Things to think about election-wise

Latest in a series of posts on candidates for election

Campaign season began in earnest this past week.

Candidates could start circulating petitions last Tuesday.

In order to be on the May 18 ballot, candidates must file petitions with voter signatures by March 9.

For instance, the candidates for mayor and Council each need 100 signatures of registered voters in the Democratic party. (Gadfly is not aware of any Republicans running.)

100 signatures sounds easy but probably isn’t. It certainly can be time-consuming.

There are multi-candidate petition-signing events going on.

You may be asked to sign.

As Gadfly reads the regulations, you can only sign a petition for one of the two mayoral candidates. Since there are four Council openings, you can sign petitions for four Council candidates.

There are now six people running for Council: Callahan, Crampsie Smith, Kwiatek, Leon, Waldron, Wilhelm.

Gadfly only learned of Rachel Leon’s candidacy at the LV4ALL event Wednesday and will post about her soon.

You need to sign your name exactly as it is on your voter registration.

The county election board will scrutinize the petitions.

Our democratic process is rollin’.


Some things to think about:

  • Turn-out in these off-year elections is smaller than others. That’s not good. Gadfly has been thinking about how important mayors are while watching interviews with Texas mayors in their crisis of this past week. And post-GeorgeFloyd events have put the spotlight and the pressure on lots of City Councils. We need to pay attention to this upcoming election for our own good.
  • The importance of name recognition. The word to prospective candidates at the January 30 League of Women Voters workshop was that name recognition is key to success. Candidate Reynolds — councilman for a dozen years — has a lot of name recognition. Councilman Callahan — councilman for 8 years and brother to a popular past mayor — has a lot of name recognition. As voters, we should go beyond the name recognition and look carefully at what all the candidates are made of.
  • Money. Candidates Reynolds and Callahan have a huge, huge advantage here. Money translates into options for gaining name recognition. As voters, we need to go beyond the flyers and yard signs and etceteras and look carefully at what all the candidates are made of.
  • Gadfly has asked rhetorically “Where are the Republicans?” — meaning where are candidates outside the usual suspects: women, Blacks, Latinx, LGBTQ, and so forth. Note, especially, that there are 4 women running for Council. Theoretically, 5 of 7 Council members could be women next year.
  • If mayoral candidate Reynolds wins, he will resign his Council seat and Council will select yet another person to fill out his term. There’s the possibility of a lot of new faces on Council next year.

Collaterally, Gadfly reminds you again that he will be folding his wings the day after the election, and he is hoping to hear from someone(s) to take over the Bethlehem Gadfly blog or to start a new one.

Every town needs a gadfly.

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