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Group discusses election results

The East Side Business Association discussed the Aug. 2 mayoral primary election that Mayor Dayne Walling and Darryl Buchanan won at the Aug. 3 meeting. The association invited all seven mayoral candidates to present their platforms and plans for the city during the past few weeks.

Unofficial results from the Aug. 2 primary released by Genesee County were used in the open dialogue. Results showed that of the 83,407 registered voters, 11,608 votes were cast — a 13.9 percent voter turnout.

One member said what was more disturbing than the low voter turnout was that although each of the seven candidates were required to have 900 signatures on their petitions before their name was placed on the ballots, four of the candidates received less that 900 votes. David Davenport, Jung Ho Kim, Eric Mays and Don Pfeiffer all received less than 326 votes. What happened to the rest of the voters that signed the candidates' petitions, he asked.

After listening to each candidate's platform, members jointly agreed that some of the candidates lacked understanding of city government. Some had not attended city council meetings and had not researched the facts about the problems facing the city.

"How knowledgeable can you be about city government if you don't know who your councilman is?" one member asked about a candidate's statement that he didn't know who his councilman was.

Other members said they were surprised that the volunteer work candidate Scott Smith did on the eastside and in other parts of the city did not translate into more votes.

"Smith said he didn't have a plan for the rising legacy costs that make up a significant part of the budget," another member said. "I would have hoped a serious candidate would have looked at that issue and made it a part of his campaign."

Other members complained about campaign "robo" phone calls. "The calls were very negative — the person speaking sounded argumentative. I changed the way I voted after I received those calls," an attendee said.

Dan Smith commented that he believed negative comments by candidates reminded voters of a former mayor who had a disfavorable satisfaction rating.

Enosh Fee said the tone of the robo calls were stressful and aggravated.

"Why are you yelling at me?" Fee had asked the caller.

David Caswell asked the group if they thought the results of the primary which showed Dayne Walling with 47 percent of the vote compared to Darryl Buchanan's 24 percent will have already decided the November election?

The group didn't think so.

"No candidate is unbeatable," Smith said.

Jack Minore disagreed. He said that because the Walling win encompassed almost all the precincts, the November election was already decided.

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