The results of the 2009 Mayor and Council election came in much later than usual on Tuesday night, and I had already left the parties at but by the time I went to bed I had learned I was not elected. And it was only this morning that I saw the tallies and saw that I came in last with 780 votes or 3 percent of the vote. But I don’t feel horrible or depressed. I knew that this campaign would be very difficult to win:
- Incumbents have a big advantage. They’re much more visible, have built up their network of supporters, and have experience running successful campaigns–so they usually win.
- My network in Rockville is small, even though I’ve been involved in various projects and groups over the years. My network in DC (where I work) and in my profession is much stronger.
- I’m very good at service on boards, teams, and commissions, but campaigning requires a different set of skills, many of which I really don’t like to do. In a campaign, you have to talk about yourself and why you’re better than the other candidates; you have to raise money for yourself; and you have to interrupt people at home or at events and push a flyer into their hands.
- I was willing to only put up $1000 of my own money. It showed a serious commitment on my part but I had to establish a cap and look to others for help.
I went into the race knowing that as a first-time experience, the likelihood of success would be small. Nevertheless, I both wanted to understand the process and wanted to improve the city in which I live. Indeed, I continue to be concerned about the city’s finances and its ability to provide adequate services to its citizens. I’ve always been concerned about the historic neighborhoods of the city (West End, Lincoln Park, and East Rockville are usually cited, but I also include Twinbrook, Hungerford, and others) and am even more so because I’ve now walked all of them during my campaign. And I do want to improve citizen “engagement” with the city and within neighborhoods.
I have learned a lot about Rockville, made many new friends, and better understand the political process, so the election loss hasn’t affected me as much as some people might think. Now that the campaign is over, I’ll share my thoughts on various aspects in the next few weeks plus shift the focus of this Web site from the campaign to various issues, people, and events in Rockville. Thanks for following this blog so far and hope you stay with it.