November 16, 2011

Mayoral Race 2011: Can't be mayor? Time to write a cookbook

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

PORTLAND — What do you do after you lose an election?

Candidate Peter Bryant, whose platform was built on bringing back heavy-item trash pickup, is going to write a cookbook featuring soups for senior citizens. After all, what else would you do?

Bryant, without question the most colorful of the 15 candidates, said he also plans to go back to school to take some photography classes, so he can photograph his soups for his book.

He said mayor-elect Michael Brennan should make sure the local universities are providing rapid training for budding photographers.

"It's a win-win for me," Bryant said. "Michael's bringing back Big Trash Day and he's working on schools, and I'm going back to school. It's going to work out great."

POLL GETS IT RIGHT

Big shout out to Mike Tipping, the lead pollster at the Maine People's Resource Center.

Two weeks ago, the center released a poll indicating Michael Brennan would receive 27.4 percent of the first-place votes on Oct. 30. What did Brennan receive in the actual election? About 26.7 percent.

Not bad for an organization that doesn't know what it's doing, according to the many people who criticized it when the poll came out.

Tipping and the center took a lot of heat for their methodology, including leaving out six of the 15 candidates in their poll, ranking the candidates in alphabetical order and using automated phone calls to collect their data.

But the poll came uncannily close to predicting not only Brennan's support, but also that received by Ethan Strimling, Nick Mavodones, David Marshall and Jed Rathband, who finished second, third, fourth and fifth, as the poll predicted.

Considering the final results, the center receives kudos for its work.

STRIMLING STAYS ON MESSAGE

What did Strimling tell Brennan after Brennan was declared the winner and the two of them hugged and shared words?

"I told him to be strong and expect nothing less than excellence," Strimling said, repeating some of his campaign message. "That's what the city deserves, and I'm confident he'll do that."

The next step for Strimling? He's going back to LearningWorks, he said.

"That's good work," he said. "Helping low-income families and at-risk children, which is what LearningWorks does, is something I'm very passionate about. Obviously, I'm disappointed, but I love what I do, and I'm looking forward to getting back there."

FINAL NUMBERS

Throughout the campaign, I heard various predictions on how many voters would rank all 15 candidates on their ballots. Some guessed 100, some guessed 200, some guessed only me, since I was one of the few people who spent significant time with all 15 candidates.

It turns out, however, that more than 3,000 voters ranked all 15 mayoral candidates on their ballots, or about 15 percent.

That actually exceed the 2,895 voters who only ranked one candidate, according to City Clerk Kathy Jones.

In all, 8,150 voters had Michael Brennan in the top-four choices on their ballots, Jones said. That's about 42 percent of all valid ballots cast.

I'd also like to tell you how many people had Brennan in their top three and top five, but the ballots and their data have been sealed, never again to see the light of day, Jones said.

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be reached at 791-6437 or: jsinger@mainetoday.com

 

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