The votes are in! No need for elaborate analysis, the results speak for themselves. I'll try to provide some election information that is always available but rarely asked for.
I attended both the Ponto and Speaker election night parties. Jeff Speaker was the most poised and accepting person in the room. He accepted the voter's decision with grace and dignity. In my opinion, he was secure in believing he faced some tough choices and made the correct decision. I don't think he'll do a lot of second guessing. Steve Ponto's party was, not surprisingly, much more boisterous. Steve was constantly getting phone calls from the press and well wishers. Quite a few Waukesha County Republican Party leaders were there, even though mayor is supposed to be a non-partisan position. Steve has had a lifelong dream of significant elected service and this was his night.
2010 General Election Vote Count - Mayor
The mayor's race was the only city wide contest. Click here for a map of the voting wards from the city web site. Here is the official vote tally from city hall: April 6, 2010, Spring General Election Results. This table was used to create the chart for 2010 Mayoral General Election shown below.
I think this shows the 6th district was the key to Ponto's winning. That district has had several controversial topics in the last few years, including the widening of Calhoun Road, debate over an I-94/Calhoun Road interchange, relocation of fire station #3 and some flooding issues. It was "throw the bum out" as much as picking a better candidate.
2010 General Election Vote Count - Alderman
There was no turnover in the five contested aldermanic races. The one that surprised me most was Terry Halmstad's finish in district 2. From what I've heard and read, he had a very radical platform. I was expecting the district 5 race to be closer, perhaps 55%-45%. I know Gary Mahkorn campaigned very hard and has a strong record of assisting residents with individual issues.
Someone asked me about how well a mayor's race primary predicts the final winner. I'm not sure there's a simple answer. Here are a few charts from the past and some observations:
- 2002 was the retirement of Kate Bloomberg, a great example of how a candidate's gender has always been irrelevant in Brookfield elections. For 16 years. Through several opposed elections. Other women joining Kate with distinguished elected careers in Brookfield government include Mary Lou Smith, Bev Wentz, Kris Schmidt and Kari Clappier. Incumbents Lisa Mellone and Renee Lowerr are also working hard.
- Since the 2002 election had no incumbent, the field was "wide open" and attracted a lot of candidates. One of them, Dave Penno, was un-/under-employed at the time, just like Ponto in 2010. Both candidacies were a combination of a sincere long time interest in public service and coincidental employment events.
- Here is a table showing the final election results for the last three mayor's races. The 2010 race was easily the closest race and had the lowest voter turnout. But for the rain on election day, but for Elmbrook school spring break allowing people to be out of town, but for ...
2010 Mayor's Race
This really shows how the district 6 voting shifted from Speaker in the primary to Ponto in the general election. It also appears the district 2 Marcello vote shifted mostly to Ponto.
2006 Mayor's Race
The most remarkable thing for me in 2006 was Kilkenny's swing from first place in the primary to a distant second in the general. A candidate generally does best in the district they live in, especially if they are an incumbent alderman. Yet, her own District 2, the people who knew her best, dramatically swung against her. District 6 also saw a dramatic swing.
2002 Mayor's Race
The primary field was crowded with well qualified candidates.
Here is a great example of the early favorite, Mike Jakus, winning the primary and losing the general. There was no smear campaign against Jakus. Some would even say there was a smear campaign against Speaker, but obviously it failed. It was simply a choice by informed voters. Speaker was a fresh face and had good name recognition from being a police officer. He also had a highly skilled campaign manager.