Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Night To Remember

As I sat near the end of the bar at Urban Table, the place where Lioneld Jordan's watch party was being held, I stared at the three TV sets that were set before me. Each one had on a channel that was offering election-night coverage, both local and national, yet none of the three was giving me any information that could alleviate my growing frustration. The counting of the local contests appeared to stop somewhere between 5 and 11 percent of the total vote tally. On the national scene, many of the eastern states were showing up on the map as blue, while those in the Midwest were painted in red. Florida was undecided. "God! I hope it's not happening all over again. Why hasn't Florida reported? The results should be in by now," I stated to the person sitting next to me.

"You know why they haven't reported yet. Ol' Jeb just didn't know how to steal an election the right way." His response did nothing to calm my fears and my anxiety continued to grow.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned to speak to her. When I turned back toward the three televisions once again, the magic words were spread across one of the screens - "Barak Obama Elected President of the United States."

At first, I thought that the words were being showed as some kind of joke, or an exposition of what could be. How could it have been anything else? After all, only seconds before, Obama still needed some 64 electoral votes in order to claim victory. Then the shouts of jubilation began to spread throughout the premises. At that moment it occurred to me that our long national nightmare would soon come to an end. The American people had spoken; they expressed their desire to leave the dark and anti-life policies of the neo-cons behind.

I left Urban Table and went back to the Town Center across the street in order to see what was happening at the Democrat's watch party. Upon arriving, I walked into a scene of near pandemonium. There were shouts of joy coming from all quarters, high fives and hand shakes were given freely, and the pure joy being expressed could hardly be contained within the confines of the building.

I wanted to watch Barak Obama's acceptance speech in the peace and quiet of my own living room. Still, on my way back to the car, I couldn't resist running into West Mountain Brewing Company in order to give M, one of the bartenders, my own special brand of Woo-hoo! He looked at me a bit strangely; then, I was on my way home.

That's my personal story about election night 2008, but undoubtedly, everyone who was out last night or participated in this historic election likely has their own to tell. The evening of November 4 was unusually warm and memorable. As with every election perhaps nobody is completely satisfied with the way the chips fell, so to speak. There were various amendments to the state constitution, initiatives, and many candidates running for various offices. As we all know, there are always winners and losers in elections. Usually however, we get some of what we want, but not everything. That's the way it was for me.

Still, I would like to congratulate all of those who participated and worked hard for change - regardless of their contest's outcome. At risk of showing my own personal biases, I would like to congratulate the following people and organizations for jobs well done:

* Green Party candidates Abel Tomlinson and Rebekah Kennedy, who both ran good campaigns against major-party candidates for the Congress and the U.S. Senate respectively, and who earned very respectable percentages of the vote in their races.

* Ryan Denham and Sensible Fayetteville, for working so diligently to make arrests for adult marijuana possession a low priority in Fayetteville. Congratulations on your impressive win!

*Don Connor from Ward 1, who ran an honorable race in order to bring new ideas to the city council.

Candy Clark, who after being forced from the Fayetteville Planning Commission by the Coody Administration, defeated
James Reavis in his bid to the Washington County District 5 J.P. position.

* Sarah Lewis, who won the bid for Lioneld Jordan's Ward 4 seat.

* Bernard Sulliban, who also ran a good campaign for the Ward 4 position. May you continue in your quest to sit on the city council. Seek and you shall one day find - and deserve.

* Last but certainly not least, I would like to congratulate Lioneld Jordan for running an excellent campaign - a campaign that has forced a run-off election between himself, and incumbent Dan Coody.

Yes, it will be two more weeks of political agony for the two final contenders in Fayetteville's mayoral contest. For those who voted in yesterday's election, it is very important that you all return to the polls one more time in order to decide whether Fayetteville will continue with its current mayor, or bring a new administration to City Hall. For Fayetteville's voters who participated in the November 4 election, there is still a bit more work to do on November 25. I hope to see you at the poll.

To everyone else who participated in this historic election, either by petitioning, campaigning, or voting, good work!

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