The El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, tried and failed to get a comment from Cortney Niland for the election results coverage. It was not the paper’s fault but the poignant realization by Cortney Niland that her political career is over. Niland used every opportunity to leverage media coverage during the run up to Election Day and the only reason she avoided the newspaper is that, although, she won another term in office her dismal showing proved that she is not competitive enough for a mayoral race. She clearly understood this as the results were published and decided to hide from the voters.
Cortney Niland cannot win a mayoral election.
Niland raised about $71,000 in campaign contributions. That is 31% of all of the campaign contributions raised by all twelve candidates. She had only one opponent, Joshua Dagda. Niland outraised Dagda seven to one. As you can see, money was not the issue for her.
Although Niland has been embroiled in many controversies while at city council, ranging from the fiasco of the ballpark to a personality issue with another city representative the real problem came down to the issue of transparency; government transparency.
For all of the bluster about the firefighter issue and the Steve Ortega effect the real issue on the minds of the voters is the perception that Cortney Niland works behind closed doors to serve the special interests of a select group.
I’ll be exploring the notion of back-door controversies in tomorrow’s edition in regards to the Margarita Cabrera sculpture issue but for now keep in mind that the voters clearly sent a message to Niland. They simply do not trust her.
Some of the political pundits are arguing that the firefighter issue skewed the election results. However if you look at how the firefighters campaigned you will notice that they did not take a definite position on the political candidates. Their focus was their wage/insurance issue and they did not deviate from that. There was likely some anti-incumbent votes because of the firefighters but as you look at the results of the Noe and Ordaz races, you will note that, that notion does not bare out in those races.
The firefighter issue was about their wages and insurance and that did not translate into throwing out the incumbents.
The reason that Cortney Niland almost lost her race was simply an affective grassroots campaign by Josh Dagda’s team clearly and unequivocally showed the voters that Cortney Niland couldn’t be trusted.
There were only 309 votes, out of 3,591 that were cast in the race, separating the two candidates.
Cortney Niland spent a whopping $36.60 per vote while Joshua Dagda spent only $6.60 per vote. Clearly, money was not fooling the voters.
We can speculate about how the results may have been different “only if” Dagda had more money, or more time, or you fill in the blank. None of that changes the fact that the voters clearly do not trust Cortney Niland.
Niland likely spent the weekend looking for ways to revitalize her image in the community completely oblivious to the fact that the voters that would have likely voted for her clearly told her that they don’t trust her.
That is the simple fact that she will not likely understand.
No amount of money can buy trust.
Cortney Niland many never realize that simple truth.