Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Could Get Interesting…And Expensive

The news today that Allan Kittleman was cranking up his political machinery for a run at county exec in 2014 came as a welcome surprise. It has long been known that he was interested in the job and now he’s become the first of the top three, or four, to lay the gauntlet down, sort of. According to this story by Lindsey McPherson in Explore Howard, the state senator told guests at a breakfast fundraiser that “we are putting an organization together to anticipate we will be moving for county executive in 2014.”

The news was greeted with reserve by his rivals. Courtney Watson told Lindsey that “it's too early to discuss a race still more than two years away.”

Okay, right. If you don’t know that Courtney plans to run for county executive in 2014 then you aren’t paying very close attention. Next to school board member Brian Meshkin’s business troubles on the West Coast, it’s the worst kept secret in HoCo.

Guy Guzzone, on the other hand, at least admitted that he’s working on the makings of a run for the top HoCo job. "I am putting together the necessary pieces to make sure that option is open to me," he said.”

I think “putting together the necessary pieces” means the same thing as “putting an organization together” in HoCo loco politico speak.

Allan has the most to gain by getting out early in this race. Despite the inherent disadvantage of being a Repub in a predominately Dem county, he is either the third out of three or the fourth out of four in fundraising as near as I can tell.

The top dog with dollars is Guy. For some reason many of the candidates 2012 Annual Campaign Reports are not yet available online so I used 2011 numbers when comparing the campaign war chests of the top three, or four. In 2011 Guy reported having $100,274 in cash on hand. Courtney had $31,785 and Alan had $20,188. Interestingly, Calvin Ball had $40,847. I know it sounds crazy but if Courtney and Guy decide to duke it out in a Dem primary, Calvin could justify jumping into that fight too.

Despite Professor Cools detached demeanor towards further political ambitions, his bank account makes him a playa.

The bottom line is that all four of these front runners are good candidates for the job. We are fortunate for that but it will also make decisions of who to support all the more gut wrenching…and expensive.

During this season of non declared campaigning, at least three of the four will be ramping up the fundraising breakfasts, lunches, cocktail receptions, and family picnics. Tickets will run from twenty some bucks to a couple hundred some bucks and many us will attend events for each of them, not necessarily because we plan to eventually vote for them but simply because we know them and like them.

So while this is getting interesting it is also going to get expensive for some of us anyway, especially when you consider that our county exec is running for governor. (Tell me you knew about that, right?)

Such is the price we pay for a healthy HoCo loco democracy.
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