Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Elections 2011: County Legislature - Part 4

District 5:   Boyce (R) vs. Bickwheat (D)

Seduced and Abandoned, Again

In the 2011 redistricting, District 5 was moved from Greece down to Mendon, south Pittsford and part of Henrietta.   Republican incumbent Mark Cassetti of Greece hit the term-limit wall and couldn't run again.

The race for the open seat offered some uniquely interesting features to students of Monroe County politics, pitting against each other two members of Mendon's Town Board, Republican Karla Boyce and Democrat Moe Bickwheat.

Bickwheat is a former Mendon Supervisor.   Boyce is a former County Legislator who represented most of this district before.   She stepped down due to term limits about six or seven years ago. If elected, she would become the first term-limited County Legislator to return to that body after the mandatory two-year waiting period.

Moe Bickwheat campaigned vigorously, but Republican HQ regarded Boyce as at least slightly ahead throughout.   In the end, things broke wide open for Boyce, who won by 57% to 43%.

Team Morelle made a big mistake in the final week of the campaign, sending voters negative mailings attacking Boyce, with a photo so unflattering that many considered it beyond any concept of fairness or appropriateness.

Campaign pros know that if you search a video frame-by-frame, or take enough photos, you'll find a shot that can make even a movie star look bad.   Democrats did this to Boyce and it backfired badly. Numerous voters, contacted by the GOP in the last days of the campaign, volunteered that they had been for Bickwheat but now supported Boyce, because that photo was uncalled for.

Male candidates, especially, have to be careful about doing this to a female opponent.

Like his compatriot, Dick Beebe in Greece, Bickwheat was undone also by Democratic Headquarters in the last days of the campaign. As HQ, in the final weekend, poured all time, money and manpower alloted for County Legislature into saving Vinny Esposito, it left Bickwheat high and dry on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Election Day itself.

Republicans, meanwhile, had scored a last-minute decision against Bickwheat by the Fair Election Practices Committee.   They whacked him with it in a mailing that reached voters the day before the election.

It put the ribbon on Boyce's substantial margin of victory, making her the Once and Future Legislator.


Anonymous said...

Ancello sent a mailing in the final week with grotesquely distorted photos of Dick Beebe and Sandy Frankel. Why was it advisable (and successful?)for Ancello in LD 6 but a mistake for Bickwheat in LD 5? If it were only about negative reactions to attack mailings, you'd think the campaigns would cancel one another out. Everybody had their gloves off in these races.

Your analysis seems superficial. When we see the numbers, I bet party enrollment of those who voted was the key element in the LD races. Voters insist they "vote for the person not the party" but in the smaller races they usually vote by party.

Hanibal said...

Dear Anonymous 11:52 am,

The fact that you can't see the difference between the Bickwheat and Ancello mailings is good news for taxpayers. It means that your ham-handed copy-paste of our successful campaign strategies will continue to fail. Please try again in 4 years.