There were a few surprising incumbent wins last night. Most notably around here was that incumbent District Attorney Buzz Franklin won re-election in a true sqeaker, by only 44 votes, by challenger and chief assistant public defender Doug Woodruff (I’m not sure if there will be an automatic recount and not to mention how many outstanding ballots there are from overseas voters from the four counties). I say it’s surprising since there were a few issues that were pointed out on how the current DA isn’t doing a good job. Specifically, the whole Tonya Craft ordeal where the prosecution’s case crumbled and Mr. Franklin was absent from a lot of the proceedings allowing his assistants to handle the case. The case caused a major uproar and outrage against Mr. Franklin and his team as well as the judge hearing the case, Brian House who won re-election with no opposition. It seemed like that the District Attorney might have faced defeat at the ballot box….if the election were held in 2010 when the case took place.
Another case, albeit more recent, is the re-election of the seemingly ethically-challenged Don Balfour in Senate District 9. It seemed like there was enough dust-up to put him in danger of defeat or at least a run-off against either challengers Travis Bowden or Steve Ramey. In spite of Senator Balfour being drawn up in a question of ethics matters and being investigated by his peers in the senate concerning ethics matters, he won re-election pretty easily last night.
I’m sure there are other surprises out there where the inside baseball political folks like us are scratching heads saying “how did they get re-elected?” I believe that begs the question, how long or short is the average voters’ memory? Do you believe the average voter cares for or even pays attention to issues that happen years, or even months, before election day? Prognosticating what the voter will do is like nailing Jello to the wall…very difficult indeed.