Outlook Not So Good
With all the brouhaha surrounding the rise and fall of Zina Pierre over the last week, it is still anyone’s guess as to what will happen. Over the week, questions have surfaced about her financial capabilities, her residence, her voter registration, and just this morning–the legality of her advertising campaign.
When Ms. Pierre’s financial issues became public, she immediately withdrew from the race by way of a spokesperson. The following day, she was back in the race with another spokesperson who claimed the original announcement was a “miscommunication”. And since Saturday, Zina Pierre (the person) has withdrawn and been in hiding. However, many wheels have been in motion in the background including private meetings with local party officials, other meetings with NAACP officials, and an early morning closed door breakfast meeting at Harry Brownes complete with a “surprise” visit by US Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD) who just “happened” to be in Annapolis. According to her spokesperson, Dan Weber, “She stopped by to say hello.”
She has a news conference scheduled today at 4:00pm at the Loews Annapolis Hotel where she is going to address the problems that plague her campaign. Will Zina Pierre be able to convince her party stalwarts that she is indeed the candidate for Mayor of Annapolis? More importantly, will she be able to convince the voters?
Our Political Magic 8 Ball
Judging from the information obtained on other local blogs as well as the comments left on The Capital’s website, we suggest that a recovery is impossible. We also suggest that Ms. Pierre knows this at this point and will decline the nomination at her press conference this afternoon effectively removing herself from the race–again. No questions will be answered.
Once she declines, the local Annapolis Democratic Central Committee (ADCC), is charged with appointing a new candidate to represent the party in the upcoming election. The nomination must be official by October 2, 2009, so time is of the essence. They are not bound by anything and can essentially nominate anyone (probably not Ellen Moyer because of term limits). Keep in mind that this Zina Pierre issue has, to a degree, polarized this city and there are plenty of racial tensions brewing. Will the ADCC nominate an African American to replace her on the ballot? If they don’t, what are the repercussions?
We have heard that current Alderman Ross Arnett (D- Ward 8) has been courted as a possible replacement. Does he have the name recognition outside of his ward? Would the ADCC be able to find a replacement for the vacancy he will leave on the City Council?
Realistically, we feel that the ADCC will name Josh Cohen as the replacement. Josh is well known and generally well liked and respected. He trailed Pierre by 115 votes; however, you need to remember, more people voted against him than FOR him. This late in the game, Josh is likely the best chance to secure the Mayor’s office. His name has been out there in the primary, his campaign in already in place, and he has substantial backing.
If Josh is named (and if he accepts–which is a whole different discussion), he will have an uphill battle. He has been perceived as the “favorite son” and might have to battle the impression that he “stole” the nomination from Pierre.
But voters also need to remember, that whoever runs on the democratic ticket still needs to win the election. Naming Josh, Ross, or anyone else is by no means a “gift” of the Office of Mayor. Whomever is the named candidate will have a tough battle to wage against Republican Dave Cordle and Independent Chris Fox. As they say, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
This is all speculation at this point and more will be known this afternoon at 4:00pm and in the days that follow. Stay tuned to Eye On Annapolis for more insight!