Recounting and Recriminations

As many of you are aware, the election finished with our campaign down by 35 votes. This triggers an automatic recount. It also triggers a new round of slanderous accusation from Craig Lowe. At least this time he is saying them with his own mouth instead of depending on nameless surrogates. Here it is from the Gainesville Sun:

“All I can say is Don Marsh ran the dirtiest electoral campaign in the history of Gainesville,” Lowe said.

We ran an issues centric campaign from the beginning. Craig Lowe did not refute any of  our points in any of our forums. He ignored every issue and stuck strictly to his script of, “I have proven leadership…I have experience”.

He had nothing to say about our ever rising electric rates that HE VOTED FOR. All he can do is change the subject and call me names, or have others do it for him. It is the same pattern of behavior that he demonstrated during the Transgender Bathroom debate in which he characterized anyone who disagreed with him as a homophobe and a bigot. This is cowardice of a high order. And it is a slap in the face to every Gainesville resident who suffers under an burdensome cost of living inflicted on them by a smug and self-satisfied city commission. But it’s nothing new.

So, did they cheat? Is there some sort of collusion between the Democratic machine that ran their puppet and people who supervise the vote? I am more than happy to let others utilize legal avenues to find that out. Let’s just say that if I judge this in the light of the nastiness of Lowe’s campaign, I would not be surprised.

Whether or not there is a conclusive discovery that overturns yesterday’s result, there is still a bigger problem: 83% of Gainesville voters sat on their hands and did nothing. This is the biggest contributor to our commission’s ability to abuse and manage us. If there had been a 50% turnout, and people voted according to their own self-interest, this would be a moot point.

Although it is apparently the plan of politicians to vilify and ruin me, I will stay in business because my customers know better. And I will run again, because it must be done and these cowardly individuals must be overcome. If not this week, then next year when there are 3 seats in contention.

22 thoughts on “Recounting and Recriminations”

  1. Don,
    You ran an honest and tireless campaign. I’m proud to know you and to have supported you. Craig’s own friends came to me during the election and touted that he is an arrogant ass and truly disliked the way he treats people. They said he is an habitual liar. Craig Lowe is a disgrace to the office and to this city. On the other hand, I respect the job you did and appreciate your dedication to our community.

  2. Don, you were entirely aboveboard and doing great at handling the mud slung in your direction, right up until this:

    “So, did they cheat? Is there some sort of collusion between the Democratic machine that ran their puppet and people who supervise the vote? I am more than happy to let others utilize legal avenues to find that out. Let’s just say that if I judge this in the light of the nastiness of Lowe’s campaign, I would not be surprised.”

    Allegations of election fraud? That goes way beyond the sort of namecalling your opposition’s supporters subjected you to. Please don’t sink to their level. Always remember, “Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity”, or in this case voter apathy. After all, the majority has now spoken twice, and what they’ve said is, “We don’t CARE!”

  3. I appreciate your concern. But last night, when it was apparent that the race would be incredibly close, the last precinct “would not modem in” and had to be transported in a vehicle. The machine HAD been in in public view until then. There was an opportunity for something malicious to happen. If I am not suspicious, I am not being realistic.

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I cannot help thinking ill of my opponent.

  4. Well, I’m not half as disappointed in you as I am in the 84 and change percent of my friends and neighbors across the line in the city that didn’t bother to vote. All I can say to the city is, “Don’t annex me, bro!” 🙂

  5. This is the first time I have commented on these pages. Although I have visited often to keep up with this campaign. You don’t know me, but I wanted to write and say thanks to you Don for your attempt at getting Gainesville back on the right direction.

    It sickens me that my city will be represented by a man like Craig Lowe. The fact that the race was so close with the obstacles you faced with Craig’s dirty campaign, our local media’s obvious bias for your opponent, and the outright laziness of our city’s residents in not turning out to vote shows your and your staff’s efforts were not in vain.

    Live to run another day. Please don’t give up and continue to run. We need a man like you involved in the decisions for this city.

  6. Don, you really do sound like a sore loser here. You should be happy it was as close as it was, and stop accusing the Supervisor of Elections of fraud.

  7. Same old same old: I am a homophobe and a bigot for caring about high utility rates and Lowe’s sloth in getting Koppers out of here. Now I am a sore loser for being defamed and and slandered in the newspaper by the brave Mr. Lowe and for thinking something hinky went on in the counting of these ballots. You just don’t care about justice, I guess.

  8. Nobody called you a homophobe or a bigot; they’re telling you how childish it sounds to cry foul when you don’t improbably come from behind when the final precinct is counted.

  9. What do you know about anything? You haven’t been tagging along with my campaign. You have no idea what this has been like.

  10. I’m talking about this discussion thread, not your entire campaign.

    Your reasoning behind suspecting election fraud seems to be basically, “I didn’t come back to win at the last second and I couldn’t possibly have lost this election fairly, therefore they (poll workers, Craig Lowe, Craig Lowe’s campaign, the Supervisor of Elections – you have pointed your finger at a lot of people today) cheated”

  11. Don, I heard at Election HQ last night that a person spoke with your sign wavers in East Gainesville yesterday who reported they were:
    a) from out of town,
    b) being paid, and
    c) telling voters your opponent would reduce police and school crossing guards.
    Is there truth to any of these three?
    Thanks.

