Rudy Wright won a fourth term with right at 55% of the vote. His strong showings were in the North Side precincts that we have come to expect to be represented well for the establishment in Hickory Elections. The Mayor got strong showings in Oakwood, Viewmont 1, and the Northwest Precinct. He had solid showings in College Park, Springs, Viewmont 2, and Falling Creek. He carried Mountain View and Sandy Ridge, but these precincts had smaller vote counts.
Dr. Inglefield's solid showings came from the 4th ward precincts in contiguous Hickory. He basically walloped the Mayor in Kenworth, Ridgeview, and Greenmont 577 to 121, which is 82.7% of the vote. He also solidly won Brookford. Highland and St. Stephens were toss-ups and he actually fared pretty well in Falling Creek.
In looking at these results we see momentum with several areas that could start to come into play very soon in local municipal elections. Highland is already a toss-up and will likely flip in the next election. Oakland Heights, Falling Creek, and Sandy Ridge could easily flip away from the status quo candidates. You can see that the blue collar areas of town and the areas further away from the city center are much more likely to vote against the status quo candidate. A little bit better turnout in these elections and the local establishment could get overturned easily.
If we look at this election compared to the referendum, we see that Dr. Inglefield lost about 200 votes somewhere and Mayor Wright gained about 160 somewhere. I don't think that this was a flip. The Mayor has always had a coordinated vote effort involving the people living in the assisted living centers in the community. Some of this also is due to a concerted effort to paint Dr. Inglefield as basically being a Communist -- the McCarthy effect like Harry Hipps pointed to in his comment the other day. I also think that a good many of those people that voted yes on the referendum just didn't show up and some of the people who voted for Mayor Wright hadn't shown up to vote in the referendum.
If this city council doesn't immediately work to move some issues forward for the whole of the city, then the three seats up in two years will be completely up in the air. This divided city is teetering away from the status quo due to the stagnation in the economy and other aspects of quality of life issues. There are some variables that are currently masking some of this to a certain degree, but the reality lies under a very thin skin. North Hickory is tapped out. They can't turn out much more than they have, but there is growth to be had in the disenfranchised areas of Hickory. If there is growth to be had it will come from non-traditional areas. We are going to see some very interesting local politics moving forward. Those who look to control the uncontrollable are losing their grip. They would be much better off if they would move away from the monopoly and the bullying and attempt to work and play nice with others. But as I was listening to someone say the other day, "Southern politics is all about raw power... and raw power is ugly to its core."
I wish we could move away from that, because raw power is destructive and growth comes from being constructive.
The Electoral Reality of Ward 4 in Hickory
A Statistical Analysis of the Hickory Ward 5 Election
A Statistical Analysis of the Hickory Ward 6 Election