â€¦and a great darkness fell upon the land.
Just kidding! In case you havenâ€™t heard, both Democrats skunked their Republican opponents. No hyperbole here, I forget the actual numbers, but Trasoff beat Ronstadt 2:1, while Uhlich beat Dunbar 3:2. Yikes! While your humble servant did predict a Democrat sweep, these margins are a surprise.
I stopped by the Hotel Congress early in the evening. I chatted with Steve Leal briefly after being the first to congratulate him on his victory (heâ€™s running unopposed). He suggested that Dunbar might loose because of the suit she filed. He suggested that suing a teacher was the equivalent of kicking a nun in the eyes of the voters. I almost suggested to Steve that kicking a nun might increase Democrat crossover voting, but thought better of it. I thought him wrong at the time, now Iâ€™m not so sure.
There was no one else there that I knew, so a strolled back to The Manning House were the Republicans were holding their party. I enjoyed the walk immensely. The unseasonably warm weather made for moderate temperatures after dark. There was enough urban light that the streets were never really dark, though it was well after sunset.
There were a couple of restaurants and a club or two still open for business. A tall woman in a black ensemble stood in a doorway with three or four shopping bags lined up against the wall. I passed a street gentleman whom I passed by earlier â€“ this time he declined to repeat the earlier entreaty for a monetary transfer to which I sent negative signals. I passed a couple who had paused in the middle of the sidewalk so the gentleman could photograph a rather plain shuttered window. He was in a baggy black suit, while she was wearing a sort of sex-kitten costume complete with whisker make-up. It occurred to me that I might tell them that the Democrats were at the Hotel Congress, but then I figured that they probably already knew that.
Downtown Tucson in the early evening is a snapshot of itself. It is not dead, neither is it alive and vibrant. Itâ€™s just there, much like the space between the inhalation and the exhalation â€“ a moment of peace to be embraced.
I turned onto Paseo Redondo by the Redondo Towers Apartments and quickly found myself in front of the stately Manning House. The front was dark. The Republicans, presumably due to their minority status, had to enter through the back door. I followed a drive that led to the back. I knew I was in the right place when I saw the media trucks with their generators running and a series of cables taped across the sidewalk.
I ran into Brad Lang and his lovely wife and daughter. He works for Kathleen Dunbar at the Ward III office. We spoke briefly about the election. Brad is really too nice a guy to concern himself with election politics. The last time we spoke, a week or two ago, he expressed frustration over the Democrat assertion that Kathleen was controlled by â€œspecial interests.â€ He told me that he knew all the neighborhood association presidents in Ward III from seeing them at the Ward III office; he added that he had never met either Jim Click or Don Diamond, and would not know them if he saw them. I thought of explaining the strategy of applying an established national template locally, and pandering to a base that sees Republicans as stereotypes, but he seemed to be taking it too much to heart.
I entered the building and made my way to the hall. Along the way I met Judi White, head of the Pima County Republicans. She looked preoccupied. â€œHave you seen the numbers?â€, she asked. I had not, but the first set of numbers broadcast by the news services indicated heap big bad news for the Republicans.
Fred Ronstadt was there. He answered some questions for a camera, then proceeded to retire to the courtyard to smoke cigars with the College Republicans. I waited a while before hustling a cigar for myself. It was a corona sized Macanudo, yum! By this time, Fred was off by himself an aid trying to get through to Nina Trasoff on a cell phone to offer his congratulations. I approached him and thanked him for his eight years of service to the community. We smoked together for a few minutes, then he had to go inside to make his speech.
I lingered outside â€“ not wanting to abandon such a fine cigar â€“ and eaves-dropped on the College Republicans. They talked about politics at both the national and local levels. They all seemed happy with the lunatic behavior of the Democrat leadership at the nation level, and hoped that it continues. At one point, one of the leaders complimented the rest for their efforts. They seemed mildly disappointed, but undaunted. By the way, they were not dorks with horn-rimmed glassed, blue blazers and ties; they were regular kids complete with body piercings.
I went back inside to hear the end of Fredâ€™s speech. Kathleen Dunbar had arrived. She followed Fredâ€™s speech with one of her own. I waited around until I had a chance to thank Kathleen for her four years of service to the community, then I split for the Democrat party.
The party at Hotel Congress had spilled into the street. Karin Uhlich was outside shaking hands and posing for photographs. I managed to catch up to her and congratulated her on her victory. She thanked me for coming. I worked my way inside and congratulated Nina Trasoff on her victory. She also thanked me for coming. It was odd seeing so many jubilant Democrats â€“ youâ€™d think that Al-Qaeda had bombed the White House or something. I wandered through the crowd looking for other familiar faces, or anything of interest; but there was just a bunch of regular folks, happy and celebrating.
I left the party. I could still taste the Macanudo. I went over to the Crescent Smoke Shop to get another cigar. It was closed, as were the restaurants. I walked back to my truck and drove down to Broadway and turned east, dipping down under the overpass and coming up underneath the Snake Bridge â€“ more commonly known as the Bridge to Nowhere.