Three Ring Circus Destined For Run-Off

After 20 Years Columbia Almost Elects New Mayor
For years I’ve frequently mentioned Columbia should have a “strong mayor” system of government and that election day for the office shouldn’t stand alone sometime in April. Obviously no one cares b/c we’re still a city with a “weak mayor” and given the stand alond election date, will most likely experience low voter turnout at the polls.

All of that aside we have a very interesting election going on. Early on, the race looked to be Steve Benjamin’s to lose. Conventional wisdom tells us that current Mayor Bob Coble saw the writing on the wall that an African-American on the ticket would spell doom for his re-election efforts.

Finlay has come on strong of late with the simple message of, “If we don’t have the money, we can’t afford it.” Finlay is also a big proponent of a prominent Main Street for Columbia. We’ll see how the message resonates.
Steve Morrison was the sleeper in the race but seems to knock the debates out of the ballpark. He’s apparently incredibly smart and makes a lot of sense in the very numerous amount of local debates. He and Finlay have certainly put forth solid campaigns.

It seems as though Morrison cut into Benjamin’s base and split the local Democratic party. I know “signs don’t vote” but there are Morrison signs everywhere. It’ll be interesting to see how Morrison’s steady campaign cuts into the early front runners numbers.

As I write this I don’t mean any disrespect to any of the other candidates. At this point, I simply think it’s a three ring circus. If another candidate proves me wrong then I’ll accept an egg on the face.
Given the sheer number of candidates, I’m going to bet that no one will get the needed 50% +1 vote count. I’m often surprised by elections but if I put my sootsayer hat on I predict that Finlay will be in the lead after Tuesday, followed by Benjamin. Of course, I’ll have to post again before my projected run-off, but at this point predict that Benjamin will slingshot over Finlay in the later election to become the next mayor of Columbia.
We’ll see! Go Vote… Early and Often!!!

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