Thursday, August 9, 2018

District 8 Race

The other westside seat also has several candidates running. The incumbent City Rep Cissy Lizarraga is facing four opponents, which will likely mean another run-off election. Lizarraga is in a decent position right now, even though she hasn't been in office long.

She has far more name ID than her opponents. She won a tough special election that was made necessary when Cortney Niland vacated her seat. Back then she faced candidates with some money and name ID, namely Gilbert Guillen. She won handily thanks to a strong ground game run by Mike Apodaca.

So there are some things for Lizarraga that are different than they were when she won this seat recently - Apodaca is out of town right now working on Beto's race, she now has a voting record she can run on, she now has a voting record her opponents can run against and the field of candidates she's facing is pretty different than it was previously.

Unlike the District 1 race, there aren't any candidates that are well-funded to my knowledge, there aren't any with any proven proficiency in field work, and there is only one with any name ID.

The opponents are Rich Wright, Nicholas Vasquez, Dylan Corbett, and Gregory Baine. At this stage of the game, even though I don't think he's officially on the ballot, Rich Wright is the main opponent for Lizarraga. Wright has the most name ID of the field of opponents. He's been around for a long time and he's got the most voting history of field of opponents.

He's collecting signatures to be on the ballot. That is one of the ways to get on the ballot. The other way to get on the ballot is to pay the fees. Gathering signatures is a good dry run for field work, lets you talk to some voters and get a feel for what they are paying attention to, and work on your pitch to voters.

But the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot is really, really small. Its seriously small. In District 6, George Eric Stoltz needed only 25 signatures to get on the ballot.

Thats nothing.

You should be able to get them in a day, two tops. If you can't get them really quickly, then your campaign is already in trouble.

Its possible that Wright already has the required number of signatures to get on the ballot, which is more in D8 than in D6, and might still be collecting signatures so that he has a lot of signatures to turn in to send a message to the incumbent about the level of his support.

Of the opponents, Wright is likely to be the most well-rounded on issues and he has a pretty clean logo. If he has money and can get a field op going, he's gonna remain the head of the pack of the opponents. But with 89 days to go to election day, whoever has the best field op going has a shot for the run-off.

Which brings me to Nicolas Vasquez. He has some field experience and he's already turned in signatures to get on the ballot. Looks like he tried to get a little cute with his logo that cleverly tries to make an outline of the mountain as the N in his first name and the star on the mountain as the A in his middle name.  He's one of the Duranguito Boyz running for office this cycle. He lists his occupation as "student" and he's 27. According to the application he's only lived in the area for about a year and half. Those are some things that could be leveraged against him by any of the other candidates, but being young and hungry goes a long way. He's a dark horse but has a shot. He might be able to out-work everyone else and sneak into a run-off.

Dylan Corbett lists being a non-profit executive as his occupation. I've never heard of him and he has a pretty thin voting history. He doesn't appear to have a base to work from, but if he has money and decides to do a mail campaign, who knows. But less than 90 days is a short period of time to get people to know how you are and vote for you.

Greg Baine is retired military. Until the last primary election Baine has only voted in municipal and general elections. But in the last primary cycle he voted Republican.

Bottom line in this race is that there are 5 candidates and only one of them has a demonstrated base. If the four opposing candidates can get enough family and friends to vote then its a matter of who is going to be in a run-off with Lizarraga, mostly between Wright and Vasquez.

But a run-off isn't as forgone a conclusion as you might think in a race with this many people in it. Hell the same is true for D1 now that I think about it. This municipal race is going to be on a general election cycle. its a name ID race because you're going to have more than your regular municipal voter come out. The base will be more Democratic than in previous years. There are more races that are pushing people out to the polls than previously. More campaigns are touching a wider range of voters. So its a steeper mountain to climb for the opposition to pull Lizarraga into a run-off.

With under 80 days to go, if you aren't walking on the westside, its too late.

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