  12. Don did not make any direct accusation. He mearly posed the questions “did they cheat? Is there some sort of collusion between the Democratic machine that ran their puppet and people who supervise the vote?” He then said that he would let others find that out. Fortunately, there are “others” who are interested enough in keeping the system fair that it will be investigated. And it should be investigated even if there were no potential evidence of wrong doing. If for no other reason than to ensure that we can have faith in the system.

  13. Asking hard questions makes you “mean” and challenging an incumbent’s terrible record makes you a “dirty” campaigner. It’s what some people want to hear.

  14. Don- I registered to vote for the first time in my life during the first mayoral election in March because I wanted to have a voice. I’m sorry to say that I was not allowed to vote for you on Tuesday because they said that I “did not meet the deadline” for this election. I also wanted to let you know of my and my boyfriend’s experience both times at the poll:
    Everyone was very kind to us until they saw his registration card…REPUBLICAN…then the attitudes were very short with him and he was made to feel EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE. I, too, was treated well the first time, and they were very helpful in my getting registered…until that word REPUBLICAN came up.
    What is going on with our city and our country??? I have been truly amazed by the lack of concern and common sense of people. There are serious problems that need to be addressed.
    I’m so sorry that I was not able to be one of the 36 votes that could have made a difference. We will keep you in our prayers, and please keep up your fight for our community. Hopefully, the people will wake up before it’s too late.

  15. The politics can be very nasty in this town. Fortunately, I found a lot of great people among the Democrats who are sick of the elitist snobs who abuse all of us. Keep the faith!

  16. Playing “Devil’s Advocate” here:

    Election workers hate close elections. If they had cheated, they would have made the margin wide enough to not trigger an automatic recount. Having it this close risks the result being overturned during the recount, not to mention the personal headaches it causes for all the employees who have to do it.

    Also, it’s very easy to imagine a perfectly innocent scenario where the last precinct’s results would have to be trucked in.
    – Assume the precinct has a defective modem.
    – Defective modem isn’t discovered until after the polls close – when they try to use it.
    – Precinct keeps trying to use/troubleshoot the modem.
    – In the meantime, every other precinct modems their results in.
    – Supervisor tells the precinct, “Ok, guys, you’re holding up the show. Forget the modem and put the ballots on a truck.”

    I would only be suspicious if there is some evidence that something unusual happened on the truck, or if it took, like, 4 times as long to arrive as it should have.

  17. Mr. Marsh,

    I appreciate you’re ability to give Craig Lowe a run for his money, especially when he had has so much more than you. It was impressive to say the least. But as someone who has spent years serving the elections as a poll worker, I’m not sure you understand the complete fallout of your assertions. It’s borderline conspiracy theory to question what happen when the machine left public view Don. What? You think staff changed the vote? It just doesn’t work like that. You have insulted every person who takes pride in administering a fair and honest election. My advice to you is that once you’ve finished exploring every possible angle and finally realize that you lost fair and square, let it go. You weren’t cheated. And that’s how this story will end. I think checking all the facts, numbers, and records is the right thing to do Don. Any campaign would and that isn’t where my criticism lies. Your assertion that voter fraud occured is your gaffe. You don’t beat that drum unless your ABSOLUTELY sure it’s the case. For the record, I don’t think your a bigot or homophobe. I think you’re a hardworking individual who can’t believe he lost by such a razor thin margin.

  18. Yes, I see your point. As we think this through, if there is anything funny going on, it is not likely to be on the part of poll workers. For that I do apologize. This was a pretty nasty election, and it is pretty hard to take. Mr. Lowe’s campaign was virtually invisible for the last month while we were everywhere. The only time they showed up was to accuse our volunteers of gay bashing. We had a huge gap to close and we closed it. I just have a hard time accepting that so many people can support him. But they do. And that is what elections are for.

  19. Dear Innocent Bystander,
    With regard to sign wavers on the East Side: To our knowledge, none of our staffers were from out of town. We met them for the first time Monday evening and they were recommended to us by a local ministry. We had money left at the end of the campaign and wished to invest in people who had not been able to find employment, as well as assert a positive influence in the East Side where we had begun to make great inroads (as made obvious by the final precinct reports). What was told to these workers re: police and crossing guard cuts is the public record that these cuts are indeed being considered by our city government as cost-cutting measures. One of Don’s major issues during this campaign was the wasteful expenditures made in our city budget while treating fire and police protection as luxuries. In other words continuing to fund a money-pit-of-a golf course, assuming the responsibility from the state for maintaining Main St. because they wanted to make it more “pedestrian friendly”, finding the funds to buy Mom’s Kitchen, and on and on and yet threatening the positions of 33 police officers unless a new fee/tax is imposed on churches and non-profits…. Well, like I said these were issues of the campaign and there is nothing false about them.
    If you find this “hiring” of help to be distasteful, I encourage you to look not only at both sides in this race, but also in campaigns of any time. Compare the two candidate’s expenditures at the Supervisor of Elections website. I believe you’ll find evidence that Don was the candidate who could have brought greater fiscal responsibility to the city as well as he did to his campaign. This is nothing new in our family. We’ve never had other people’s money at our ready disposal. We do things the old-fashioned way….we earn it.
    Don’s Proud Wife of 32 years, Cindi

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