The Suspense Grows re: Annapolis Mayoral Race

Folks keep asking me for the inside scoop on who I think will win the election, now that Zina Pierre pulled out of the race and the Democratic nominee is literally being selected by committee.
Talking to the business community, there seems to be a lot of support and interest in the candidacy of Chris Fox. Others seem to speculate that with all the criticism of the current administration, city residents are ready to elect a more fiscally conservative Republican–enter David Cordle.
What’s in store for Annapolis? We’ll know more this weekend.

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Annapolis Politics at the Murray Hill Picnic

Chris Fox, independent candidate for Annapolis Mayor with Murray Hill residents, Peter and Judy Larson and Ward One Alderperson Dick Israel.
Chris Fox, independent candidate for Annapolis Mayor with Murray Hill residents, Peter and Judy Larson and Ward One Alderperson Dick Israel.

Even though only one of the three candidates for city mayor chose to attend, politics peppered the subject matter of many of the conversations at last night’s Murray Hill Picnic.
Clad in his bright yellow tee shirt, independent candidate Chris Fox was busy chatting up prospective supporters while other attendees talked about the prospects of Democratic candidate Zina Pierre who grabbed the front page newspaper headlines twice in one weekend by first withdrawing and then announcing her intent to stay in the race.
Miscommunication between staff and candidate was not as much as concern to voters as the lack of research that was done by the democratic party or the press prior to the election on the court records of the various candidates. Neither Pierre or Republican candidate David Cordle attended the picnic (at least not while I was there between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.).

“I’ve always been in favor of a city manager form of government and my platform has not changed,” Chris Fox told me, “I refuse to get involved in any type of personal attacks on the other candidates. I’m interested in running a clean straightforward campaign.” While the hundred plus attendees from the neighborhood filled their plates with food, Fox made the most of the opportunity to talk one on one with voters residing in the Ward one neighborhood of Murray Hill. Residents posed questions on taxes, economic growth, and accountability , while others questioned how no one has bothered to thoroughly investigate the financial past of all the candidates until after the primary had taken place.

The usual array of delicious food overwhelmed the table and sideboard inside the home of Lynne and Brad Davidson, who generously opened their home once again for the annual picnic event. Fresh salads, barbecue pork sandwiches, stuffed shells, chicken, meatballs, spaghetti plus homemade pies and brownies were enjoyed by all, accompanied by wine, beer, soft drinks, and chilled water.
For more information about the Murray Hill Resident’s Association, visit their website at: http://murrayhill.annapolis.com/

Annapolis Mayor Choice a Challenge

Eight of Nine Candidates debated on 09/09/09
Eight of Nine Candidates debated on 09/09/09

It was a packed house last night at the Mayoral debate sponsored by The League of Women’s Voters held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis. Despite the scheduled address by President Obama to the joint members of Congress and the nation, most seats were filled. (Perhaps many of the political junkies like myself had made prior arrangements to tape the President’s speech). Unlike President Obama’s comments, which were received by some in his audience with heckles and boos, the group on stage and in the audience were polite and respectful. In many instances the candidates seem to nod and agree with one another, like old friends, and I couldn’t help but think that perhaps whoever becomes the victor might be inviting their opponents to serve in their new administration.
One candidate, Republican David Cordle who is running unopposed, declined to be present. This was too bad, in that he will be one of three choices- and it would have been helpful to compare and contrast him to the one lone independent– Chris Fox and the seven Democrats.
As a registered Democrat, I have a difficult task to initially choose between seven candidates, several of which I have worked with personally, and all of whom have some fine qualities and qualifications that attracted them to this race. They all say they can do a better job than the present administration; but four years is a long time. The basic question remains; who would be the best mayor?
Oh if only I could magically fuse together the “do gooder spirit” of Laurie Sears Deppa with the executive management experience of Trudy P. McFall, and the political saavy of Josh Cohen. Then I’d add a dash of unifying spirit courtesy of Wayne M. Taylor, seasoned mediator ability contributed by Gilbert T. Renaut, long term alderperson experience of Samuel Shropshire, and the dynamic presence and multi-level governmental expertise of Zina C. Pierre. What a great democratic candidate that person would be.
Taylor, Cohen, and Pierre are not in favor of a City Manager although if the voters approved the measure in a referendum they would of course honor the voter’s choice. Otherwise, the differences on specific issues were not clearly defined in this particular debate. There is another debate tonight in Eastport. Another opportunity to judge and observe the candidates. But… there is nothing like seeing someone in action to really gain a sense of their suitability for the job. Too bad we can’t see into the future. Read more about the candidates at http://www.WhatsUpMag.com