With the election just days away, a comment reminded me that I needed to get going on my predictions 🙂 Since they have the largest number of candidates and positions, I figured I’d start with Chesapeake.
Recall, if you will, the standards by which The Virginian-Pilot makes its endorsements:
If you read the editorial page regularly – and I hope you do – you probably have a good idea what the editorial board thinks is important: Good roads, effective schools, safe streets, a clean environment, an adequate social safety net. Taxes should be only high enough for government to do what only it can do: Building roads, for example.
From politicians, we like integrity, both in governance and promises. We want leaders, not followers. We prefer problem-solvers to flame-throwers. We want government to be small both in its spending and in its intrusion. We favor folks who get stuff done. We like smart people.
Incumbency is important – deep understanding of the issues typically tilts in that direction – but experience is not a clincher. It can be if a challenger’s knowledge deficit will take years to overcome. Seniority matters, at least where it provides power used for Hampton Roads’ benefit. Again, not a clincher.
In other words, a challenger has to be able to answer two questions: why to fire the other guy and why to hire him or her.
And just a reminder once again: although I write a weekly guest column for the opinion page, I do not sit on the editorial board nor am I privy to their interviews or decision-making process.
On to the predictions!
Mayor (financial info)
The power of incumbency is probably too much to overcome here, despite the fact that Alan Krasnoff’s failure to sign a letter from Hampton Roads mayors to their counterparts in NoVA and Richmond about transportation garnered a “miss” from the board last week. It is worth noting that the board endorsed Krasnoff’s opponent last cycle.
City Council (financial info)
Three seats are available, with only two incumbents running. The board will likely endorse the incumbents, Debbie Ritter and Rick West. I suspect the final choice will come down to one of the two former council members running – Bryan Collins or Dwight Parker. I’m going with Parker.
Seven candidates are vying for four seats, including all four of the incumbents. I haven’t heard anything to make me think the four – Jeff Bunn, Brenda Johnson, Tom Mercer, and Tina Pullen – would not receive the endorsements.
Coming tomorrow: my predictions on the Norfolk council races.