Mayor Spins Out, Explodes
The "winner" was incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy, who, after half a million votes were counted and re-counted, came out on top of a goofy 3-way race by about 2,000 votes.
The race was goofy because a write-in candidate was allowed to join a Two Candidate Run-Off Election. The result was that the expected clear winner of the campaign, Ron Roberts, somehow ended up 3rd after splitting the vote with the write-in. Amusingly, the write-in all but won except that 5,000 of the voters who wrote her name on the ballot didn't fill in the bubble.
To be fair, Dick Murphy didn't even want the job. Really. He announced a couple of years ago he wouldn't run for re-election. Later he changed his mind. He came in second in the primary, and was bound to lose the run-off to a popular, enthusiastic critic. Then came the sneaky hippie write-in trick and Murphy's hopes for a quiet retirement were dashed.
After protracted and somewhat ridiculous legal maneuvering on all sides, Mayor Murphy fell across the finish line in December and was sworn in to his office, with a smile on his face.
That was stupid of him.
An SEC probe into city finance fraud, a U.S. Attorney and FBI joint investigation into public corruption, repeated city bond-rating downgrades by Wall Street, and a burgeoning recall effort have combined to tear the wheels of Murphy's vehicle. All in just 4 months.
This morning he resigned.
His interim replacement will be Deputy Mayor Michael Zucchet.
In case this fact isn't too exciting to anyone, Zucchet's own trial on Federal Corruption Charges begins next Tuesday.
I am not making this up. See?