Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do Candidates Matter Or Just Money? Answer...

The answer appears to be money...

Robert Pittenger spent more personal money on his primary campaign than just about anyone in the country, and it appears to have paid off for him.

From NC State Board of Elections Site
As this one heads into a run-off between Pittenger and Pendergraph, the latest hit piece from an outside money PAC arrives in voter mailboxes attacking Pendergraph.

The question now is will the supporters of the trailing candidates allow this seat to simply go to the highest bidder, or will they rally around Jim Pendergraph and give the nomination to someone who just lost the endorsement of the main local media outlet?

Great choices we've given ourselves.  Either way, I think November just got a bit closer.

Sincere thanks to all the candidates who ran clean races and for having the courage to throw your name in the hat.  The first round of this primary was great to watch, and it got a lot of people involved in politics that would not have been otherwise.  That's always a good thing.


  1. While it is a shame that we have lost the opportunity to elect Ric Killian, the best qualified candidate to represent the district, it is understandable. Lack of name recognition, his late return from deployment, and a comparative lack of funds made it difficult to get the word out about Killian in time for the election. I am convinced his message was the most compelling but was not effectively disseminated. At the Lake Norman fire department, we had the chance to speak with the voters about Ric for more than a minute each because of long lines. The variation of results at LKN from the total results are striking. While Killian earned about 10.5% of the overall vote, at LKN Fire department he earned over 28% to Pittenger's 30%. Sheriff Pendergraph lagged well behind. I am convinced that if the early voters had the opportunity to hear about Killian, he would have won that polling place with ease. I say all this not as a complaint but to point out that we don't always elect the best person to the office. In the end the office will go to the candidate that most effectively makes use of his name recognition, his story and qualifications, the personal resources and those of his supporters and a strategy designed to achieve victory. There is, sometimes, a difference between the best person to represent us and the candidate that runs the most effective race. Perhaps we can take some solace in knowing that the candidate that can figure out the system works and how to win an election might well suited to figure out what it will take to be effective in office. The system is not perfect but the campaign is a game of strategy and resource management. The same thing may be said of serving in office. John Lynch, Mooresville

    1. Thanks for the comment John.

      I particularly like the part about how affective 1-on-1 communication can be. Any volunteer who has ever gone door to door for a candidate or worked at a polling place should take that to heart.

  2. How significant was the Observer's editorial board endorsement in the race? Not much, I think. In your post, you called it the main local media outlet. I would dispute that, especially for a Republican primary. A lot of Republicans despise the Observer and don't care about who it endorses. I don't think the Observer endorsing Pendergraph and then retracting that endorsement made much of a difference. If it had not retracted it, Pendergraph probably would at most have gained a couple of percentage points and would have still been in a runoff with Pittenger.

    1. I agree with you when talking about the primary. Many Republicans don't care what the Observer thinks.

      That point was directed at the general election. The Observer retraction story went national. At the very least it could be used to help raise money for Jennifer Roberts if Jim Pendergraph is the nominee.