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RandomThoughts: The 2013 elections.

So that happened. The 2013 election season is over and we’re now getting ready for the 2014 elections (sigh). Let’s do some RandomThoughts about what happened in the SouthsideCentral region and more…

These RandomThoughts are in no specific order. That’s why they’re called random. Duh.

  • Wow. Tracy Martin did it and did it big. She’s going to be the new Commonwealth’s Attorney for Halifax County. My final prediction for the race was “Leans Martin” because I felt Mike Freshour had a stable level of support. Who knew that he would be playing the part of John Greenbacker getting ousted by Kim White 8 (12?) years ago?
  • I didn’t get my hands on Freshour’s last mailer until election day, but I would have seriously blasted him for the innuendo and horsecrap that was in it. If I had seen that hit piece calling Martin a “liberal Democrat” who was “against the death penalty”, he would have lost his share of our dual endorsement. It was dirty and sleazy and had no place in the campaign. I’m glad that voters completely disregarded it.
  • I totally missed it with one of my last-minute endorsements as I endorsed political newcomer Ira Tilley for mayor of Reidsville. I still stand by my endorsement of Tilley because he’s a charismatic man with leadership qualities who has his own small business. Tilley’s got his first taste of defeat and I hope he spits it out and runs for another office soon. I hope he’s learned a lesson on how to use and deal with all media, social and broadcast. (Apparently, he’s learning because he’s yanked his small business ads from Star News.)
  • So, we had a tie for the first time in 12 years in a Southside election. Faye Satterfield won the drawing and the four-year term that goes with it. Satterfield got lucky in two ways. First, the drawing, and second, she was out-campaigned. Her door-to-door strategy works well, but she needs some signs for name recognition next time out.
  • I really couldn’t believe the community outrage over the fact that election ties are decided randomly. Face it, folks. There’s no other reasonable alternative.
  • In a race I didn’t cover this year (but I should have), Joan Ziglar got ousted from 16 years as Commonwealth’s Attorney by one of her former assistants, Clay Gravely. In a stark opposite to the issue in Halifax County, Gravely campaigned on “too many jury trials” and promised to speed the judicial process up.
  • Mike Mondul easily won his second term as Danville’s Sheriff defeating Silas Crews by a 3-1 margin. Crews was doomed from his first interview and never caught fire in any way.
  • Danny Marshall easily won his seventh term by beating yet another Danville City Council member, Gary Miller. Marshall has had four opponents in those seven elections and all of them have been current or former councilmembers.
  • Les Adams won his first election and it looked like he’d being winning elections all of his life. If he takes that momentum and runs with it in Richmond, he’s quickly heading to bigger things.

This was an election that only had a few surprises with the biggest one being Tracy Martin’s margin of victory over Mike Freshour. Most of these elections were predicted and over by the time the candidates were finalized. That’s SouthsideVA politics for you…


2 comments to RandomThoughts: The 2013 elections.

  • Lee Smallwood

    Tracy Martin and Clay Gravely deserve hearty congratulations and also need to take a moment to soberly reflect upon the work they have asked to do and how the discretion vested in them can be used to destroy or repair lives and communities. It’s a hard and honorable job in the abstract that is sadly done with little care for the public policy side of the job. We have humans instead of robots handling these things for a reason. They are the only two persons to unseat an incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney this November.

    My curiosity is where Joan Ziglar ends up. Mr. Freshour seems to have a plan well in place to move into the private practice of law. I have not heard anything from Ms. Ziglar. Will she end up in Henry County as an assistant prosecutor? Pittsylvania? Danville? This seems to happen from time to time. I seem to recall hearing that Ms. Ziglar has defense attorney credentials in her past, so perhaps she will follow Mr. Freshour into that type of arrangement.

    • Lee Smallwood

      I intended to say above that SOMETIMES prosecutors perform their job with little concern for the public policy aspects of the job. There are good and bad prosecutors, and I will refrain from offering a specific opinion on who might belong in what category.

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