Election '07: Seriously, There Was One!


A grab-bag of states and cities held elections yesterday, and the results were mostly good for suburban Democrats, mostly good for Mississippi Republicans, very good for reforming mayoral candidates, mixed for illegal immigration hawks, and lousy for the Reason Foundation. Last one first:

– Republican Gary Baise, who cited Sam Staley and Ted Balaker's research from The Road More Travelled in his transportation plan, lost his chairman bid in Virginia's sprawling Fairfax County.

– Baise's loss had less to do with privatization than the (R) next to his name, as Republicans lost Virginia's state Senate for the first time. Yes, the first time ever: Ten years ago Dixiecrat voters completed their long march into the GOP and gave them both chambers of the Assembly. I think this is the first Southern state legislature to return to Democratic rule since the Democrats won back North Carolina in 1998. The margin came from the Virginia Beach area and the rapidly blue-ifying DC suburbs.

– Republicans who ran on the illegal immigration issue won some and lost some. Bob FitzSimmonds ran against ancient Democratic Sen. Chuck Colgan by pointing out he'd never sponsored an anti-immigration bill, and the GOP saw its best chance for a pick-up until Colgan won by 8 points. State Sen. Jay O'Brien tried to stave off Democrat George Barker by waving the bloody sombrero, and he went down in a squeaker. But Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart, champion of a crackdown on illegal immigrants, won by 10 points.

– Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour easily won (58-42) a second term as Republicans picked up most statewide offices. Over in drought country, Kentucky Gov. Ernier Fletcher got routed (59-41) by Democrat Steve Beshear. Both governors were crooked if you looked hard enough. With Fletcher you didn't need to look as hard.

– Democrat Michael Nutter became Philadelphia's first sane mayor since 1999 and, in the best news for Republicans, first-time candidate Greg Ballard ousted Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson. It's not unusual for Indianapolis to have a Republican mayor, as the legendary Steve Goldsmith can attest. It is unusual for a candidate who was outspent 10 to 1 to ride into office on voter anger about crime and property taxes. But Democrats did snatch the mayoralty of Canton, Ohio. What's so interesting about that?

Republicans used Canton as a testing ground for get-out-the-vote techniques that could be repeated in the 2008 presidential election.

Anybody seen Karl Rove lately?

UPDATE 8:40: I forgot to list ballot initiatives and referenda, like Oregon's rejection of a new cigarette tax. Post any particularly horrendous/splendid defeats/victories for freedom in the comments.