Inside Baseball: How Dem Deal Went Down
Special to political junkies, here are five takeaways on Gregg Hart winning the key Democratic Party endorsement Thursday night over Susan Epstein in the 2nd District race for supervisor:
1-By the numbers. Party Chair Gail Teton-Landis on Friday was treating the endorsement vote like a state secret, but a campaign source not in the room told us they were told it broke down this way:
No endorsement 2
For those keeping score at home, this would mean that Hart, who needed 60 percent of the votes, won with a vast 1.290323 percent to spare.
2- Kudos to Kelsey. Kelsey Brugger, The Indy’s National Affairs Correspondent and hardest working woman in show business, was the only reporter in town who managed to got up off the couch to make the marathon trek up to Buellton where the party worthies gathered at world-renowned Pea Soup Andersen’s (NB: she is the only millennial in the political press corps, so her elderly colleagues – we name no names, Josh – may be forgiven for getting it on their phone).
Kelsey and her readers were rewarded with some touches of on-the-scene color you'll read nowhere else, most notably this gem:
“(Committee members) munched on fries and sandwiches. Perhaps only one person ate pea soup.”
Love the “perhaps.” You can find Kelsey’s story here.
3-Susan speaks. Despite grumblings about the process among some of her supporters, Epstein said she would not make a beef about the endorsement.
“I’m moving ahead with my campaign,” she told us. “I have strong support across the whole second district, and I'm proud of the more than 125 endorsements from community leaders I've received so far.
"I will represent all the voters of this district as Supervisor, regardless of their party, just as I have as a school board member,” she added. “I know that together we can find innovative solutions to our most pressing problems:
"The effects of climate change (including wildfire, drought, and extreme weather events), recent growth that has outpaced our infrastructure, the high cost of housing, and an aging power grid that needs serious redesign focused on the increasing use of locally generated affordable renewable energy.”
4-Gregg speaks. For whatever reason , Smilin' Gregg is still determinedly avoiding an interview with Newsmakers (we’ve been promised an audience with The Great Man next week; we’ll believe it when we see it).
However, Josh Molina over at Noozhawk did manage to squeeze a cheesy platitude out of him:
“I made the 60 percent threshold and got the endorsement,” Hart told Noozhawk just after the vote, Thursday.
“I am proud to have the Democratic Party endorsement and very excited about the campaign.”
5-Laying Odds. Vinny “The Leg Breaker” Ferrari, Newsmaker’s Vegas odds maker, has installed Gregg as an early 2-point favorite to beat Epstein in the June 5 primary.
This means that if the election were held today, which it manifestly is not, Hart would win something like 51.5-to-49.5.
The point spread is expected to shift often during the campaign; If Hart does go on to win, however, it would create yet another opening on the city council, once again raising the question of whether a replacement – for nearly the full four year term to which he was elected 88 days ago – would be appointed by the other members or selected in a special election in the 6th council district.
What say you Mr. Calonne?
Images: Democratic logo; Kelsey Brugger on the wildlly popular "Newsmakers TV" show; Susan Epstein; Josh Molina on the wildly popular "Newsmakers TV" show; Vinny Ferrari, our Vegas-based oddsmakers (R) doing what he does with an unknown associate (L).