ROTHENBURGER – Hamer-Jackson deserves a chance to test his ideas
AND NOW FOR something completely different.
A week later, what happened on election day is starting to sink in. A guy few initially expected to win is the mayor-elect of Kamloops. His opponents are surprised. A lot of voters are surprised. Even some of his supporters, if they were to be candid, are surprised.
Reid Hamer-Jackson isn’t surprised, though. When he entered the race a few weeks ago, he was widely regarded as a one-issue candidate unlikely to pose a serious challenge to the rest of the field. He just doesn’t look or sound like the mayor type. At forums, he spoke plainly but had trouble sticking to allotted time limits, sometimes cutting himself off in mid-sentence with “I’m done.”
But he wasn’t done. As the campaign wound down, the Hamer-Jackson candidacy revved up.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I’m a little surprised three incumbent councillors felt that they would be doing a good thing by all running for Mayor. It was almost guaranteed to be a political failure. Maybe they should have cast lots or drawn straws ahead of time to have a single candidate for Mayor and the other two run for council again.
Vote splitting was the single biggest factor in the loss for the 2nd place, 3rd place and 4th place finishers.
The real estate interests won big, that’s for sure. That a seemingly unpolished dude being the mayor of an unpolished place is a reinvigorating breath of fresh air, in my unpolished POV. And really, after for years of her, who cares of what Dale Bass thinks?
The problem that Mr. Hammer Jackson is going to have is that he was elected on less than 30 percent of the votes cast. If there had been a run-off between the top three candidates, he probably wouldn’t be mayor. Whatever ideas he has are going to have be tempered by this fact and also by the fact that most (if not all) of city council sits to the left of him on the political spectrum. There are going to have to be more nuanced solutions to problems like homelessness and crime than what he may want. While business owners can gripe about break-ins, finding a way to tackle the problem requires more than just appealing to emotions (as HJ did during the campaign).