I didn't expect Will Flanagan to win.
Don't get me wrong, I knew he had a loyal following and I knew he had gotten all these endorsements. But, almost everyone I talked to seemed to feel the same way I did, that Will was all cliche with no substance. I'm not just talking about friends but neighbors, co-workers, people I struck up conversations with in the corner store.
Case in point, I speaking with someone at a variety store and they tell me they had gone to a coffee hour for Will the night before. This person's opinion? He didn't answer questions he talked around them.
This was typical. I didn't walk up to people and say "Flanagan sucks, who are you voting for" I usually asked people who they thought would win or who would be a better mayor. Most people I talked to had the same doubts that I have. So I really figured when people stepped into the voting booth they would trust experience more than 'hope'.
Why did Will win?
Ric Oliveira in the O Jornal has an article that talks about the turning point being when will publicly stated his pride in his Portuguese heritage. He also makes an observation comparing Will to JFK and Cathy Ann to Ronald Reagan. I don't want to misrepresent his opinion and I would urge you to read it for yourselves, but I personally didn't really agree with it. So, it made me ask myself the question, why did Will win?
Well, I think a big part of it was Will was a candidate a lot longer than Cathy-Ann was. I think his campaign organization was already running in high gear before Cathy ever decided to announce. Will had no problems establishing himself as the outsider, the "change" candidate. On the other hand Cathy had a hard time standing out from from the other 'councilor-for-mayor' candidates. And while she may have out debated him every step of the way but I think she had a hard time living down her earlier support of Mayor Correia. I think Will ran a better campaign than she did. From the slick commercials, the post-it ads on the Herald. Certainly he had more money to do this with in the final stretch.
In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter so much why or how he won as much as the fact that he did win. Good luck to Mayor-elect Flanagan. I certainly would not want to step into the Mayor's office in such a difficult time. Come January Will Flanagan will be our new mayor. Let's hope, hope is enough.