Stephen Dare: Why I am Voting for Alvin Brown
This election, unlike the last one, doesn't offer any of the clear cut, perfect fit kind of candidates that 2011 did.
That year, we actually had a brilliant roster of great and sometimes inspirational people running for the office, each of which would have led the city forward and brought real progress to an area still reeling from the Financial Collapse of 2009. Audrey Moran, Rick Mullaney, and Jim Bailey would have made great mayors. However through the process of democracy and some last minute chicanery, they managed to split the Republican vote in such a way that Mike Hogan emerged as eventual runoff candidate. The voters were confronted with a runoff between Mike Hogan and Alvin Brown.
This left a large portion of the voter base in an actual quandary. No one knew who Alvin Brown was, many dismissed him as the perennial African American Democratic Candidate (Think Betty Holzendorff, Nat Glover, Jackie Brown) that runs, takes 25 to 30 % of the vote, influences the campaign conversation but doesn't win. This had been the pattern since the turn of the century after all--stemming directly from the bizarre racial divide in the Duval Democratic Party that has been going on since the early 1980s and continues to this present day.
Most politically savvy people did however, know who Mike Hogan was, and after joking about blowing up an abortion clinic, surrounding himself with the Tea Party and its fellow travelers, there was a large group of moderate republicans and democrats who would have had a hard time choosing between Darth Vader and Mike Hogan. His mix of austerity, religious fundamentalism, extreme views on anti tax policies and just the arrogant tenor of his campaign caused a small revolution in local politics.
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