The percentages are skewed because a voter can vote for up to four candidates. But when a voter does that he or she dilutes the power of simply voting for one candidate on these list type of races where more than one candidate is elected, in this case four. The strategy of only voting for one candidate in a multi-field election is often employed in slating contests. The general public doesn't know the strategy. People who understand the political process do.
Kent B. Smith (R) 80,708 12.94%
Barbara Malone (R) 77,485 12.43%
Joanne Sanders (D) 73,180 11.74%
Ed Coleman (R) 72,495 11.63%
Michael Hegg (R ) 71,782 11.51%
Rozelle Boyd (D) 71,267 11.43%
Ron Gibson (D) 70,130 11.25%
Lonnell (King Ro) Conley (D) 10.24%
Allison R. Maguire (L) 12,735 2.04%
Timothy J. Maguire (L) 12,275 1.97%
Kevin R. Fleming (L) 9,349 1.50%
Webster J. Smith (L) 8,260 1.32%
Why it is extremely foolish for Republicans to retaliate against former Republican and new Libertarian Ed Coleman is contained in these numbers and an understanding of the "one vote" strategy. All the Libertarians have to do is put up one candidate instead of four and inform their folks and disaffected Republicans to simply vote for that one candidate. Imagine now that one candidate is Ed Coleman and he spends the next three years speaking out about the problems at the Capital Improvement Board, criticizes the Mayor for pushing for tax increases and addresses the multitude of conflicts of interest on the council. You don't think Ed Coleman will pick up a lot of Republicans who are angry at the current direction of the administration and the lack of leadership on the council? Of course he will.
I do not in my wildest imagination think Ed Coleman has a chance of winning running in 2011 as a Libertarian. I think he'll do better than any Libertarian ever in the county but even doubling that number would still probably leave him in single digits. I would have counseled Ed to stay in the Republican Party and work for reform. But one thing I do know inside and out is how to crunch election numbers. All Ed Coleman needs, even in the best Republican year, is a few thousand Republicans to defect to him and Republicans lose every at-large seat and control of the council.
Do not think for a second that the Democrats on the council don't know this. I believe the happiest person in the council meeting where Coleman was stripped of his committee seats was Joanne Sanders, now minority leader. She seemed to be fighting to keep from smiling. She absolutely knew what Republicans on the committee were doing and how it would almost certainly ensure that all of the Republican at-large candidates go down to defeat in 2011 giving the Democrats a majority on the council and making her Council President.
So many of my colleagues who teach or study political science have expressed disbelief why Marion County Republicans leadership would so deliberately shoot themselves in the foot. Having been involved in Marion County politics for over 22 years, I understand completely the mentality. Those folks would rather lose with candidates they can control 100% of the time than win with candidates who dare express independence and will only vote 90% of the time the way leadership wants. It is a mentality that dooms the Marion County GOP to electoral failure.