Potential mayors go head to head

In the wake of the May 18 primary mayoral election, the tworemaining candidates, ex-police chief Tom Potter and CommissionerJim Francesconi, are setting their sights on the November 2runoff.

Potter’s surprise lead in the primary over the once-assumedfrontrunner, Francesconi, may have been a landmark event,indicating that political clout isn’t solely based on financialmuscle and institutional backing. Now both candidates are goingback to the drawing board to construct strategies.

According to Marlis Miller, Potter’s campaign manager, Potterdoesn’t plan on significantly altering his campaign strategy.”We’re going to just keep on doing more and doing better,” shesaid.

However, Potter, who raised roughly $1.14 per vote (Francesconiraised about $22 per vote), is planning on raising his campaigndonation cap from $25 to $100.

“We really need to have the opportunity to reach a broaderaudience,” Miller said.

Though Francesconi’s financial leverage (over $600,000 on themost recent report) marked him as the apparent frontrunner, Millersaid she wasn’t surprised when Potter came out on top. She went onto explain that it was Potter’s authenticity and no-nonsenseattitude that appealed to voters. “He wasn’t blowing a lot ofsmoke,” she said. “It was very real.”

According to the unofficial election results, Francesconireceived 45,681 votes, attaining second-place with 34.3 percent ofthe vote, while Potter received 56,289 votes, putting him in firstplace with 42.3 percent of the vote.

Election regulations state that if the election is not won with50 percent or more of the vote the top two candidates must go on toa general election.

Candidates Phil Busse and James Posey accumulated the majorityof remaining votes, with Busse receiving 7.4 percent and Poseyreceiving 5.2 percent.

Kevin Jeans-Gail, from the Francesconi campaign, said thatFrancesconi is currently taking a break from his campaign and roleas commissioner. He went on to say that Francesconi and his staffplan to meet after his return to discuss campaign strategy andchanges therein.

When asked if Francesconi found the primary election resultsdisappointing Jeans-Gail replied that Francesconi had “workedextremely hard,” and that he “took nothing for granted.”

Official election results are estimated to become available tothe public mid-June. The deadline for counties to turn in theofficial Abstract of Votes is June 7, 2004.