What follows is my total guess of what will happen with this election.
Too close to call, but if the marina referendum goes down big time, it probably sweeps Carroll into the Mayor’s office. Cronin has been a good mayor, but he comes across as aloof and distant. Not returning emails is never a good thing when you are an incumbent. Carroll and his supporters have all the energy right now. Could this race be a “shy Tory effect’? I don’t think so.
Bell: Has a good chance as he knows the issues and has worked very hard, but some are turned off as he comes across as a bit full of himself. He’s a push.
Bergwerf: Running a campaign that stresses what she has accomplished on council, when the mood of the electorate everywhere (both sides of the political aisle) is to throw the bums out and “drain the swamp.” I don’t think she survives.
Buckhannon: I’m not sure why he is running. No one has heard a peep out of him and he doesn’t seem to have his heart in it. Not all clear what his stance is on the marina. I can’t see him winning.
Gandolfo: What did this cat come from? The dude has dropped a ton of money on this race, perhaps more than $10k, but I’m not sure as he has not filed his ethics form. Some are turned off by his aggressive posture, but he has worked hard. He definitely has a chance.
Harrington: See the comments on Bergwerf. I don’t think he survives.
Loftus: His chances outside the Wild Dunes gates are less than 50%. It has never really been clear why he is running and his waffling on the marina has not helped him. However, the Wild Dunes voters usually support one of their own and this could be enough to give him a win, but it will be close. If he wins, he can thanks Wild Dunes.
Miklas: A nice young man who is thoughtful on the issues, but some get lost in all the “process-speak”. He has a shot as he is new and young. Put him at 50-50.
Moye: Young, sincere and the best head of hair in the contest! This cat has charisma and I think he very well could win a seat.
Piening (me): Knows the issues well but has served on council and lost a re-election bid. He runs the best website but voters may feel it is time to move on. He has worked hard, but probably not hard enough. 50-50 at best.
Hill-Smith: Played up the 3 kids angle very well and sincerely (reminds me of a younger Buckhannon) and is a fresh face. She is great at looking at all sides of an issue which is good, but will learn that once you are in the chair you gotta make a decision and the decision will always piss someone off. I think she wins a seat.
Williamson: A genuinely nice guy, but not a lot of energy. He seems to really care about IOP and is a fresh face. He gets right to the point – some like this, some don’t. I have no idea how he does but he was the first to enter and is sincere. His chances are a total mystery to me.
I don’t think there is any way this is going to pass. Virtually everyone I have talked to is against it. All the energy is on the side working to defeat the referendum. The city totally overplayed their hand on this one. They figured since it would not generate a tax increase, everyone would jump on board. What they didn’t realize is that many residents are put off by the fact the marina operators don’t seem to know and acknowledge who owns the place.