by Mike Payne
Political consultant Larry Sabato once commented, “Every election is determined by the people who show up.” The recent elections in Georgetown exemplified this statement as two incumbent city councilmen were re-elected, and another was defeated.
District 4 Councilman Steve Fought handed Joe Reedholm a resounding defeat, with a landslide 66.49% of the vote to Reedholm’s 33.5%. Councilman Fought says he is looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for the city.
Incumbent Tommy Gonzalez also defeated challenger Jaquita Wilson in District 7. Earlier on Election Day Wilson boasted on social media that she was “about to unseat an incumbent”—a premature prediction since Gonzalez retained the seat with a 51.76% of the vote (to Wilson’s 48.24%). Wilson’s financial report caused some laughter and some contrition on her part for how her campaign continuously modified it. After the final vote count was in, Gonzalez said, “I am pleased to have been elected by the people to continue the great things happening here in Georgetown. I will work hard for my District, as well as for all citizens of Georgetown.”
In District 3, incumbent John Hesser was defeated by Michael Triggs, a retired banker who now resides in Sun City. Triggs ran on the platform that he would be able to help the city with the utility situation, calling the utility a distressed asset. Triggs told this newspaper that this would be his first time serving in an elected office, and that he was tied to strong conservative values. The Advocate wishes Mr. Triggs the best as he learns the ins and outs of city government.
There were no real surprises in the School Board Trustee races. Incumbent Andy Webb defeated opponent Jennifer Wood in the Place 3 election, capturing 51.60% of the vote to her 48.40%. Elizabeth McFarland defeated Brian Ortego for Place 2, gaining 71.94% of the votes to Ortego’s 28.06%.
What did we learn from these elections? We learned the woeful state of the electorate as the overall voting percentages were appallingly low. In District 7, out of approximately 6,000 registered voters, only 405 showed up at the polls. This means less than 7 percent of the voters are making decisions that affect everyone. The voter turnout was equally disappointing in the other races as well. If you are unhappy with any of these outcomes, were you part of the 7 percent who voted? If you are happy with the outcomes, you got lucky! Apparently these elections were taken less seriously than the Kentucky Derby. We must teach our children about the importance of voting. Am I the only one who thinks Civics should be required every year from first through twelfth grade?
At the close of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin left the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied, “A republic—if you can keep it.” That seems a bit iffy right about now.