Longmont At-Large Election analysis

There were two city council seats up for grabs in the 2009 Longmont At-Large race.  Everyone in the city was eligible to vote in this race, and got to pick two candidates.  Those candidates were: Gabe Santos (Incumbent At-Large councilmember), Alex Sammoury, Bill Van Dusen, Kaye Fissinger, and Ed Dloughy.  The two candidates who received the most votes were elected.  The final tally came out like this:

Santos        11,048  36.38%
Sammoury   8,149  26.83%
Van Dusen    5,408  17.81%
Fissinger        4,832  15.91%
Dloughy            934  3.08%

Since every voter got two votes (but only got to vote for a candidate once), and those percentages are based on the total votes, in reality Santos received over 72% of the vote, Sammoury received over 52% of the vote, and the rest couldn’t reach 40%. This race, like the Ward 2 race, wasn’t even close.

Santos ran away with this election as he came in 1st in 56 out of the 58 precincts in the city.  Sammoury came in 2nd in 48 out of the 58 precincts.  Van Dusen won the 2 precincts Santos didn’t win.  Dloughy didn’t campaign, collect contributions, or make any expenditures.  I figured he’d get less than 1% of the vote, so the biggest surprise of this race was that he got over 3%!

Kaye Fissinger, before and after the election, continued her attack on Gabe Santos and his “Tom DeLay connection“.  This strategy didn’t work out so well in 2008 when Santos won handily in that election, and it appears it meant even less in this election.  Again, amount of precincts Santos won: 56.  Amount of precincts Fissinger won: 0.  As a matter of fact, Fissinger finished 4th in more precincts than any other position.  This result was no surprise to me as I predicted a 15% vote for her overall and the only thing keeping her out of the At-Large basementwas Dloughy, who finished last in every precinct.

Van Dusen and Fissinger didn’t waste any time hurling the sour grapes in various publications.  People in Longmont are pretty used to Fissingers endless tirades, but Van Dusen appeared petty when he said: (from the Times-Call)  “The negative campaigning was uncalled for; it was obnoxious.  It put two big, giant black eyes on Longmont, in my opinion.  That’s uncalled for; (Benker) was a public servant, whether you agree with her or not,” he said. “If you don’t agree with the issues she’s dealing with, fine, but you don’t have to trash her. That’s not what Longmont is about.”  Van Dusen added: “If they could break (Benker), then they could take back the control of the City Council. And now we have the new people on the block, and that’s the new Bloc of Four.

Perennial council crybaby Sean McCoy couldn’t have put it any better, maybe we dodged a bullet by only giving Van Dusen 17% of the vote and 3rd place.  There was hardly any negative campaigning done against him, yet he just comes across as a sore loser and fairly unprofessional at that.  So if he won, is he acknowledging that he’d be part of a new Bloc of Four?  Keep this in mind if he ever decides to run again, he just lost a lot of points with anyone who thought he was fair and not a “bloc” type.  Of the same cloth apparently.

Fissinger was never a serious or viable candidate, and the voters seemed to agree.  She tried to make people forget the previous 2+ years of screaming from the podium at council meetings with her “makeover”, which if it was an opponent of hers who did that I’m sure she wouldn’t hesitate using the term “lipstick on a pig“.  Either way, it didn’t work.  People remembered her constant attacks on churches in the area, most notably but not limited to LifeBridge, and her involvement with the selfishly titled “What’s In It For Longmont?” which carried out its campaign of fooling citizens into thinking they were a caring and concerned group of “normal people”, which they were anything but.

I didn’t even waste much time commenting either way on Fissinger as I knew where she’d end up on Election Day, and whatever coverage or ink I gave her would be more than any other media outlet would bother doing.  What I thought was most telling were the people who voted for Van Dusen, but couldn’t stomach voting for Fissinger – which probably explains the unusually high and unexpected amount of votes for Dloughy.  Or even better, some Van Dusen voters that actually went for Santos instead of Fissinger!

Talk about a message.

Also, a great big Thank You to retiring At-Large councilmember Mary Blue.  She was often the voice of reason and common sense when it was sadly in short supply.  The city owes her their gratitude for her years of service, and I’m sure I speak for most when I wish her the best in her retirement and/or future endeavors.

About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.
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