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The beginning of a more productive City Council?

Table 1: Progressive voters made the difference. Only 1 vote per precinct separated the 2nd and 3rd place finishers
and the 3rd and 4th place finishers.
Official City Council Results
Candidate Votes % Vote Margin Vote Margin / 34 UA Precincts
Erik Yassenoff 6,186 23.3% 717 21.1 votes
Mary Ann Krauss 5,469 20.6%
31 .91 votes
Ed Seidel 5,438 20.5%
39 1.15 votes
Dan McCormick 5,399 20.3%
1,322 38.9 votes
Leslie Heath 4,077 15.3%

UAPA's endorsed candidates win re-election

After waiting well over a month for certified election results and taking a break for holiday merriment, we can finally announce that UAPA's best-outcome election scenario won the day in UA's City Council race! A belated thank you to the UA progressive community for realizing the importance of this City Council race and coming out to vote. Our endorsed candidates, Mary Ann Krauss and Ed Seidel, were re-elected in a race that was very close.

Election Analysis

1. The progressive vote had a race-determining impact --- only one vote per precinct separated the candidates in 2nd and 3rd place and the candidates in 3rd and 4th place. Table 1 shows the official vote tallies.

2. Kingsdale was arguably the single biggest election issue. The election of Seidel, Krauss and Yassenoff, who all share a common mixed-use vision for Kingsdale, strongly suggests that voters believe the City has a responsibility to UA citizens to negotiate for the best possible use of this scarce, commercial property in the very heart of UA.

3. Yassenoff won big promoting his "economic incentives" idea for shaping Kingsdale redevelopment. He unapologetically took the progressive position that a public/private partnership requires City influence, leadership and/or dollars --- a position shared by Leach, Krauss and Seidel. McCormick's and Heath's view opposed the use of public funds to influence Kingsdale redevelopment was directly opposed to this view.

4. With the increased progressive turnout, endorsements from far-right politicians Rankin, Ciotola and DeCapua turned out to be more a liability than an asset for recipients Heath and McCormick. Despite the endorsement e-mails the day before the election from conservative Council members Tim Rankin and Frank Ciotola as well as announced 2009 conservative Council candidate David DeCapua -- each of whom recommended voting only for McCormick and Heath -- both Heath and McCormick finished in the last two places in this election. Their endorsement's timing until the day before the election was to avoid the inevitable letters-to-the-editor pinning Rankin's controversial right wing agenda on McCormick's and Heath's foreheads.

5. Especially at the local level, political party affiliations don't necessarily always align with party values. In this election, Dan McCormick's Democratic Party label conflicted with his very conservative views on key UA issues, so UAPA endorsed Republican Ed Seidel over a Democrat Dan McCormick. As one member wrote us:

There is little information about where these candidates really stand other than letters to the editor extolling them and a few answers to questions in the paper. It is hard for the average voter to really get a sense of their platforms and who is putting them forward from the brief bio's in the paper. Sometimes I can pick up the dogwhistles, but I do need some help in identifying those who do not share our vision of the city.

Why these election results matter to progressives

The election was a clear victory for UA moderates. The re-election of Mary Ann Krauss and Ed Seidel to additional terms on City Council

  • has ensured that a moderate Mayor, Don Leach, and Vice-Mayor, Mary Ann Krauss, were elected from among the Council members,
  • should ensure that green initiatives by and within the City will get attention and follow-through, and
  • should ensure that a more assertive Council will seek a re-development plan for Kingsdale Shopping Center that more readily serves the interests of UA, improves our commercial tax base and better complies with the City's Master Plan.

The election results should also mean a reduction in the number of Council members pursuing the divisive social agenda promoted during the past two years by outgoing Councilman Tim Rankin.

Elections are about choices

This year, progressives in Upper Arlington questioned the candidates about their stands on the issues and assessed the candidates' abilities to work well with other Council members to address our City's needs. Progressives chose not to support a candidate who had expressed support of Tim Rankin-style censorship at the Library. Progressives chose to support candidates who suggested that Council should assert itself in negotiations with Kingsdale's owner and seek a better result than was previously proposed. Progressives chose to support the candidates who they believed would set their sights the highest and work the hardest to make Upper Arlington an even greater place to live and work.

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