Wednesday, May 19, 2010

on the undercard

While we wait for the detailed data to be posted, this surprises me.  In the race for the state Democratic Committee, this is the result for the 38th Senate District (state committeepersons are elected by state senate district) for all districts reporting in Allegheny County.

Mike Turpin. . . . . . . . . . 11,328        16.63%
Pamela Macklin. . . . . . . . . 12,662    18.59%
Cynthia M. Maleski . . . . . . . 10,682    15.68%
Daniel Jimenez. . . . . . . . . 9,845       14.45%
Brenda L. Frazier. . . . . . . . 13,376     19.63%
Matthew A. Arena . . . . . . . . 9,848    14.46%

The 38th Senate District includes some small pieces of a few other counties, to this isn't the final result.  But 5 of these 6 candidates will win. 

update:  I may not be correct on how multi-county state senate committee seats are elected... anyone?

Several things of note.  It looks like Daniel Jimenez came in last even though he was one of the 5 candidates endorsed by the county committee. Jimenez came to note during the tuition tax debates as the graduate student leader at Pitt.  I thought he had a lock on this low key race in that he was not only endorsed, but had a prominant place on the slate card as the vice chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Primary Campaign Commitee.  He also was clearly the most tech savvy of the candidates with active campaign twitter and facebook accounts. 

The only unendorsed candidate in this race was former county councilwoman Brenda Frazier, who looks to have come actually in first.  Jiminez came in just 3 points less than Matthew Arena. Like I said, I dont see the multi-county results yet which may work out differently... 3 points is not exactly a big margin which J.

Not a good night for the Allegheny County Democratic Primary Campaign Commitee it seems.  Jiminez as vice chair, but Arlen Specter was listed as the groups secretary.  Pro-forma I am sure, but still.  Sure can't say that the ACDC endorsement guarantees you an election victory.


Anonymous Patrick said...

Candidates run in the Allegheny County portion ONLY.

Each county is allotted a certain # of State Committee spots based on voter registration numbers; due to their size, Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties' share of seats are then further allotted along State Senate District lines, but the candidates run in only the Allegheny County portions of those districts.

Hence, districts like the 40th have a very small number of seats since a sizeable portion fo the district is in Butler County (not to mention the Allegheny portion is largely Republican); the 38th and 45th are heavily Democratic, but large parts of the district are in Westmoreland and Armstrong.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did this really happen?? Jimenez put far more of an effort into campaigning than anyone else and I was under the impression that he was widely supported by active members of the party. I don't understand election politics, I guess...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

You know. There is a lot of confusion over how that slot gets elected. I’ve had some senior folks telling me the opposite.. that the candidates are elected across counties but within senate districts. But I think Patricks version is correct. I was looking at the bylaws which made me realize there was no cross county summation. That and I don’t see any of the same candidates listed on the Westmoreland election returns… and part of senate 38 is in Westmoreland County.

As for why DJ has apparently lost which I think is the result barring something unprecedented??

I don’t know the reasons, but there are a couple ways to look at it. All this last minute campaigning is well and good, but I think most of the names on that list were folks involved in politics over a very long time. So people voted for who they knew and the vast majority who voted probably had never heard of DJ before they walked up to the machine. Few first time candidates win anything in this town. It happens, but usually there is something pretty big to cause it.

That being said, how you come in last and be the only one to lose in a 6 person race is remarkable. Pretty much says that the slate endorsement in itself is not so important. People confuse correlation and causality with that a lot and more often than you think the slate pick reflects some group consensus on who they think will win, not who they want to win. This was a case where there was some deliberate support to get him endorsed, put him on the campaign committee even… but the choice of the party leadership was pretty much ignored. A bit like Jim Simms who was supposedly all lined up to be county controller if you remember that only to have the endorsement, and then the election, won by Flaherty.

The fact that there were only 7 people running with 6 slots probably hurt him. If it had been a wider broken field the endorsement impact would have floated up… but with only one person going to lose… and Brenda Frazier being both the top vote getter and the only unendorsed candidate, she is the one who really displaced DJ. Basically he came in last among the endorsed folks…. Which in a lot of races is still enough to get you in… but I am wondering if, unbeknownst to him I want to specify, this was all a game to keep unendorsed Brenda from winning. She has a history of running (and winning) without the party endorsement which has some a bit peeved I do believe.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Looks like Arena's lead is up to 30 votes. The detail reports are up, and they appear to include the absentee ballots (which were not on the machine totals).
Arena 10,041
Jimenez 10,011

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I have to wonder how many votes he lost because of his last name, to be frank. I think in this environment, that probably played some role.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I'm thinking Arena came in second to last because everybody realized it was the only time they'd ever be allowed to vote against an arena.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 8:50:00 AM  

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