Monday, September 22, 2008

One-Two-Three Senate Recount

The Globe and Herald both report that Second Suffolk Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Dem primary winner for the seat Sonia Chang-Díaz are going for a recount. Apparently when Wilkerson moved, Chang-Díaz also took out the papers.

The deal is that candidates can request the recount for any Ward they want. There are 10 in the Second Suffolk. The recount requires 50 voter signatures per Ward to kick in for that Ward. Not all need to be involved in the recount.

It's safe to assume that each candidate will make sure their strongest Wards are in the recount mix. That's a bit more work for Chang-Díaz. She topped in Back Bay, Chinatown, JP and South End areas. Wilkerson had her best returns in Dorchester and Roxbury. The neighborhoods don't map directly to Wards though. Chang-Díaz' are just a more geographically spread.

Normally, the margin of victory for the winner increases slightly. Out of almost 18,000 votes, Chang-Díaz won by 228 (9, 051 to 8,823). The first time these two faced off two years ago, she lost to Wilkerson in an all-sticker campaign by 767 votes short out of 12,933 after the recount.

In the likely outcome the recount not reversing the victory, supposition is already in the air that Wilkerson would try a write-in, sticker or independent run. Doh.

Wilkerson's gracelessness is no longer fascinating. From here, she seems to be doing her best to dilute and pollute her brand. Consider:
  • The recount shows her a sore loser and unrealistic. She's extremely unlikely to pick up about a percentage and one-half of all votes to win.
  • With all the help she got at the end, this election was hers...if only she had admitted and apologized for all her legal and financial troubles.
  • She blamed her convictions, fines and plea bargain on everyone but herself. Whoever was advising her did her no favors with a not-my-fault strategy.
  • She blames her election loss on moved polling locations and rumors that voters heard about her troubles.
Voters, would you buy a used Wilkerson from this politician?

Tuesday Update: When the papers went in, Wilkerson had sought recounts in five Boston Wards in Roxbury and Central Dorchester. The Herald reports those are 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Her campaign cited voter complaints of uncounted ballots. Chang-Díaz filed for a recount in a single JP Ward.

The Globe quotes Wilkerson spokesman Jeff Ross as saying the recount should bring "closure and resolution." (He left out finality.)

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