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NY-26: Electoral Fusion, Jack Davis, Jon Powers, and the Hypocrisy of It All

by on August 25, 2008

I know I’m a few days late in chiming in on this, but in any case, it appears Jack Davis has a ‘Plan B’ for his congressional bid, should he not win in the Democratic primary…

Vowing to stay in the race for Congress in the 26th District whether he wins or loses next month’s Democratic primary, Jack Davis on Thursday created the “Save Jobs and Farms Party” to get himself a guaranteed spot on the ballot.

“I still expect to win the primary, but in the unlikely event that I don’t, I’m in it to the end,” Davis said in a telephone interview after announcing the party’s formation at a news conference in the Rochester suburb of Greece.

Asked why, Davis — a 75-year-old Akron industrialist who has vowed to spend $3 million of his own money on his third bid for Congress — cited a 2003 Buffalo News story detailing the loss of local manufacturing jobs.

“It’s worse now, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Davis said. “I know I’m the one guy who can go to Washington and get things done because I’ve gotten things done all my life.”

Davis’ vow fundamentally changes the dynamics in the race to replace retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, in the 26th District.

Davis’s move leads me to believe that his confidence about the primary is all for show. But the real thing that gets me about this is the apparent hypocrisy of the Powers campaign:

What had looked to be a match between Republican Christopher Lee and either Davis, Iraq War veteran Jon Powers or lawyer Alice Kryzan now shapes up to be a three-way affair if Davis loses the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.

And John Gerken, Powers’ campaign manager, is none too happy about it.

“Jack Davis is showing his true colors as a spoiler in the race, concerned only with his own self-interests,” said Gerken, who managed Davis’ campaign in 2006. “He’s not the least bit concerned about the voters in the Democratic primary, and his campaign is quickly becoming all about him.”

Last I checked, Jon Powers has the endorsement of the Working Families Party, and is thus guaranteed a spot on the November ballot, even if he loses the Democratic primary… which means if Jack Davis wins the Democratic primary, Mr. Jon Powers would have been the spoiler in November.

It’s amazing how some people’s attitudes have changed about this electoral fusion nonsense when the candidate they support was guaranteed spot on the ballot back in May, and when the candidate they don’t support attempts the same thing in August. It seems to me that Jon Powers became the first spoiler…  He may not have created his own party to become a spoiler, but the idea of his name being on the ballot despite the possibility of losing the Democratic primary didn’t bother John Gerken, or any of Jon Powers’ supporters in the blogosphere. If Davis “isn’t the least bit concerned about the voters in the Democratic primary,” for trying to secure a spot on the November ballot, then Jon Powers evidently stopped caring on May 20, 2008.

In the end, the moral of the story is electoral fusion is a joke. Massachusetts voters were smart enough to reject it in 2006, and I’m happy to say I was part of the majority that voted against it. Maybe one day New Yorkers will realize the same thing.


From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

One Comment
  1. vote for rights permalink

    Did Powers create the working family party to get on the ballot? Or was he just endorsed by them?

    Because Davis paid to create the Save Jobs & Farms party – so unless Powers paid to create the WFP that’s not the same thing.

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