Friday, October 24, 2008

Morning News Endorses Steve Clark

The Morning News today endorsed Steve Clark, "baggage and all," for Mayor of Fayetteville. The endorsement, they said, comes with admitted concern. From the six-person field of candidates, they seriously considered only three for endorsement. Sorry about that, Cat, Eilers, and Sami.

First, they mused, "If the election were about choosing the most likable of the candidates or the one with the least baggage, our pick would have been Lioneld Jordan, the popular city council member who is likely to make the runoff."

Then they turned to Dan Coody and his "green valley" schtick. "If that were all we knew of Coody, we might buy into his campaign argument to 'keep a good thing going.' But he has been mayor for eight years and we sense that Fayetteville citizens have grown weary of him ....
Part of his problem stems from his decision first to retire, then to run for re-election....Then there was that huge problem with cost overruns for Fayetteville’s sewer plant and the resulting rate increases. The buck stops at the office of Mayor Coody, who clearly didn’t have the right people in place to manage that project. Ratepayers are still smarting, and Coody remains a divisive figure in city government...."

"We find ourselves looking to a candidate we never imagined we would endorse: Steve Clark. We initially dismissed Clark’s candidacy because of his felony conviction when he was the state’s attorney general. He misused a state credit card and paid dearly for it....While some voters still won’t consider him, we must say we think his executive skills, honed as chief of staff for former Gov. David Pryor and as the state’s attorney general, are directly applicable to running the city of Fayetteville. ...More recently, he’s had to experience life with the taint of that criminal conviction and has succeeded in spite of it ....He deserves consideration for mayor, however, not for what he’s overcome but because he offers a new vision for Fayetteville, one that struck us as well researched, realistic and promising."

Some say that Clark is too much of a slick politician, but he is more genuine than Slick Dan Coody. We weren't convinced by Clark's statement that his poll showed him as the first choice of decided voters in Fayetteville, but it was a nice try. Candidates making such claims should release the full details of the questions, responses, and methods if they expect to be believed. We are told that Steve Clark is a good guy, but he should avoid spinning numbers and stretching the truth about his alleged poll. Otherwise, he seems to be running a decent campaign.

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