by Joe Courter
So what can be said about the Mayor’s race in Gainesville? Disappointing, heck yeah, but not a surprise.
Through the culmination of many factors, Craig Lowe was a very much weakened candidate, quite sad and tragic in some ways, but self-inflicted in others. Ed Braddy, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on all the anti-biomass fervor to build a motivated coalition, use his own talents as a public speaker and sound bite artist, and utilize a backlash against Lowe to score a win.
But that win was an interesting split, with the eastern districts (1 & 4) going for Lowe and the west (2 & 3) for Braddy.
For progressive-minded folks, this is significant because District 3 is Susan Bottcher’s district, and she will be up for re-election in the next cycle, along with Todd Chase (conservative NW district 2), and then an at-large open race as Thomas Hawkins is term-limited.
The balance of power hasn’t shifted yet; it’s still Gainesville and not Braddyville, but it ought to be a wake-up call to progressive-minded folks. And with Braddy as Mayor, there will be a very interesting new dynamic to the meetings; he’s smart, both quick-witted and abrasive, and a committed libertarian free-marketeer. It will be a challenging situation for all involved.