This is the Big Kahuna. You run what is basically a mayoral campaign and all you get is the same vote as District 4 (pop. 75). You can win the Council Presidency if you're not too careful. So candidates, beware. Shoot for second place. Your mistakes are not as publicized. Currently, there are 57 candidates running for 3 at-large seats.
Except for 2013, when Republican Carmella Mantello finished fourth, narrowly losing to Lynn Kopka, the Democrats have dominated the At-Large races. Since 2009 that is. The third place Democrat has averaged about 450 votes more than the highest Republican vote-getter. Will this year be different with spoiler Team Troy in the mix?
These are the real democrats. We mean the candidates that actually won the Democrat Primary. Two out of the three are newcomers to electoral politics. The veteran of the group has only one election notch on her belt. One candidate, we won't say which one, is a cyborg.
This political newcomer is an Associate Dean at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. We don't what an associate dean does but it sounds impressive. Dresher was the top vote-getter in the Democratic primary on September 10. He's young, smart and professional. That said, we still believe he would be an asset to the council and to Troy. He's in a unique position to help integrate RPI and the city to the benefit of all. We should be a college town. We are not. Not compared to other college towns.
An incumbent, Sullivan-Teta is running for her second term on the council. She has comported herself in a diligent, mature manner. Despite that reputation, she can still be a good representative. Sullivan-Teta is the mother of six children, so she probably needs to get out of the house once in a while. Her project: A Residency Occupancy Permit program to help fight slumlords.
Carol Weaver, another political newbie. She either worked for a variety criminal justice agencies and was the Public Information Officer for the Board of Parole or she's on parole. We were drinking when we read her bio. That's all we know.
When the GOP needs some wins, they turn to the ladies. Female candidates tend to run well in Troy politics, no matter the party. They don't always win of course. Billie Jean Green and Deb Lockrow didn't but they ran against incumbents. Like the Democrats, two out of the three here are first-timers. All three issued a joint press release a few weeks back on their plan to fight crime. Domestic violence was not addressed.
Another first-timers, Daley hails from Utica, NY and owns and operates an art restoration business. To date, she has restored former councilman Art Judge and former Deputy DA, Art Glass. We'd like to write all we know about Andrea, and we just did. She looks like a neighborhood association type. A well-known capo in Little Italy. Well-liked by all accounts.
Once again, another rookie in the field. McPherson is a lifelong Trojan. According to her facebook page, she believes "enough is enough." Rumor has it that she killed a man in Tijuana one night just to watch him die. Again, well-liked by all accounts.
Already profiled, by us and everyone else. Stalking Troy voters for over twenty years.
The people who wanted to run as Democrats and lost in the primaries have regrouped and will run on the Working Families Party Line. It was a smart move by Wiltshire to assemble a ticket for his bid for the Democratic nod. In the districts, they only pose a problem for the Democrats in district 5. Here, they could have a bit more of an impact. While it is unlikely that any of them will win, they could drain a few votes from certain candidates, especially Weaver. We'll know soon enough. The WFP is searching for a new logo. One that doesn't look like, at quick glance, a hospital parking sign.
aka The Dart Lady.* It's not uncommon to hear people paint Kownack as, well, a bit of a flake. If she is a flake, we could use some more flakiness around town. Kownack is a graduate of Troy High School and an veteran of the United States Army. She is one of those activist types. You know the kind, all talk and no action. Except, Kownack has put her money where her mouth is on more than a few occasions. She was instrumental in revitalizing the Troy Central Little League. She was involved in the Uptown Community Harvest Festival and a host of other groups. She actually attends Council meetings. Best of all, the only candidate we know that has been threatened with the guillotine by a cliché. Sacre Bleu!
No, it's not a fake name on a hotel registry. It's a candidate. Don't know about this guy. Works at Coxsackie Correctional Facility. We don't believe he's a Corrections Officer. Perhaps he works in Guidance or payroll. He did save our life one day when he drove by and did not run us over. That's all we have.
Overall, a disappointing group. We have the sinking feeling that this might be the least partisan group of at-large candidates in quite some time. There is a good chance that any combination of the above will exercise common-sense, decency and collegiality. Not a bomb-thrower in the bunch. If this is a trend, we'll be out of business soon.
* Called the Dart Lady for her exemplary work on the Detroit Area Rapid Transit system.