Knoxville mayoral candidate Mark Padgett got thumped tonight.
Wasn't much of a surprise.
Heck, I'm writing this two hours before the early voting results have come in.
How could I not?
He ran one of the most damaged campaign I've seen in a long time. Perhaps ever. Lies, distortions, hate. (And not to mention the personal confrontations he had in private with other elected officials and members of the media.)
This crap doesn’t work. Not in a city election.
Anyhoo, I knew I write something about tonight. I knew it weeks ago. And I had all these witty things I wanted to say. But, really, it’s just not worth it.
What can you say, if you've been following this mess?
As for me? I've got two points (unless I digress) that I feel need mentioning.
The first: The “I'm a small businessman” angle. Huh?
WTH? Does he own a business? Yeah. Is it small? No.
It's minuscule. It was stupid to run as a businessman.
He had nothing. He invented something.
He should have run as a martyr. He should have run humble. He should have told the truth.
“I've got five employees – I created five jobs. But, hey, that's important. That helps five families. And one day, I'll grow this company. But, if I had help – if I had the support of my city, if the elected officials had sought grants, created grants, whatever – then maybe my company would be bigger. As mayor that's what I'll do. I'll take these miniscule businesses grow. Five jobs will become 10. Maybe 20. I know what needs to be done. I know what it’s really like to struggle.”
THAT'S what he should have said. Or something like that. Or whatever. But, maybe you get the idea.
Instead, he hid behind the door. He dodged the questions. And he made up numbers. It wasn't until Metro Pulse writer Cari “Mean” Gervin put a gun to his head and said she'd pull the trigger if he didn't answer the question that he finally came clean.
FIVE. Five employees.
And some people don’t even believe that.
The second: The negative campaign. I mean, come on. How cliche is that crap now? What is this, the county? I mean seriously. The mailers, the emails, the whatever.
Sell your soul.
The push to the runoff – the second part of the this election – should have been a run at the next office, the next time. Not now. Cause he wasn't winning this one. (Even going negative.) Jeez. Look at the freakin' primary numbers.
What? Opponent Madeline Rogero is gonna not get that one extra percentage point between then and tonight? Give me a break.
Padgett should have been a pro. He should have cruised. He should have gone positive. Instead, we got bush league.
And that's going to hurt him for a long time.
He's upset too many people.
He had a chance to get the Rogero voters in a race when there is no Rogero.
No chance now. They want nothing to do with him.
(I’m betting Madeline will be gracious in public. Doesn’t mean it’s real.)
He needed those Democrats. That is, if he ever was a Democrat. Or wants to stay one.
Forget it now.
That bridge isn't flame retardant.
He lost his viability among Republicans, too.
They're not sticking around. Not after that thumping.
The money won't come next time. And there'll be a next time. Believe it. That kind of arrogance, confidence, whatever. He'll run again. He has to. (We all know why.)
In the meantime, Padgett should offer up an olive branch.
Turn in the turd who “masterminded” that piece of crap hate mail.
If he doesn't know who it is, he should find out.
Because it didn't exactly do him any good.
Nor did missing the two points I just made.