By Roz Rogoff
Election SuprisesUploaded: Nov 7, 2012
The first surprise was that President Obama trounced Gov. Romney in both electoral votes and the popular vote. Polls were touting a close race with maybe Obama squeaking through the "battleground" states but losing the popular vote. Predictions were for a long night and counting chads in Ohio until Thanksgiving.
So what happened? Now the pundits are revising their stories to explain the not-so-close victory the President won. Not only that, state polls showing Tea Party Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in dead heats with their Democrat opponents were as dead as the heats weren't. Maybe, hopefully, the Tea Party is over and the Republican Party will go back to being fiscally conservative and socially moderate again.
I didn't like either candidate or party, so I voted, as I said I would in an earlier blog, for Roseanne Barr. Barr lost her bid for the Green Party presidential nomination but was on the ticket of the Peace and Freedom Party with anti-Iraq War activist, Cindy Sheehan. I didn't expect Roseanne to win, but I'm glad I voted for her instead of Obama or Romney. As far as I could tell they are mirror images of each other and I couldn't believe either of them.
Still I'm relieved Obama won. As the saying goes, it's better to have the devil you know than the devil who keeps changing shape to match whichever environment he's in. We at least know who Obama is. We still don't know who Romney would turn into if he was in the White House.
Well so much for the Presidential election, now on to the local election. We had some definite upsets here too. I didn't believe Eric Swalwell would beat Pete Stark. Stark should have retired at 81 after all. Now all those loyal local Democrats who were waiting in the wings for Stark to retire in two years will have to duke it out with Swalwell in the 2014 Top Two primary.
A group of them, including outgoing Pleasanton Mayor, Jennifer Hosterman, were cozying up to Stark to be his anointed successor. I guess Stark's anointment won't be so valuable after Swalwell has been in office for two years.
Just as I didn't expect Swalwell to knock off such a firmly entrenched incumbent as Pete Stark, I did expect newcomer Scott Hayes to take one of the three open seats on the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Board of Directors.
I thought Rich Halket would be the most vulnerable, but boy was I wrong. Rich told me when I interviewed him on Blogtalkradio after being lambasted by the Around Dublin Blog over his and Pat Howard's vote to award $250,000 in bonuses to senior management last year, that Around Dublin doesn't have much credibility in Dublin. I guess not, because Halket came in a close second to Ed Duarte with Pat Howard a little further back but still well ahead of Scott Hayes.
By the way you have to add the totals in Alameda County to the totals in Contra Costa County to get the total votes. Smart Voter corrected the links to the candidates across both counties, but still does not sum their total votes.
Duarte received 5179 in Alameda and 4390 in Contra Costa for a total of 9569. Halket received 5126 in Alameda and 4297 in Contra Costa for a total of 9423. Howard received 4686 in Alameda and 4297 (tied with Halket) in Contra Costa for a total of 8983. Hayes received 3886 in Alameda and 3474 in Contra Costa for a total of 7360.
Congratulations to Pat and Rich and most especially Ed Duarte. Once again we have our own San Ramon representative back at last on the DSRSD Board of Directors.
If Hayes is really serious about wanting to be on the DSRSD Board, he can run again in two years. Pat Howard ran twice before being elected and Tom Ford ran three times. I lost twice, but I support the current Board and am not interested in running again.
I thought I saw Cynthia Jones, our last DSRSD Director from San Ramon, as a pol1 worker at Walt Disney School when I went to vote. She signed me in but didn't say "Hi" to me. I wasn't sure it was her, so I didn't say anything either.
She looked much older, but it's been about 5 years since I last saw Cynthia Jones, so she would be older. I'm older too. Hey, Cynthia, if that was you, please say "Hi."
Finally I'll sum up the election in Maine. Angus King won in a three-way race against a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican. King, a former Governor, is a centrist and ran as an Independent. He is expected to caucus with the Democrats. So that gives Democrats one more Senator on their side of the isle. But as an Independent and moderate, King can work with both sides without party pressure. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
My niece, Sarah Gideon, won her race for the Maine State Assembly from Freeport. This was expected, but what comes next is unknown. We are all speculating on where this political career will lead her. Hmm, Madam Governor perhaps?