Looking at both our endorsements AND my predictions I made yesterday, you might have already figured out that my biggest disappointment in last night’s results was Mike Montgomery’s apparent loss of his seat on Richland County Council.
Actually, last night was a bad one all around for you folks who live in Richland County, whether you know it yet or not. In the only other contested race, Gwen Kennedy — remembered mainly for her Hawaiian junket at taxpayer expense (and for almost nothing else because she basically accomplished nothing in office that I can recall) when she was on the Council before — won. But we expected that — there was no way a Republican was going to win that seat against a Democrat with name recognition, even BAD name recognition.
But Montgomery was arguably the best, brightest, hardest-working member of council, a guy who truly had the interest of everyone in the county, regardless of party or anything else like that, at heart. On a council that had lost its way recently — putting $30 million for parks ahead of transportation and other critical needs — he was one guy who was right on those and other issues, an extremely level-headed pragmatist with his priorities straight. This is a deep loss for anyone who cares about the future of the county.
And he lost to a guy who — and I kid you not — had exactly two reasons for running:
- He didn’t think Decker Boulevard was getting redeveloped quickly enough.
- He thought there should be a Democrat on the ticket to take advantage of the Obama Effect. Really. That was his reason. When his wife, who lost to Montgomery in the last election, wouldn’t run again, he put his own name on the ballot. That’s pretty much his story.
So basically, we have here a monument to party line voting over merit, the most stark that I saw in this election. And it’s a real shame.
Oh, and I would have given you some pictures of these two guys on this post, BUT MY LAPTOP GOT STOLEN LAST NIGHT. But perhaps I already mentioned that.