The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

Chamber Members Support Maroney, Sort Of

with one comment

I must have missed the Southern Illinoisan’s Saturday article announcing the results of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce mayoral survey. It turns out the Chamber members favor Maroney, sort of:

The Chamber sent out 325 emails asking who members who they would vote for in the mayoral elections and had 60 responses. Maroney received 47.5 percent with 28.8 percent favoring Sam Goldman, 16.9 percent for Joel Fritzler and 6.8 percent for Steven Haynes.

The survey asked, “Based on what you know about the candidates, their platforms and their experience, who do you plan to vote for to be the next mayor of the City of Carbondale?”

As you might imagine, Maroney thought the result accurately represented the views of the business community. Goldman, Fritzler, and Haynes pointed to the small number of respondents as a reason to doubt the validity of the result.

Sixty responses out of 325 surveys is about 18.5%, which seems pretty good to me. I’m betting Maroney is right – the survey probably reflects the views of the Chamber of Commerce members. But I also agree with Goldman, Fritzler, and Haynes (and the Carbondaze Gazette) that it probably doesn’t matter much.

I was a little surprised that Goldman finished second, and Fritzler third.  Maroney took first place in the February primary, but Fritzler was a close second with just eleven fewer votes. Put another way, Maroney led Fritzler by just 0.59% of the vote. Meanwhile, Goldman ran a distant third, finishing 133 votes behind Fritzler – a little more than a 7% gap. In the chamber survey, Goldman and Fritzler changed places.

If the survey represents the views of the Chamber members, it’s interesting that Fritzler ranks third. After six years on city council, I would have expected him to have built a better relationship with the business community. On the other hand, Fritzler has basically been the anti-Cole since at least 2007, and business loves Brad Cole. But I’m really not convinced it means much for the outcome of the election.

As I’ve mentioned, I voted for Goldman in the primary. I still prefer Goldman, but I haven’t been planning to vote for him in the April 5 election. My perception, and others agree, is that the mayoral election is a two person race between George Maroney and Joel Fritzler.

That’s as it should be. After all, Goldman wouldn’t have made it past the primary under the election rules used for the 2007 election. Worse, he failed to win a single precinct in February’s primary. But some people will vote for Goldman, and I’m wondering whether that’s worse for Maroney or Fritzler.

The conventional wisdom is that Goldman would take more votes from Fritzler than from Maroney. The chamber survey suggests that might not be true.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

March 23, 2011 at 7:45 am

One Response

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  1. […] * Chamber Members Support Maroney, Sort Of […]


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