Dealey: No Regional Base + No Target Audience = Few Votes

Place 3

"I have no regrets." That's what Mandy Dealey said when asked Saturday night about the pending outcome of the Place 3 race. Dealey ultimately came in last place with about 11% of the vote. She had been receiving updates throughout the night at her Serrano's Symphony Square election night party that she was trailing her three opponents.

Throughout her campaign, Dealey focused on restoring funding to health and human services that were cut during the economic downturn as well as on dealing with the local homeless situation, among other social equity issues. Jackie Goodman, whose council seat Dealey and her opponents were vying for, had also emphasized such issues. So what went wrong?

It's not that Austin voters have lost interest in social issues. Part of the problem, said Alicia Butler, who worked as a consultant on Dealey's campaign, was that a lot of the people who turned out for the election showed up to vote on the smoking ban, not the council candidates. That gave the candidates who advertised on television – Clarke and Kim – a big advantage, Butler said. Another problem was that Dealey didn't have a target group or region of the city. The fact that a candidate has a good message to send and does a solid job of sticking to that message doesn't matter if no one knows that what the candidate is saying is aimed at them. "Our message was a message that would span throughout the city. Without a geographic base and without a solid group like the police or firefighters behind us, it's just a little bit tougher," Butler said. "I don't know that we could have campaigned any harder. With four great candidates in a race, you're going to have two that aren't going to go anywhere."

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City Council elections, city election, Mandy Dealey, Serrano's Symphony Square, Margot Clarke, Jennifer Kim, Gregg Knaupe, Alicia Butler, Jackie Goodman

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