Well, it’s time to face the music. In the last edition I predicted the outcomes of the various races in Jefferson County. Now it’s time to see how well I did.
For the US Senate Seat being vacated by outgoing Jim Bunning (R), I predicated Rand Paul (R) would handily beat Jack Conway (D), and indeed he did! It just wasn’t a win, it was a spanking (56% to 44%). This was the first race of the night called; just 30 minutes after the polls closed! However, I fear we haven’t seen the last of Jack Conway yet.
Democrat John Yarmuth easily kept his 3rd District Congressional seat by defeating Republican Todd Lally as I predicted by 55% to 44%. Lally, who otherwise was a good candidate, simply ran a lackluster campaign and missed numerous opportunities to hang Pelosi and Obama around Yarmuth’s neck.
In the 38th State Senate, Republican Dan Seum won with 61.71% of the vote over Marty Meyer’s 39.29%. No surprise there. Meyer, who was Yarmuth's legislative aide, was outmatched from the get-go. Democrat Larry Clark beat Republican newcomer Brian Simpson for the 46th House seat 55.45% to 44.55%. But, I look for Brian Simpson to be back again, especially if Larry Clark keeps on acting like, well, Larry Clark.
In the 38th House seat, I predicted Mike Nemus (R), also a newcomer, to beat Tim Firkins (D). It was a tight race, 50.95% to 49.05% but Mike came through like the champ he is. Republican Kevin Bratcher beat Democrat Dustin Wilcher as expected with just over 68% of the vote. Political newcomer Aaron Wilson lost to Tom Burch in the 30th House race by a margin of 72.38% to 27.62%. The Republican, Julie Raque Adams won in the 32nd House race against her two opponents with 62.92% of the vote while Republican Ron Crimm beat Democrat Kimberly Greenwell in the 33rd House race 66.44% to 33.56%. Long time 28th State Representative Charlie Miller (D) had no trouble with John Brewer (R) with a 54.86% to 45.14% win. Will the preacher try a third time in 2012?
Bobbi Holsclaw (R) kept her Jefferson County Clerk position by handily defeating Democrat Jack Wood 65.38% to 34.62%. Likewise, Democrat “Colonel” John Aubrey is still the local sheriff after beating Republican Mike Roberts and Indie Don Fitzgerald with 60.85% of the total vote. With 58.3%, Tony Lindaur, the Democrat, beat Republican Corey Keollner and remains the Property Value Administrator By the way, shouldn’t the PVA, Jefferson County Sheriff, and County Clerk be non-partisan positions like the judges are?
In a nail biter, Democrat Greg Fischer won over Republican Hal Heiner by only 2% (51% to 49%). The post election map showed the old county voted overwhelmingly for Heiner while the old city voted just as overwhelmingly for Fischer. What this election clearly demonstrated was that after two terms as mayor by His Excellency, Jerry Abramson, Metro Louisville remains just as divided as it did when Abramson served three terms as Louisville Mayor and the county had a County Judge and three County Commissioners.
Greg Fischer, whom I’ve dubbed as “Abramson Lite” will continue many of the policies of his predecessor (along with keeping several of Abramson’s staff members) and the residents of the county will become angrier over the lack of representation they (rightly) believed they are getting from City Hall, especially as the city government continues to move its crime problems out of the West End and into the Southwest portions of the county in order to “revitalized” the downtown Louisville. Rumor has it that former mayor Dave Armstrong and former state Representative Ron Weston of Fairdale will be the new deputy mayors under Fischer. If so, they will be the opening blunders of the new administration.
There wasn’t much change or interest in most of the races for Metro Council (which I usually refer to the Metro Soviet given its past lockstep devotion to His Excellency, Jerry Abramson) as expected, with three exceptions. The first was Metro Council District 13 which pitted incumbent Democrat Vicki Welch against activist and Republican Renay Davis. As I wrote in the last issue, residents of Fairdale have faired pretty well under Metro government while the rest of the district has received little to nothing. Residents have seen an increase in Section 8 housing, and corresponding crime related matters despite assurances to the contrary. A hotly contested race, Ms. Welch won by a mere 219 votes (51.88% to 48.12%). I just hope the residents of District 13 haven’t lost their opportunity to turn things around.
Hal Heiner decided to vacate his Metro Council District 19 seat in order to run for Mayor. Republican and all around good guy Jerry T. Miller stepped up and convincingly defeated his Democrat challenger, Justin Chelf by 74.36% to 25.64%.
The third Metro Council race of note was in the 25th where incumbent Doug Hawkins (R) took on David Yates, the Democrat and lost 51.3% to 48.7%. As I said previously, Doug has done a lot for the residents of District 25, but he committed the cardinal mistake of underestimating his opponent. Throughout, Doug thought that his past performances, which were considerable, would carry him through. Doug failed to fundraise; to do mailers; and to walk his district. In short, he didn’t do his homework. I’ve heard good things about David Yates (I meet him once at a union endorsement forum). I think the residents of Metro 25 will do well by him, however, I don’t think they will see the kind of voice they had in Doug Hawkins.
While the Democrats took a shellacking nationally, the biggest loser of the night was the National Republican Party. How can that be with so many GOP victories across the country? Because the majority of these victories were by Tea Party candidates who just so happened to have an “R” behind their names this time. The Establishment Republicans (think Mitch McConnell) lost big in this election cycle. They lost it in the Republican Primaries along with what was left of the GOP moderates. Rand Paul and other incoming Tea Partiers have already agreed to form a Tea Party caucus. I applaud them for following through on their promises to the American People. It will be interesting to see how the two sides work together going into the next congressional session in dealing with the Democrats and Obama.
Locally, the Republican Party demonstrated for all to see just how poorly organized and led they are. While the GOP picked up two state house seats in Southwest Jefferson County, it was through no thanks to the local GOP leadership, but instead by a well organized and dedicated group of Southend conservatives (who were also active in some other Southwest campaigns). The Metro Council is now solely Republican east of I-65 and solidly Democrat west of I-65; all as it was originally intended some eight years ago when the metro government came about. The Democrats now control 17 seats on Metro Council to the Republicans 9 seats, making the GOP all but redundant.
So, how did I fare in my predictions? Pretty well I think. Of the races I weighed in on, I missed only three while I was correct on 20.