You could’ve predicted Mayor-elect Ron Nirenberg.
You even could’ve predicted John Courage—yes, John Courage—taking District 9.
You just needed to look at the signs. Or, rather, counted them. These two had way more campaign signs. Wasn’t even close.
Congratulations to the new mayor. And thank you to the outgoing mayor, whose service and dignity speak for themselves.
Did it come down to voter enthusiasm?
Everywhere you went, more Nirenberg “Ron” signs than Ivy Taylor “checkmark” signs. In the northside neighborhoods, Courage was everywhere, so to speak. The underdoggiest of underdogs, whose opponent haughtily predicted holding him to 20-something percent of the vote, owned the subdivisions.
Every Nirenberg voter I met or spoke with was fired up to vote for him. Taylor voters seemed…pleased. It was a big difference. Not a commentary on the quality of their positions or records—but you have to get people excited and eager to elect you. Nirenberg and Courage did. Taylor and Mr. 70 Percent just didn’t.
By Saturday night, total voter turnout would’ve just about fit inside the Alamodome.
Who were those 69,000 people, who spoke for several hundred thousand? Not sure, but they got out and voted. They wanted to. As a candidate, you have to solve that, or having better ideas is not enough.
Pundits will try to suss out some deeper meaning here, about the direction people want the city to take, or how this outcome comports with the Age of Trump.
We do know: when it comes to federal elections, surveys tell us most adults cannot name even one of the “unalienable rights” from the Declaration of Independence. Most can’t name all the rights in the First Amendment. Most don’t know much about the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and so don’t know enumerated rights. And if you don’t know those things, you probably don’t understand that the U.S. Constitution’s shining strength is that it is a list of carefully-limited powers that we the people assign to government, reserving all other powers for ourselves and local communities.
If most people no longer know the above, which is still taught in most schools, than how many San Antonio voters know the powers, and limitations, of our mayor-manager form of government? Remember, half those voters are from outside S.A.
All of which tells me a big part of what you have to do to win is make people passionate to vote for you.