It’s official, first time political challenger Gary Lietzell is now the new mayor of Dayton. This is a stunning upset to many citizens of Dayton as they thought McLin’s campaign was unbeatable. She outspent Leitzell and she depended on her supporters to get out the vote.
As the returns came in, showing Leitzell edging out McLin, democratic headquarters in downtown Dayton became sparse. No one wanted to stick around for what would end up being a sobering night. In fact, a McLin aide told me when she found out she was losing, she walked all the way home.
This is a sad time for McLin. She’s not use to losing elections. She suffered her first loss back when she graduated from college. At that time she was running for seat on the school board. Now, those old wounds of losing are open again tonight.
Thank you for reading my blog, I look forward to serving you again.
The mood here is stunning. It looks as thought incumbent Mayor Rhine McLin is fighting for her political life tonight. It seems her challenger is pulling out an upset. Now I’m hearing McLin is locked in a back room with her staff, going over the numbers and leaving her fate up in the hands of voters. There’s also a scuttle going around that she plans on going to the board of elections if this ends up being a tighter race than one once thought. We are watching and we are waiting to see if the old guard will stay in power, or if a new regime will take over the castle.
Mayor Rhine McLin has claimed victory in this election as Dayton’s mayor. She’s has hugged and gripped many hands here tonight. Her challenger Gary Leitzell is making a strong showing. I’m looking at the returns from my computer and see he has 47% of the vote with 80% of precincts reporting.
Interesting to note, Commissioner Nan Whaley is not here tonight. She is believed to have the flu. Also interesting to note, Commissioner Dean Lovelace is not in attendance tonight too!
I figure in the last 30 minutes since I’ve last wrote to you, about 10 more people have showed up to celebrate what they hope are victories for incumbent Mayor Rhine McLin, Commissioner’s Nan Whaley and Joey Williams. I see the McLin has just arrived and she’s doing what she does best…greeting everyone in eyesight.
I got a chance to interview the Mayor at 2news studios and I asked her about the party. She told me that she didn’t want a big affair because “victory parties can quickly turn into pity parties.” I’ll keep track of her mood as the night moves forward.
One thing I have to note, every TV in this place was on my competition’s channel (I won’t name who they are). So I made them change every television to Channel 2.
Just minutes until 8 O’clock and the party room at Democratic HQ in downtown Dayton is just starting to fill in…slowly. Media from many organizations are setting up right now; preparing for a long night of election coverage.
My job tonight is to make sure I get all the interviews necessary for my bosses. They’re back at the mother ship, collecting what I and other reporters in the field send them. My agenda: blog to you, go live twice and do a story for the morning show.
I hear there’s going to be food here. I’m assuming its going to be the usual hot dogs, hamburgers and whatever else you can put on the grill. I don’t smell anything yet but I do see a grill and plenty of paper plates.
Check in with me for the rest of the night for my observations into Election Night ’09 from Democratic HQ.