Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

About last night’s mayoral primary in Waukesha


Most of my thoughts on last night’s primary elections in the city of Waukesha will be appear in my column for the Waukesha Freeman tomorrow. Spend the fifty cents and get some ink on your fingers. It’s good for you.

That said, I do have some additional thoughts on the mayoral race. Somebody over in Scrimaland had better be in full panic right now. They just finished second to a political novice surrounded by political novices. That’s not a knock on Shawn Reilly, but Reilly’s campaign should show improvement in the coming days. Just imagine what a Reilly campaign could have done with a better voter contact effort.

Scrima also only finished 228 votes ahead of the third place finisher, Alderman Terry Thieme. We can play the what-if game. What if Thieme had not been distracted by the personal tragedies in December? What if Thieme raised more money? What if the members of the Common Council actually campaigned for Thieme? Yes, Thieme probably would have taken some votes away from Reilly, but he also would have added more voters to the overall total. We might be talking about a Reilly-Thieme race right now.

Of course, the ultimate what-if, what if President Barack Obama did not visit Waukesha? If the election had been held the week following the president’s visit, Scrima would probably have finished third. However, the whole drama, and that’s a word you’re going to hear a lot in the next six weeks, reminded residents of the endless stream of unnecessary conflicts and disruptions from the mayor’s office. If no presidential visit, would Scrima’s don’t-worry-be-happy campaign have been effective in making the voters forget the last four years?

Or would Scrima have stumbled into another controversy, such as the public ice skating rink, or his claims Waukesha did not need Act 10?

Shawn Reilly endorsed Brian Running for city attorney. Will Scrima endorse GuitarTown and New Day Fund consigliere Rick Congdon? Will Congdon endorse Scrima?

All that said, only 10.6% of the voters turned out. That means there is plenty of room for vote totals to grow on both sides. I was asked last night how do you get people to vote? I replied somebody needs to knock on the door and ask them.

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