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RandomThoughts: After The Election

We’ve got a lot of SouthsideCentral articles coming up that will go in-depth on what happened in the 2016 Danville City Council election, but let’s get started with a quick bunch of RandomThoughts on election things. Oh yeah, before we get started…


Anyway, on we go!

Here comes that Big Board!

  • When this campaign started, I did an analysis of prior elections. I ran the numbers, factored in current events and came to the conclusion that all four incumbents were SAFE for reelection. I never varied from that prediction, no matter how I was pushed to consider the possibility that at least one incumbent would be voted out of office. The numbers just didn’t lie. I was right.
  • SouthsideCentral also continued our almost-perfect record of election night projections. We had the formulas and milestones that were needed to make the accurate projections and we made them before anyone else did. We posted those projections and didn’t look back after doing so.
  • This isn’t a Thumbs! article, but Thumbs UP! to the city’s IT department and Mark Aron for making an election night show that was on-time and accurate. Chuck Vipperman did the simulcast with WBTM radio to make it perfect.
  • No more Gerald Gibson and his staff reading off each precinct’s results then manually tabulating the totals. No more inevitable delays when some mistake was made. Yeah!
  • Sorry for getting into the River City TV camera angle a few times. Oops. I figured it out quick enough, though.
  • It was good to see the people from Star News in the city council chambers. Well, at least Jessica Griffith. Heh.
  • Sherman Saunders was an interesting no-show at council chambers. Four years ago, he showed up near the end of the vote tabulation, but not this time.
  • Larry Campbell was sitting by himself on the back row, sort of nervous as the numbers came in. After I went back and told him that SouthsideCentral had projected him to win reelection, his face lit up big time and he turned back into the confident & fun Larry Campbell.
  • My heart was breaking when watching Trina McLaughlin & Philip Haley. They ran good campaigns but there just wasn’t enough open seats for them to win their first time out. I want to see them continue their hard-fought campaign over the next 22 months until we play this election game again. Both of them are well-deserving of a city council seat.
  • About a third of the way though the vote tabulations, SouthsideCentral’s projection formulas eliminated Sheila Baynes, Robin Dabney and Thomas Motley from any chance of winning. But that wasn’t any reflection on those people themselves. Baynes learned a lot from her first run and has really shown herself to be a powerful voice of the public. Dabney never get her campaign going but her desire for educational improvement really showed during the campaign. I want her to keep up that strength. And dammit, Thomas Motley ended up impressing me too once he calmed down and started talking rationally. I want him to become involved in city government outside of the 2-month window of campaigning. He also needs to dump the people on his campaign that encourage him to go off on wild tangents.
  • Jim Lindley’s efforts were derailed by his lack of a consistent message. His last weekend push of a “Stop The Violence” message fell flat and cemented his 8th place finish. I was highly skeptical of his campaign at the beginning, but found him to be on-target and extremely willing to learn the things he needed to know about. Like the others, there’s a place in the community for Jim Lindley’s voice & efforts and I strongly hope he stays visible over the next few years.
  • Madison Whittle spent a lot of money during the campaign, and let’s face it… it paid off. He was a top-shelf challenger with or without the money, but the constant push that the money brought was easily enough to put him very high on the leaderboard. Whittle’s not going to shake up the dynamics of council, but his knowledge of business and zoning issues will make him an equivalent replacement for Buddy Rawley.
  • Oh yeah, we had a school board election too. The only fun thing was Renee Hughes’ efforts to get out the vote and it showed as she ended up with the most votes. The race was a lock, with Jeff Hubbard winning the seat of the retiring Cheryl Bryant. I will miss Cheryl Bryant, but Hubbard won’t miss a beat dropping into her seat.
  • The treasurer election turned into a blowout by default. Sheila Branch ran a perfect well-funded campaign and actually pulled a majority of the votes in the three candidate race. Alvis McFarland never really campaigned in the race, and Susan Davis completely disappeared in the final weeks. SouthsideCentral was able to project Branch as the winner in the election after only three precincts had reported in.
  • Fred Shanks won by being Fred Shanks. That’s simple enough. His planning, zoning and engineering expertise will continue to add to the council.
  • Finally, this election proved that the Confederate flag issue is dead. The “No Votes For Turncoats” movement brought in by outside agitators was a complete bust. If anything, it totally backfired on the Virginia Flagger movement as Lee Vogler ended up on top of the leaderboard. The local flag supporters who could actually vote in this election are mostly good people with good intentions in their hearts. The same can be said for the pro-flag people that live in Pittsylvania County. Wayne Byrd are  Ed Chaney are good people. I’m proud to call people like that friends of mine, no matter their opinion on the flag (or any other issue). The rest of the pro-flag people need to look at how those two pulled themselves together and learn from them. I look forward to working with Chaney & Byrd in the coming months. I wish I could say the same for other local people who got too caught up in the flag movement. But I’ll still have hope for those people, too.

