So William Jefferson won the Democratic Party primary Tuesday, beating out Helena Moreno. But we will have to go back to the polls to vote on this race a third time in December for the actual election.
We could save plenty of money and avoid a lot of hassle if we adopted Instant Runoff Voting or something similar. But I digress.
On the December ballot, I like the Green Party candidate Malik Rahim. It’s my belief that Greens, and any third party candidates, need to make their case at the state and local level. There are any number of barriers to third party success at the federal level, and especially in the presidential race.
But at the local level, we have an opportunity to distinguish ourselves. At the local level, the playing field is a little more level, and we can get our message out a little more easily. At the local level, the Democratic-Republican duopoly is a little less firmly entrenched.
Or is it?
The Times-Picayune ran a story this morning about Jefferson’s primary victory and the December election. Since the majority of voters in the 2nd Congressional district are registered Democrats, the T-P notes:
Jefferson is considered the prohibitive favorite in the Dec. 6 general election against four little-known opponents.
Little-known, eh? I can accept that Malik Rahim isn’t as well-known as Jefferson. After all, Jefferson has been in the spotlight for years as our Congressional representative. Lately he’s garnered even more attention than usual. When the FBI raids your house and finds $90K in your freezer it tends to have that effect.
But Malik has some fame in his own right. Granted, he’s nowhere near as famous as the incumbent. But around here, Malik Rahim is hardly an unknown. He especially shone after Katrina, when he helped found the Common Ground Medical Clinic and Common Ground Relief, organizations which are still active today.
Yet this article in the Times-Picayune goes on to focus on the Republican candidate, Anh Joseph Cao. Now this guy really is an unknown. I’m not disparaging him in the least, but the fact is that if you compare Malik Rahim and Anh Jospeh Cao, the little-known candidate is clearly Cao.
That, of course, is about to change, because Cao has the backing of (drumroll please) Republican power broker Jay Batt. He will be helping Cao raise money and get endorsements.
Cao gets mentioned by name twelve times in the article. Malik Rahim gets mentioned only once, in passing. And that’s a shame.
I was tangentially involved in Malik’s run for City Council back in 2002. Unfortunately that campaign was not well organized and never really caught fire. Running a good campaign is hard work. I’m less involved with the local Greens these days because of other life priorities, but it’s my sincere hope that this campaign is more effective.
Coverage like this doesn’t make it any easier.