Elections are always exciting times around newspaper offices — no matter how big or small the office is.
Tuesday’s primary was no exception.
In the weeks since mid-January when candidates began announcing their intention to run for a seat on the City Council and when official campaigning began, there has been a whirlwind of activity. Political forums, private parties, community appearances and official meetings among them.
The eight men vying for one of two spots on the council jockeyed for the seat with great finesse, bringing to light many issues that residents are concerned about, particularly controlled growth and Boulder City’s future. But mostly, it showed that people care.
This week’s primary election was easily the most contested local race I’ve covered since becoming editor of the paper.
There were so many qualified candidates, it was near impossible to predict the outcome ahead of seeing the actual results come in late Tuesday.
There was only an 84-vote difference between the top vote getter, Warren Harhay, and John Milburn, who came in fourth.
They will be joined by Kiernan McManus and incumbent Councilman Cam Walker.
And there was only a mere 37-vote difference that knocked fifth-place finisher Fritz McDonald out of the race.
I can’t say that I am totally surprised by the results, though there was some question about who would take the fourth sport.
Even those who didn’t advance to the general election said they felt like winners.
Rich Loudin, who came in seventh with just 409 or 6.27 percent of the votes, was all smiles as the results came in Tuesday night. While he was obviously disappointed not to advance to the general election, he said he thoroughly enjoyed the campaign process. He called it downright fun and was glad to experience campaigning.
That’s the true spirit of what this campaign was about: meeting new people and learning about the issues that will affect Boulder City, especially as construction nears completion on Interstate 11, which will have a tremendous impact.
All eight men waged valiant campaigns and need to be commended. And that’s how it should be, though I suspect things may not be as nice as the race heats up.
Now our attention should return to where it needs to be: the issues and making sure people get out to vote in the general election.
Walker said voter fatigue is also something they must contend with. Campaigning is hard work - for both candidates, their family and friends, and residents. In the grand scheme of things, there has been very little time between last November’s heated presidential race and our primary. With the general election in June, just two months from now, it doesn’t seem likely that anyone will be able to take a break from the politicking.
Hopefully, the excitement and enthusiasm from the primary gains momentum and brings more people to the polls for the general election. Then, no matter who is elected, we will all be winners.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523.