Saturday, June 14, 2008

No Independents Filed

No one filed June 3 as an independent for any Plainfield City Council seats, so it appears the choices will be Democrat Annie McWilliams against Republican Deborah Dowe for the citywide at-large seat, Democrat Adrian Mapp running unopposed for the Third Ward seat and Democrat William Reid running unopposed for the unexpired balance of the First Ward term.

Given that New Democrats McWilliams and Mapp won the party line in a primary campaign against Democratic incumbents Harold Gibson and Don Davis, the Regular Democratic Organization leadership cannot be very happy. Plaintalker heard some mutterings about a ploy in September to replace one or another of the New Democrats with an RDO candidate, but here’s why it won’t work: The September dates on the 2008 election schedule from Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi refer to withdrawals of independent candidates or those nominated in the primary.

There are no independent candidates to withdraw and make room for a person more palatable to the RDO leadership. And it is highly unlikely that either Mapp or McWilliams can be persuaded or forced to vacate the ballot slot won in the primary, yielding a vacancy to be filled by the RDO. Click here to see the full 2008 Election Dates schedule.

Maybe some of our more wily politicians know of a strategy to upset the apple cart, but at this point the public is likely to perceive any September surprise as antithetical to the desire for change registered by voters on June 3.

Meanwhile, the primary winners themselves must be on the alert for any attempts to pressure them into somebody else’s political agenda. Separately and together, they must affirm what they stand for and constantly demonstrate it to the public. Cultivating a bit of cynicism and growing a tough hide in coming months will also be helpful in navigating the city’s often murky political waters.

--Bernice Paglia


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