Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3 advantages State Rep Joe Booth has in the 8-3-09 special election in the 19th State Senate district. Advantages ,but not guarantees for success.

State Rep Joe Booth is the Republican candidate in the 19th State Senate District . The senate district has a Democratic voter registration, but all four state rep districts which overlap with the 19th Senate District are represented by Republicans. The previously nominated Democrat , Eddy Parker, has stepped down and a new candidate is likely within the days.
Whoever is nominated as Democratic candidate faces at least three hurdles in the race with Joe Booth. Each of these could be a double edged sword for Booth , so no one has a lock on this contest.

(1) Joe Booth has a record to run on. As mayor of Georgetown and later as State Representative, he can point to decisions he has made or been part of which have impacted the lives of voters. Of course, if his opponent can point to circumstances where he can be portrayed as out of touch with the constituents of the 19th State Senate District, this may not be as much of an advantage for Booth.
Depending on the Democratic candidate they may have their own record to run on or , if they have not had previous public service, may be able to present themselves as a fresh approach compared to Booth ,who has been in public service for several years.

(2) Booth has a proven ability to raise money which will be needed to get a campaign message out in a matter of weeks . He also may have already had a fair amount on hand prior to his senate candidacy nomination.

State Rep Joe Booth’s 12-31-2008 end of year balance was $35,541.47. Between 10-28-2008 and 12-31-2008 he raised $4,800.00. His 8 day report prior to the Nov 2008 general election indicates he raised $1,775.00 between 10/08/2008 and 10/27/2008. His 30 day report prior to the Nov 2008 general election indicates he raised $20,950.00 between 01/01/2008 and 10/05/2008.

His 2007 end of year report indicates Booth’s committee raised $5,100.00 between 01/01/2007 and 12/31/2007.

If you have difficulty accessing campaign finance from the link above , try this one and click on “view Reports Online”:

It doesn’t mean the Democratic candidate can not raise a large amount of money in a short period of time, but it seems to mean that some time that might be used for voter contact will be used on donor contact by both the candidate and her/ his supporters.

(3) As a state representative in the middle of a term, Booth represents a win-win for campaign donors. If they donate and he wins, they supported a victorious state senator. If they support him and he loses , they supported someone who continues to have a vote in Legislative Hall as a state representative.

A 2007 Special Election demonstrates my point.
In the 14th State Senate special election held on November 3, 2007
Republican Joanne Christian’s 8 day filing from 9-30-2007 to 10-26-2007
reported Total Receipts of $22,350

Then Democratic State Rep. Bruce Ennis , who won the seat vacated by the death of State Sen Jim Vaughn, also submitted an 8 day filing from 9-27-2007 to 10-26-2007
He reported Total receipts of $42,915.00.
I can not be sure of the motives of anyone’s contributions ,but I can see that the outcome of supporting Ennis, who raised almost twice as much money as his opponent , was another inherent win-win for contributors. If he had lost, he would still have been a sitting legislator. By winning he moved to the State Senate where he became one of 21 , rather than one of 41 votes.

One option his opponent could try if that person is outspent by a large margin is to portray Booth as an insider , take advantage of as much free media as possible and hope enough voters to make a difference in the election outcome don't want an insider. The danger here is that some voters want an insider and I am guessing a significant number of voters in a district that has sent a decades long power player like Thurman Adams ( and I am not judging him positively or negatively by using this term as much as describing his role as executive Committee chair and later President Pro Tempore , he WAS a power player) back to Dover over the course of 36 years kind of like having an insider.
It's over three weeks away, so I plan to continue to follow this race and update when I find items of possible interest.

No comments: