Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2004

From the Editor’s Desk

Primaries are won in the ditches

July 22, 2004

Even the most non-political motorist has to know an election is approaching. The tip off, of course, is the political signs blooming in rights of way like unchecked Canadian thistles.
That means, of course, it is time for my bi-annual political yard art poll. In this exercise, I attempt to predict the winners of the coming primary from campaign signs. To do so, I assign half a point to all signs placed in rights of way -- the least desirable location, because it's impersonal and not exclusive. Signs in yards count a full point, and those placed on corner lots an added point. Finally, any hand-made sign is awarded five points on the theory anyone taking the trouble to craft a sign for a candidate is surely going to vote for that person.
One of the secrets in this is to look around early, before volunteers place signs on all available real estate.
The primary campaigns this year are almost exclusively local, with only the U.S. 3rd District House providing a regional focus. That, in many ways, only increases the intensity. Certainly, that is so in the GOP campaigns for the 9th District Kansas Senate seat between incumbent Kay O'Connor and challenger Rob Boyer and that for Johnson County Sheriff.
My yard-art predictions:
¢ U.S. 3rd Congressional District. Chris Kobach got off to a very early lead, with signs appearing soon after those from last spring's city/school elections went down. He has maintained his lead hereabouts despite a late charge by the would-be congressman in waiting, Adam Taff. Patricia Lightner's a no show.
¢ 9th District Kansas Senate. Once again Boyer took the early lead but saw O'Connor mount a comeback. The race is a virtual right-of-way draw, with the candidates matching each other in the ditches sign for sign. It appears Boyer has the lead in yards. If the election was limited to De Soto, he would be the winner. It's not, so I'm saying his lead is not greater than the margin of error.
¢ 38th District House. Tom Marsh is a clear leader over fellow Republican Anthony Brown.
¢ Johnson County Sheriff. In this race, incumbent Curly Myers' signs have actually become the subject of murmured dispute. The signs for the appointed sheriff read "re-elect." Hmm? I assume the sheriff is confident of victory and was looking ahead to his 2008 campaign.
He needn't. Frank Denning is the clear sign leader, and in a special bonus, he has signs in the homes of local law enforcement officers.
¢ Johnson County 6th District Commission. I don't know. Carol Lehman was first and still popular. Ramona Allenbrand has the second greatest local presence. But incumbent John Toplikar ran third three years ago too.
Hedging on experience, I predict Lehman and Toplikar.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.