled

Wow. When I voted in the Democratic Caucuses for Chris Coleman, I didn't think he'd win. I never dreamt he'd win 70% to 30% over Randy Kelly -- the faux-democrat incumbent. It probably helped that John Kerry campaigned for Chris Coleman, including a personal appearance in Saint Paul. It also helped that Norm Coleman (unrelated republican senator) campaigned for Randy Kelly, and Randy received lots of exurban and out of state campaign donations.

Was Kelly a bad mayor? Not awful, but not great. I wasn't impressed with his priorities; his focus was on his donors more than parks, bike trails, schools, etc. He'd have been reelected though -- except he campaigned hard (not merely endorsed) for George Bush. He was elected as a democrat. The last democratic mayor we had became a Republican senator. To put it mildly, this makes a mayor come across as more than a bit untrustworthy. It was obvious Kelly was looking for a sweet job and lots of money down the line.

Lack of trust. Mediocre policies. Campaigning for one of the worst presidents in the history of the republic. More than enough reason to trounce Kelly. I just can't believe we did it. Emphases and comments mine.
Many Incumbent Mayors Easily Win Re-election - New York Times

Incumbent mayors won easily yesterday in Atlanta, Boston and Houston. But in St. Paul, Randy Kelly became the city's first incumbent mayor in more than 30 years to lose a re-election campaign.

Polls suggested that Mr. Kelly's endorsement of President Bush last fall was a factor in his loss to a fellow Democrat, Chris Coleman, by 70 percent to 30 percent.

"I have never seen anything quite like this," Lawrence Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, said about what he called a firestorm over the endorsement.

A poll conducted by Mr. Jacobs found that more than half of likely voters in the city said Mr. Kelly's endorsement would influence their votes. Most of those respondents said it would lead them to vote for Mr. Coleman, a former City Council member.

Mr. Jacobs said the results were especially surprising , as more than half of the likely voters surveyed said they thought that the city was heading in the right direction.
PS. My wife points out that Kelly outspent Coleman by a very wide margin. Kelly's coffers were well stocked with non-resident donors. Apparently there's a limit to what such donations can do.

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