Handicapping the CHTC race and your other commentary

I've had to remove several comments on the endorsements thread as they were not in fact endorsements. But I'm certainly interested in what y'all have to say, even the snarky stuff. 

The Chapel Hill Town Council race is an interesting contest this year with two incumbents and four strong challengers running for only four seats. In the past we had a "Pundit of the Year" contest to see who could best predict the results. We'll be a little less formal this year and just throw our educated guesses out there.

For example, I think Sally Greene will come in strong and that Ed Harrison will continue to hold on to his Council seat. I think George Cianciolo will have broad support, and I see a tight race between Maria Palmer and Amy Ryan for the last spot. I'm not sure which one of those will win, it may depend on who campaigns harder, and I don't have a sense of which that would be.

Let us know who you think SHOULD win in the endorsement thread, and who you think WILL (or won't) win right here. 



I think the Indy's picks will do well.

I predict Harrison, Greene, Cianciolo and within 100 votes each: Hintz, Palmer and Ryan in that order, followed by Neebe, Swinton and Kahn. Loren

I think it will be a tight race for the 4th seat. I was very impressed with Hintz at the forums. I think he has an understanding of enviornmental impacts as we grow but can also use his negotiating skills, (he was a high school teacher for many years) when land use topic discussions get heated. I was also impressed with his wilingness to help with communications between the council and citzens but also between the differents boards. My picks in order of most votes.Chapel Hill Mayor Kleinschmidt beats the write in candidateCiancioloGreeneHarrisonHintzSchool boardBrownstein BarretDavidson Carrboro Lavelle - Mayor (looking forward to working with Lydia)Haven-O'DonnellGistSlade HillsboroughStevens - MayorWeaverFerguson Mebane - no race all 3 will get in 

For the most part, I think there's more uncertainty about the order of the folks who won't win than the order of the folks who will, with the possible exception of the last spot on the CHTC. I think Penny nailed it.In Carrboro, Lavelle will win easily, as will Haven-O'Donnell, Gist, and Slade in that order. The real question is whether folks who have an issue with a single one of the incumbents will vote for Stolka at a greater rate than those who are disgruntled with Carrboro government in general will vote for Vickers. Vickers has run a relatively quiet campaign, so my guess is that the discontented will stay home and Stolka will place fourth, but what do I know?In Chapel Hill, the last-minute effort for a write-in campaign by two Mt Bolus residents to make the election a referendum on the Central West process will fall flat. Mayor Kleinschmidt will win re-election easily, and folks who are discontented with his tenure are more likely to leave the top spot on their ballot blank than to write in Tom Henkel. In the council race, Sally Greene will place first, followed closely by Ed Harrison. George Cianciolo will place third, and the fourth spot will be a close battle between Amy Ryan, Maria Palmer, and Loren Hintz. All three have something going for them. Ryan, who was the favorite a few months ago, has impressed me with her work on the Central West process but this same work has probably hurt her with her presumptive base of neighborhood advocates. Palmer will be boosted by the Indy endorsement, but some folks will be hesitant because of her relative lack of experience compared to some other challengers. I think Hintz appeals to a broad crowd, but he had less name recognition coming into the race compared to Palmer and Ryan whose names I've seen more often in the paper over the past few years. Hintz may just pull it off (In disclosure, I'm probably biased because I helped on his campaign). I have have a hundred different theories about what will determine the final order of Kahn, Neebe, and Swinton, but none are better than just guesses. (I'm reminded that in 2005, Robin Cutson beat that young upstart troublemaker Jason Baker by a few hundred votes.)In Hillsborough, we'll see Tom Stevens be re-elected with Weaver, Ferguson, and Carmichael finishing in that order. In the School Board, it'll be Brownstein, Barrett, and Davidson, also in that order. There will be a big dropoff between the incumbents and Davidson, though, as the two challengers will split the vote for the third spot on many people's ballots. Joe Herzenberg got my third vote in that race.

My only quibble: I think Sally will come in first place.


For the record Jason also predicted this, and I hinted at it as well. 

While the Indy endorsement carries a lot of weight, based on the number of letters to the editor and traffic on the SV mailing list Ryan has a lot of support.   It remains to be seen if this was just a vocal minority, or if there's widespread support for her approach to growth.

I'm going to go with:1) Cianciolo4 out of the last 5 elections someone running for the first time has finished first. You just avoid the 'throw everyone out' some small subset of the electorate might have. 2) Greene3) Harrison4) RyanThis is obviously the thing to watch tonight. 2 months ago I was very confident Amy would nab the fourth spot. I think her campaign has been a little underwhelming though so now I'm not as sure. Still in a low turnout election I think her base- places like the Central West area and Southern Village- may be more motivated to get out and vote. She also did a mail piece, which I don't think Maria did, and that's more important than ever with the low amount of press coverage the race has received. I also think your sort of prototypical Chapel Hill Indy Week/Sierra Club type voters may split their 4th votes between Maria and Loren, and that would play to Amy's advantage as well. It's worth noting that 5 elections in a row 3 out of 4 Indy endorsees have won, but Chapel Hill has always picked one person who didn't get that nod as well- could be Amy this year. Still Maria or Loren picking out the 4th seat would hardly be shocking. 5) Palmer6) Hintz7) Neebe8) Swinton 9) Kahn

4 out of the last 5 elections someone running for the first time has finished first. You just avoid the 'throw everyone out' some small subset of the electorate might have.

When Rich finished first in '09, she was not running for the first time (though she didn't win the first time, in '07). And I'd also argue that Bell finishing first in '11 might have been her first election, but she was an (appointed) incumbent, so it didn't ring anti-incumbent sentiment to me.

Unfortunately my prediction was wrong. The Indy got 4 of 4 and the Daily Tar Heel got 3 of 4.Loren


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