Charles McCrae was an excellent candidate who fell just short of winning the 3rd ward seat. That he was in column E meant he had a huge hill to climb. And he still came close to winning. Should he choose to run again some day, he will be formidable.
It is a good sign for the future of Plainfield government that people like Emmett Swan were willing to step up to the plate. Emmett is a class act. With 200 votes in the 1st ward, he didn't come close to the winner but Emmett is a newcomer to politics and he won those votes going door to door, doing his best to counteract his lack of name recognition and isolated ballot position on column E.
Some would want us to believe that the New Democrats have been damaged by this election. That is wishful thinking on their part. Here is why:
1. Ballot position was a real factor in this election. Candidates running in isolated columns need more time and money, have to work extra hard to educate voters that they are in the Democratic Party primary. In some cases voters don't even notice the candidate names over to the far right side. Ballot position is improved when state and county candidates are part of your campaign team. A lesson learned for the New Democrats.
2. Also related to isolated ballot position, Williams, Swan and McCrae would have done better if they started the voter education process earlier and McCrae might even have won. A lesson learned.
3. Candidates in column A benefited from Cory Booker at the top of the ticket. They benefited from Bonnie Watson in column A as well. Next year's primary there will be a less popular candidate in the top group of the Regular Democrats column. The ugly and personal campaign literature that was sent under the banner of Regular Democrats to selected local districts was not good for Plainfield and will be especially detrimental for Assemblyman Green's candidates in the future
4. The column A candidate for the 2nd ward came surprisingly close to Rebecca Williams. Lets give credit to the Regular Dems for getting out their voters. Lets also recognize that neither Rebecca or I campaigned door to door in the 2nd ward. Rebecca spent her time in the 3rd and I campaigned with Emmett in the 1st. That will not be the case for me next year.
My seat is up for next years election. City Committee seat elections always coincide with the 2nd ward Council election. This will be another battle between the Regular and New Democrats. Its really an election about whether Jerry Green controls the local political process. I am disappointed in the 2014 primary election results but related to the reasons above and in spite of anticipated ugliness from Assemblyman Green, I look forward to an opportunity in 2015