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31st March
written by Sean Noble

Sometimes public officials exit public life very gracefully.  Sometimes they don’t.  The Arizona Republic reports today that Gilbert Town Councilman is dropping out of the race for Mayor.  He was second place to top vote-getter John Lewis in the primary, and the two were headed for a May run-off.  Skousen cited health concerns in his family as the reason to exit the race.  I admire a guy who recognizes priorities in life.

Incumbent Mayor, Steve Berman, came in third in the primary and is lashing out in a disappointing, but not surprising way.  He is quoted saying that Skousen is an “unethical flea.” Then he went on:

“He should have said during the primary election that he was running to pull votes away from me to help someone else get elected,” Berman said. “He bastardized the electoral process. Lewis comes into office under a cloud with the question of what would have happened if we had had a real election.”

Berman needs to take a deep breath and recognize that there isn’t some grand conspiracy against him.  He had a long run as mayor, and people want a change in direction.  The absurdity of Berman’s quote is that even if EVERY Skousen vote had gone to Berman, Berman would have still lost to Lewis.  Lewis received nearly 42% of the vote, Skousen got 20% and Berman got 16%. 

The truth of it is that had Skousen not been in the race, Lewis would have won the seat outright with more than 50% of the vote.  There is no cloud following John Lewis, it is the bright sunshine of a new day.

Either way, Berman is gone, which given his propensity to create negative drama, is a very good thing.

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  1. breck

    i’m guessing town council meetings are going to be a little rocky until john takes the reigns…

  2. darrel

    Very well put Sean. I believe your thinking is accurate!

  3. Shanna

    maybe i am just a bit naive but I am pretty shocked that an elected official not only said that but got away with it.

  4. DGN

    Steve Berman said something outrageous? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

    Graciousness is not Steve’s strong suit, to say the least. He needs to find some purpose in life away from politics, and the voters have obliged, justly so.

  5. 31/03/2009

    I don’t imagine there could be a voting system where all this spoiler fal-der-al could have been eliminated?
    It’s called Instant Runoff Voting – look into it.

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