Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Morning After the Night Before

At long last, the political campaigns are over, and everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving respite. There seemed to be more run-off elections this year than we recall. There are any number of explanations for that, but we'll stick with the story that there were so many public spirited candidates offering to serve the public and that voters were confronted with so many good choices.

Springdale and Greenland voters decided to stay with the incumbents in the city council races. The only one that was close was the challenge by political newcomer Josh Jenkins, who got 49.6% and came within 42 votes of replacing Jeff Watson.

Doug Sprouse will be the next Mayor of Springdale. He had the support of the newspapers and captured 62.7% of the vote over Alderman Mike Overton, who had a substantial advertising and expenditure advantage.

Lioneld Jordan's victory of 57.3% over incumbent Dan Coody is the most surprising of the evening. Coody outspent Jordan by almost 3-1, had the endorsement and very favorable coverage from the Northwest Arkansas Times, had a full time city staff person whose job was to make him look good and get press attention, used a full-time Government Channel touting his good deeds, had the backing of developers, and got the support of a poet. To hear Coody tell it, Jordan was supported only by union thugs and extremists. We will await the analysis of the political scientists to explain this phenomenon.

The only real loser was the editorial staff of the Northwest Arkansas Times. They exposed the degree of their influence by backing the losing candidates for both Mayor and County Judge.

And don't tell us we won't have Dan Coody to kick around anymore. That lucrative lifetime pension can still be had if he serves just one term on the city council, and Adella Gray will certainly make way for him to do that in 2010.

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