Whew. That’s it. Well, for now. The vote totals become official in a few days and we’ll start writing the BreakDown articles.

I’m just glad that the elections are now over.


6 comments to RandomThoughts: After The Election

  • Jim

    The flaggers really latched onto Jim Lindley and made themselves synonymous with his campaign, whether he liked it or not. Any post-mortem analysis of how this affected his numbers?

  • Proper Southern Gentleman

    The Confederate flag issue is most certainly far from “dead.” Because of the vote to remove the flag from the Sutherlin Mansion in August, numerous huge battle flags have been raised and continue to fly across the Danville skyline, all on private property and untouchable by the city’s current laws. The beautiful monument to international businesses stands bare on Bridge Street. The decision to remove the flag created more problems than it solved and you can thank your city council for that.

    • Nope. It’s dead. Nobody gives a damn about the other Confederate flags around the city. You have to be looking for them to find them. Those flags could have been put up at any other time, so it’s clear that they were put up for spite. Big deal.

      The “beautiful monument” on Bridge St. is doing just fine without any flags right now, and that problem will be fixed one day. Let’s get real, how many people travel on Bridge St. each day anyway?

  • Trevor

    still NO voice for the poor in Danville. they will continue to fall by wayside. it’s the same ole same. as if no one left. Madison whittle –the NEW KID ON THE BLOCK —is suppose to be the rain maker for jobs. and save the city. let’s see in 2 years or whenever his term ends how many jobs he brought. and started and FOR WHOM?? what economic status of the people? it won’t be for the poor and down trodden. Danville will go forward according to current/old city council + 1. –BUSINESS AS USUAL. interesting on the election night there is a DOUBLE homicide. a CRIME, the river district and Craighead street will flourish while rest of Danville remains as is and fall behind. Tuesday editorial –one near right margin– seems to hit nail on head. u need to read it.

  • Trevor

    aye men.. well said. supposedly according to a 3rd rate tv station anchor & owner no businesses will relocate to Danville cause of a flag. how shallow. and IGGGNERT He even thinks Goodyear is considering a move cause of the flag. I doubt the CEO of a company researches Danville and sees there it is ” stay out of Danville, Virginia—they have confederate flags flying” Let’s see if Madison WHittle has this problem when he brings all of the new jobs he is expected to bring–“businesses”

    the museum of all places needs and needed the flag flying for what it was !!

  • Madison Whittle has created many small businesses on his own, he’s not going to bring another Goodyear to Danville…not, what he does! I hear you complaining but what have you done to fix it? Waiting on someone else, yeah that’s what I thought! First you have to get the “poor” off their asses to actually show up and vote! The double homicide was due to thugs acting like thugs, had nothing to do with who was running for council or who wasn’t elected? Do you think Thomas Motley and his “minority” favoritism could have prevented this? FTR a political term is “4” years, from the local level to the Presidential levels!

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