Yesterday was Election Day and our town had a hotly contested mayoral race in addition to the two open Borough Council seats which come up every year. Although my wife did not run this time (she's still getting encouragement to try again for a council seat), she was diligently working behind the scenes to strategize and support the Democratic organization, whose first breakthrough in many years had been last November's election of one member, Charlie Grillo, to a council seat. This time the politics was even more fraught, with the incumbent mayor being hit with charges of political favoritism in a police matter. The county organization got more involved than previously helping with fundraisers and the like, although the Republican side was still clearly better funded throughout. The glossy flyers streamed out to all voters with the charges against the mayor and the rebuttals, almost as if it weren't a midterm election and the interest was high.
I arrived late at the election night bash at the local Elks club after my choir rehearsal, and found a big and generally spirited crowd of supporters. By that time, all the counts from the precincts were in and everyone knew that although Charlie had lost his bid for the mayor's seat (2227 to his long-term rival's 2274), both of the newcomers had won their races for council, giving the party a 3-1 margin there. Indications were that of all things, it had been the union vote which turned things over in favor of the Democrats. It seemed odd statewide that things tended to go in that direction, since we have a somewhat unpopular Democratic governor burdened with fiscal crises (shades of California). Charlie had gone over to the Knights of Columbus hall to give his concession in person, but indicated that the incumbent council members on the losing side should not be expected to be showing up at our function to do likewise (which I thought indicated rather poor grace). Now we'll have to see what the guys do with all this might in the coming year.