A few takeaways from yesterday’s local elections, in which many of my favored candidates lost:
- KFR wins again and will continue on as State Attorney; Melba Peterson’s campaign was hamstrung by COVID limits on campaigning, and by a huge fundraising disadvantage that couldn’t overcome the name recognition deficit. One can only hope that our State Attorney feels a little bit more pressure to do something about abuses by police and Corrections, and–this is really too much to hope for–rampant campaign finance abuse in local politics.
- The judicial elections once again provided ample support for the claim that women with Hispanic names tend to beat candidates who lack them. It used to be they beat Anglo men, now maybe they beat everyone non-Hispanic?
- Unfortunately, this trend extended to the election of the utterly unqualified Rosy Aponte over the capable and experienced Dava Tunis. It’s enough to make you question the divinity of the vox populi.
- Another trend I’ve noticed is that judicial candidates with unusual names often do poorly. (We lost Fleur Lobree that way a few years ago.) That can’t have helped Olanike “Nike” Adebayo, although Joe Perkins ran a well-funded and very very energetic campaign. He, at least, has the skills and smarts to be a judge; we’ll see about the temperament.
- The November runoffs for County Mayor, and for the District 7 Commission seat will be the most partisan in recent memory and might well depend on how the headline Presidential election drives turnout. The Mayoral candidates will be Bovo, who ran explicitly as a Trumpist, and Cava, who may not have explicitly run as a Democrat, but did implicitly and clearly was the Democratic Party’s favorite. Bovo’s strategy was well-calculated to get him into the runoff, but are there enough pro-Trump voters, or Cuban voters who’ll look past that, in Miami-Dade to carry him to the finish? I hope not. He’d be awful. Similarly, in District 7, Cindy Lerner is endorsed by Democrats, and Rachel Regalado by Republicans — but Regalado didn’t wrap herself around Trump like Bovo did, which has to give her a better chance of winning.
Nobody cares about judges. Lawyers and judges like to think everybody cares about judges, but they do not. They are mostly as ignored and disliked as lawyers when you don’t need one. So when confronted with a ballot full of them, the votes don’t actually mean anything intelligent. It’s just whatever semi-random selection process the particular voter uses.
Even I don’t give a crap about the judges. Most of them are just as stupid as most lawyers. Appear in front of a few and any respect you might have for them quickly fades into sadness. I either ignore them on the ballot, or take the coward’s way out and vote to retain anyone who I don’t KNOW should not be. I didn’t even vote for the judge I interned with way back when. Nice guy, but dumb as a box of hammers.
I can’t imagine anyone outside of the profession, or the families of the judges, cares a bit, or knows anything cogent about any of them. So don’t be surprised by what happens, since it’s little more than a blind popularity contest where nobody knows the contestants.
Precisely noted: “The judicial elections once again provided ample support for the claim that women with Hispanic names tend to beat candidates who lack them”…