As promised when the original City Council election odds were posted in this space some weeks ago, it’s time for an update that reflects the changing fortunes of our five fearless candidates.
While there may be further movement between now and Election Day, campaigners and prognosticators alike realize that many Davisites have already cast their votes either absentee or absent-minded, which means 11th-hour doorhangers and last-minute full-color glossy brochures are much less effective than they used to be.
It also means if your favorite candidate is arrested for robbing a downtown bank on election eve, there’s not much you can do about it if you’ve already voted by mail.
With five candidates vying for two open seats, a variety of combinations are possible. Interestingly, all five candidates appear to be completely independent from one another, which is more than unusual in Davis politics. In other words, there are no “tickets” out there, meaning we may see more bullet voting than we have in previous elections.
And remember, the odds that follow reflect only a candidate’s chances of winning one of the two seats, not necessarily who will finish No. 1 and earn the title of “Mayor” two years down the road.
May I have the envelope please?
ROBB DAVIS (Even Money) … That freight train you hear roaring around the bend is the Robb Davis campaign, picking up steam with every passing day. Robb’s rare combination of fiscal prudence and commitment to social justice make him a force to be reckoned with in his first run for elective office. We may all one day be addressing him as “Mayor Davis of Davis”.
JOHN MUNN (6 to 5) … If you were opposed to the Surface Water Project or the skyrocketing rates that came with it, Munn’s the word. As the only candidate openly advocating the passage of Measure P, Munn has attracted a large and diverse group of supporters. Worth noting for those keeping score is that 46 percent of Davisites voted against the water project in March of 2013. For many of these folks it will be “Munn and done” when they exit the voting booth. As for fiscal responsibility, no one can hold a candle to John Munn, who has walked the walk on this issue all of his adult life. A solid citizen who passes the Good Neighbor test with flying colors, John may not always be on the winning side of future council votes, but he can be counted on to do what he says he’ll do if elected.
ROCHELLE SWANSON (7 to 5) … being the only incumbent in a crowded field is a double-edged sword. Rochelle is a hard worker who pays attention and doesn’t seem beholden to any rigid political philosophy. People who like the direction of the council in the last four years are solidly in Rochelle’s camp, especially when it comes to her strong support of the water project. That position, obviously, cuts both ways. The fact that the city is in dire financial straits always works against an incumbent, especially with a strong field of newcomers running hard against you. Rochelle will definitely be in the top three. Whether she can come in first or second remains to be seen, but she is certainly a contender.
SHEILA ALLEN (4 to 1) … once considered almost a shoo-in, Sheila’s candidacy took a hard blow when she ended up on the wrong side of the Davis High School volleyball controversy near the end of her long stint on the Davis School Board. It was there that she sided with her former Board colleague Nancy Peterson and agreed to punish Julie Crawford by upholding her dismissal as DHS boys volleyball coach. She followed that with an ill-considered Op-ed in The Davis Enterprise that condescendingly told everyone it was “time to move on.”
Truly a self-inflicted one-two punch that knocked her campaign completely off its bearings.
Overnight her long tenure on the school board went from being an asset to a liability. People who didn’t know Sheila Allen from Woody Allen suddenly sat up and took notice. It’s unfortunate, because Sheila is a hard-working, dedicated public servant who truly loves the town she serves. But that final vote to dismiss Julie Crawford, which stunned even some of her most ardent supporters, appears to be too much to overcome.
DANIEL PARRELLA (10 to 1) … Daniel has come a long way in a short time, going from longshot to shortshot, but still no where near being a favorite. Nonetheless, Daniel is working very, very hard walking the mean streets of this town, and given that there are no apparent two-person “tickets” out there, he may get a significant number of second votes from those Davisites who have only one clear favorite but don’t like the notion of bullet voting. The youngest candidate in the field by several decades, this is indeed Daniel’s first run at public office, but it won’t be his last. He is clearly a candidate with a bright future ahead. Whether he eventually makes it into Congress by a vote of the people or simply on a Visitor’s Pass remains to be seen.
CALIFORNIA CHROME (Dead Lock Certainty) … California Chrome, the pride of Yuba City, wins the Triple Crown by a nose.
— Reach Bob Dunning at email@example.com