Handicapping the council race

January 2nd, 2011 by Ken

With 11 hopefuls seeking to be appointed to the vacant seat on the Lacey City Council the pundits are out with their odds.

The six members of the current council will make the decision.  While deliberations may go on in private, the actual vote cast by the six will be make in open session, sometime around January 20.

Here are the odds, as determined by the odds maker.

Going off at 2-1 is the favorite, former Lacey Mayor Jon Halvorson.  If the council is looking for experience and institutional memory, Halvorson is the choice.   He does carry some negatives.  With the exception of Councilmember Virgil Clarkson, none of the other councilmembers have ever served with Halvorson.   He also, two years ago, lost a race for Thurston County Commissioner.

At 3-1 are the two members of the Lacey Planning Commission,  Lennie Greenstein and Don Melnick.  Both  have the experience and a demonstrated concern for the city by their service on the planning commission.  Many members of the Lacey Council, as well as many of the city’s mayors, have come from the ranks of the planning commission by appointment.

Going off at 6-1 is former Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy Jim Chamberlain.   He has demonstrated a concern for the community by his service and is well-known to at least one member of the council, Tom Nelson, who also served in law enforcement.

Margaret Engle is an 8-1 favorite only because she is a woman and the only woman seeking appointment.  The Lacey council currently has only one woman member, Cynthia Pratt.   The vacant position being filled, was filled by a woman, Mary Dean.   If the council is at all concerned about gender balance, than Engle has the advantage.

At 10-1 is Jeff Gadman.  Gadman has shown an interest in the community and is a member of the Lacey Rotary Club as are two current members of the council.  A negative is that he has just lost an election as Thurston County Assessor.

Lucius Daye is a 14-1 favorite.  If you recognize the name, it’s because he was just appointed to a vacant seat on the Lacey Fire District 3 Commission.  Daye is running as the diversity candidate.  His negative is that he lost a 2008 race for Thurston County Commissioner and was just appointed to a vacant seat on the Lacey Fire District 3 Commission.

Gerald Jorgensen is a 15-1 candidate.   He has been involved in the community as a volunteer with Lacey Fire District 3, as a volunteer with the Lacey Senior Patrol and with the Lacey Senior Center.

At 20-1 is longshot Ryan Gress.  He’s currently working with the Air National Guard.

And the two longest shots – – at 50-60 to 1 are:  Jack Bryant, who lost a Lacey Council race in 2004 and Josip Mhelich who admits on his application form that he has run for the Aberdeen City Council four times and lost four times, although once by only a single vote.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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