Btn_red_77x28 Green website certified by Greenscroll Clip to Evernote

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Camden Mayoral election



Elton Custis (D) 192

Eulisis Delgado (D) 113

Dana Redd (D) 1,831

This was just the primary, but the winner won with just 1800 votes. The candidate will face 3 independent candidates in November. A similar outcome is expected. I don't know anything about these candidates - not because I don't care. I think it is obvious that I follow local politics. I am a resident of Camden and registered voter. I did not get one piece of campaign material in my mailbox. I did not see any articles in the newspaper about debates or candidate forums. Sadly, I did not vote in this primary. If I can't be motivated, why would anyone else? The fait a compli in politics in this town is destructive. People are not voting because they see no point. Efficacy must be at rock bottom here. If people were supporting the local ticket, they would go out and vote. People have been conditioned to believe their vote does not matter. And the straight ticket voting process in NJ is archaic and damaging to progressive politics. However, if that is what it takes to be taken seriously in Camden, then I would suggest that the Green Party get active here and slate candidates. It is the only way to enable alternative voices to competitively challenge the Democratic party slate. Not since I lived in Chicago have I seen such dominance of the "party" in politics. In other states the Democrats may dominate, but at least they hold wide open primaries and runoff elections so there is actually competition between candidates. Not so here.

A fine young Democrat ran for city council in Atlantic City yesterday. Dafiq Rasheed is a Rutgers, Camden student and a seasoned veteran of how NJ politics works. Unfortunately, he was slated on the losing ticket and, thus, lost his election. He even had friends say, I wanted you to win, but I didn't like the mayoral candidate at the top of your ticket. He was doomed before he even got started. Politics is not a team sport, but it is in New Jersey.

People in Camden have suggested that a GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort is needed for politics in our city. But people need something to vote for besides the one slate on the ballot and the completely overwhelmed independent candidates. That's why another party is needed in Camden to challenge the Democrats and put light on the process. I'm a loyal Democrat and I have no interest in seeing Republicans run in Camden. I do believe, however, that we need progressive politics in Camden, more attention to candidates, and more voter participation. We won't see any of that as long as a straight ticket closed primary system is in place.

1 comment:

psmith said...

I agree with you Dr. Turner, a strong GOTV by itself won't work. I voted yesterday against an establishment, I did not know the people I voted for, hence the problem. Even absence of a strong adversary party to go against the machine, candidates who decide to run for a public office against an establish machine, must give alot more then these candidates gave. It could be done without the backing of a establish third party. One has to be willing to build a strong grassroots campaign that starts at least a year in a half before the election. I mean basically what I am saying is that it can be done, but candidates must be willing to put in more time and effort than they have, and surround themselves with competent people.