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Democrat Wins Special Election in DeKalb County

by: mooncat

Thu May 19, 2011 at 09:23:37 AM CDT

Despite being heavily outspent, Democrat Jerome Tinker of Ider defeated a wealthy Republican opponent in yesterday's special election for DeKalb County Commission, District 1.  This commission seat has been in Republican hands since DeKalb began electing commissioners by district in 1994.  Democrats hailed Tinker's victory over businessman Don Stout as a turning of the tide, a sign Alabamians are tired of the Republican assault on working families and an indication that grassroots campaign efforts will pay off, even in Republican districts.

“We applaud Mr. Tinker for his victory, and are incredibly grateful to the hardworking Democrats of DeKalb County for their efforts on this race,” said ADP Chairman Mark Kennedy. “We are firmly committed to electing qualified Democrats to offices at every level next year, and Jerome’s victory is a great start.”


DeKalb County Democratic Chairman Ronnie Helton said, “We are proud to have a Democratic majority on the County Commission now. DeKalb Democrats are committed to moving our county and our state forward, and this election makes a clear statement about who voters trust to get the job done.”
Commissioner Jerome Tinker will be sworn in this morning at 10 am at the DeKalb County Activities Building -- the public is welcome to attend.
"I'll try not to let anyone down," Tinker said. "DeKalb County can expect an honest day's work from me. Thank you and God bless you." 
Tinker will also be the guest speaker at tonight's meeting of the DeKalb Women's Democratic Club at Ryan's.  Dinner is at 6 pm with the speaker at 7 pm.
mooncat :: Democrat Wins Special Election in DeKalb County
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Not to rain on the parade.... (4.00 / 2)

but we tend to outperform the GOP in special elections in north Alabama (see: James Fields in 2008). Counter-intuitively, lower turnout actually helps Democrats there in the Appalachian foothills because "surge" voters tend to simply vote Republican. In areas with a higher proportion of minorities, it's a different story.

Nonetheless, this is a sign of life, especially considering that the seat had been held by a Republican for so long.  

I thouht of the special to fill Albert Hall's seat in early 2007 (4.00 / 1)

Which is somewhat analagous to your HD12 example.  It is true that Democrats have sometimes outperformed in NA specials, but that model completely broke down in 2009 when we got clobbered in specials for Senate Dist. 7 and House Dist. 6.  In those cases I felt the Republicans A) Out-recruited us, and B) Out-organized and out-worked us on the ground.  That situation didn't get any better in most of North Alabama for the 2010 general.

It's always dangerous to read too much into a single election result, but I wonder if this outcome isn't not only a sign of life for Alabama Dems (and dividends from the new philosophy Judge Kennedy has brought) but also a signal that the ALGOP is not what they were a couple of years ago.  I mean that literally, the ALGOP that Mike Hubbard built has pretty much dissolved under Bill Armistead.  Are any of the professional folks Hubbard brought in still with the ALGOP?

I remember the SD7 race in particular, which was a race we should have won.  Dems up here talked about the quality of the people the GOP brought in ... they just flat out-worked and out-smarted our side.  Has the new, Bentley-Armistead ALGOP failed to sufficiently value and retain those behind-the-scenes folks who were key to their party's success?  Indications are they have, at the same time Mark Kennedy very clearly understands that putting a talented, professional team in place at AlaDems is the key to working our way out of this hole.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Those people are all working for the legislative caucus now... (4.00 / 1)

When you look at the returns in 2010, it seems we still actually over-performed in those earlier races. Obama literally had a single digit approval rating in many of the counties in north Alabama in November 2010 so any new white voters had a better than 9 in 10 chance of hating dems. So when we get a special like this, it's very important that we take advantage of it AND that, if we do win, that the candidate does a good job in office (Fields could not hold off the tide in HD12 but he nonetheless outperformed the rest of the ticket and only lost by a couple hundred votes; with regular turnout, he would have won). 

On staff, that is the price of success in Alabama politics: your best hands usually end up in state jobs. Mike Hubbard was an extremely effective recruiter, organizer, and fundraiser but of course those things are much more difficult to do when you are House Speaker instead of House Minority Leader. I have no clue on Armistead's abilities, but I do know he is hamstrung in a way that Hubbard never was by the nascent conflict between the Riley/Hubbard/Strange/Byrne wing and the coalition behind Bentley. Those conflicts are usually - but not always - put on the backburner when you're in opposition because everyone can united behind the goal of getting the bad guys out of power. I truly believe this thing will be a circular firing squad before it's all over.

Kennedy is doing just what he needs to behind the scenes. I seriously doubt that Commissioner Tinker adhered too closely to his "Embrace Obama" plank, but on-the-ground organization and fundraising is going to be key going forward.

[ Parent ]
good night for Democrats in GOP-held seats (4.00 / 1)

Jacksonville, FL has a new Democratic mayor:

Nearly 24 hours after the polls closed in Jacksonville's mayoral election, some additional, heavily scrutinized votes were tallied, pushing Democrat Alvin Brown 1,648 votes ahead of Republican Mike Hogan.

While results will not be finalized until Thursday, the margin was enough to avoid a runoff and to cause Hogan to release a statement conceding the race to Brown.

Funny, Marco Rubio & the Florida GOP had already taken a victory lap...

The party in this case was the Republican Party of Florida, which invested in polling and had sent operatives to Duval to help ensure the campaign delivered. The margin being bandied around yesterday by various party officials I spoke with was between 6 and 10 points.

Even local party leaders and elected officials were telling me as recently as 4:00 pm yesterday that they felt confident they had this in the bag.

They had U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on board. He led a last-minute GOTV teleconference for Hogan. CFO Jeff Atwater was in town campaigning for Hogan on Election Day. Former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, a candidate for U.S. Senate, was in town over the weekend campaigning for Hogan.



"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

Very sweet! (4.00 / 1)

Especially the part where the Florida GOP had already taken their victory lap -- before the polls closed.

I get the impression these guys are totally ODed on hubris ... completely confident that Americans everywhere embrace their warped vision for the future of this country.  Totally out of touch.  Drunk too much of their own Kool-aid, it seems.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
What's funny is that... (4.00 / 2)

the GOP could have actually cemented their status as the only game in town in Alabama, if only they had staked a nice, fiscally conservative path in leadership. Repeal the pay raise. Co-opt the AEA and ASEA on declining funding and be willing to work with others on every fiscal issue but tax increases, which the Alabama public is against anyway. Throw a bone or two to the social conservatives from time to time by restricting partial birth abortion or some such. Keep "traditional marriage". And pass the original ethics reform package. Stay away from gambling and let Mississippi do their thing with our money.

But they weren't content to win. And, once they won, they weren't intending to actual implement any of the changes they campaigned on (62% pay raise?); instead they focused on doling out political payback to their enemies. It is a always a bad strategy and it ends up biting you in the ass. I predict the jobs picture will be even worse here when the legislature is up for reelection in 2014. They won't be able to escape responsibility then.

[ Parent ]
We need to start compiling a list (0.00 / 0)
Of all the things the Republican Legislature has spent time on other than resolving the state's very real and very significant budget problems and creating jobs.  I'm sure it would be a long list, even this early, and they weren't campaigning on right-wing social engineering when voters handed them control of the state.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]



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