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Worst Campaign Ever

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Dr. Jesse J.Lewis, Sr.

When I used the headline to write about Terri Sewell’s campaign I was under the impression that I would never use this headline again. I thought that Sewell ran the worst campaign, even though she won, which I predicted she would. The reason being was because she had no opposition.

The worst campaign ever conducted was by County Commissioner George Bowman. Here is a person who has been a county commissioner for eight years and cannot raise $50,000 to run a campaign. The county commissioner’s salary is in the neighborhood of $100,000 per year, and until recently Richard Finley’s salary was $70,000, in addition to Dr. Horace Huntley who was making $65,000 a year. To add this up, during the four year period Bowman’s salary would have been $400,000, with Huntley and Finley’s salaries amounting to about $280,000. If each had given 10 percent of their earnings to the campaign they would have collected $50,000. It would seem to me this would be a small dollar amount to pay, considering what you will receive.

They spent no money for advertising, they had no major endorsements, and the small yard sign they put up wasn’t even legible; in other words, no one could read them. My analysis of this is that Bowman had no intention, for whatever reason, of winning. It’s my understanding he hired a consultant. I have no earthly idea who he hired, but what I do know about consultants is that every time someone loses their job, for whatever reason, they become a consultant. They attempt to become a consultant in the same area they were just fired in; however, this concept is not bad because they can give you advice on what not to do.

Other winners and losers…. The beginning part of this article was written on Tuesday morning before the vote, the following was written after the vote. I still contend that Bowman ran a terrible campaign. While all the influence from the known people in the community were endorsing Earl Hillard Jr. Bowman still won. The exit poll showed that Bowman was the most liked and trusted politician in the state. In other words, people genuinely believed that he was totally and completely honest. Moreover, they felt as though he has been on the right side of all the major issues, which have arisen from the Jefferson County government.

In all probability, the closest race in history was between Sandra Little Brown and Shelia Smoot. The exit poll shows that 20 percent of all the people who voted for Sandra Little Brown were under the impression that Smoot was already on the county commission. The most shocking race of all was that of the congressional district, with Paul DeMarco and Gary Palmer. Almost everyone was under the impression that DeMarco was going to win and they were shocked by the margin he lost to Palmer. Now, Palmer must face a Democrat in November and most people believe he will win simply because it’s a Republican territory.

It’s not over yet, they have to count the absentee ballots and Shelia still has a chance to win. On the other hand, the county does not automatically conduct recounts. If any candidate is to request a recount it will cost them $10,000.