Below is an excerpt of Hugh Reynolds' column this week, he is right on the money but if I may offer a minor correction: Shayne got 767 signatures, only 10 less than the entire city committee who had Hayes Clement on their petitions. Gallo turned in more than "just over 700" as Mr. Reynolds stated but closer to 800, and a very good job by Team Gallo.
As Reynolds points out this is impressive but you really need to understand the process to realize why. Gallo did not have the benefit of the committee's backing, so he had to put together a group of volunteers to carry petitions for him and have them go out and get registered Democrats to sign them. Gallo was competing with the entire city Democratic committee because a registered Democrat can only sign for one candidate.
For those that don't know how this process worked, here is a little insight: The Democratic committee had Hayes Clement on all the petitions, which means anyone that signed for Jim Noble for Alderman at Large or any of the Democratic candidates for Alderman, were by default also signing for Hayes Clement. So the 150 petitions Elisa Ball turned in for herself, or the 100 that Landi turned in, all also counted for Hayes' total. Some may say this is unfair but really that is how the process works and it is the only real benefit of being the unofficial candidate of the committee.
Shayne Gallo's petition on the other hand, were just for Shayne Gallo. Every person that signed and carried petitions were doing so specifically for Shayne Gallo to support his candidacy for Mayor. There is no denying that Gallo and his supporters sent a strong message to the city committee, it's chairman Frank Cardinale and their candidate for Mayor: This race is about grassroots and putting Kingston first, not about politics as usual or which candidate has the largest checkbook.
“Grass-roots” Shayne Gallo — they’re all grassroots campaigns at this level, Shayne — made the most impressive showing among non-endorsed petition gatherers, with just over 700 signatures. Gallo, the Democratic challenger, did not have the advantage of committee members circulating his petitions. If nothing else, Gallo’s signature total confirms a determined, serious candidacy.
On the Republican side, worker bee Pollaco demonstrated once again how far a candidate can go with grit and shoe leather. Pollaco won reelection as Sixth Ward alderman by canvassing the ward three times in 2009. A similar city-wide effort, largely on his own, produced an unofficial 376 signatures, more than three times the minimum.
GOP convention choice alderman Andi-Turco Levin produced a respectable 303 signatures. Republicans have about half as many committee members as Democrats; some can even sit up and take nourishment.
Former alderman Rich Cahill, GOP candidate for mayor in 2007, filed 176 signatures, mostly with a two-man campaign staff, himself and his father. Cahill, like Turco-Levin, is pointing to the primary. Both would be wise to keep a closer watch on Polacco.
Former school board president Jean Jacobs, seen as a joke by some, gathered 189 signatures.
Nominating petitions obviously are but a means to an end. But there is this. Thoughtful people — and here I eliminate dopes who sign anything placed before them — will tend to vote for the person whose petitions they signed, by and large. As such, the petition signing results — 303 for Turco-Levin, 741 for everyone else — should give the Republican official nominee pause.
The Democratic nomination would seem a tossup, again not necessarily good news for the party nominee.
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