The City of Covington is holding a special election on March 25, 2017 to fill the vacant At Large Council Seat. Early voting begins this Saturday, March 11, 2017. There are three candidates running: a current council member, a previous council member and one political newcomer. The candidates are, in alphabetical order by last name, Trey Blackall, Jerry Coner and Patrick McMath.
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Facebook LiveGate: Trey Blackall recently received attention for a private video that went public. The video was damaging, but it also highlighted underlying issues of poverty that are sometimes difficult to address in our current Conditionally Sensitive reality-television reality.
The reaction to hearing the words “crack house” was harsh and condemning; meanwhile the Jefferson Parish president keeps his office after sex-texting a minor. What would be the reaction to a destitute young woman trapped in a vicious cycle of drugs and prostitution, exhibiting a haphazardly stitched laceration on one hand that appears to require immediate medical attention? Compassion, or Disgust? How Does It Feel, To Be All Alone, indeed. A good first step might be to examine things realistically in order to arrive at a viable solution. Trey chose to stay in the race, indicating that he has more to say.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race – Watching Jerry Coner’s determination in this race reminds me of the story of the hare and the tortoise. The hare may be fast, but he is also fickle, and maybe a little lazy. The tortoise on the other hand, just continues on, despite the odds. A current district councilman, Coner is hard at work right now. Every time I’ve spoken with him in the last week, which is a few times, he just completed another neighborhood, good old-fashioned campaigning door-to-door. You have to respect that resolve. The day the Advocate broke the Blackall story, I called Coner around 6 or 7 p.m. He was completing another full day, oblivious to the news.
The third candidate in the race, and I was first to call him about the story, which is interesting in itself. After I told him the gist, his attitude stayed exactly the same. He will still visit the rest of the neighborhoods on his maps, and the likelihood that he will complete his campaign goals are very good based on what he’s accomplished so far.
The Young and the Restless – Patrick McMath is the Tammany West Chamber endorsed candidate, and brand new to the political scene. I met McMath at the “Keller Williams” Alliance for Good Government endorsement night (Mrs. Fandal, president of AGG, is a Keller Williams realtor; a search on nola.com will yield a substantial list of land transactions between Fandal and McMath), and he flinched slightly when I introduced myself.
When the moderator asked about the family business, which according to his campaign literature, he began working for after allegedly voluntarily giving up his law license, McMath’s voice cracked slightly. If the conflicts of interest that exist within the AGG endorsement are any indication, there is already an agenda behind a McMath seat on the City Council. At the very least, the public has a right to know who is buying their politicians. Beyond that, I waved at Patrick recently, and he didn’t wave back.
May The Best Man Win – With Trey Blackall staying in the race, a runoff is likely. The City of Covington is at a pivotal point. Exponential growth is predicted for this area, and experienced leadership is essential to alleviate those growth pains and address the existing infrastructure issues. The current political trend, from the national level down, seems to be the merging of corporation and state to a frustrating degree; the trend of the public is vigilance.
Timothy Gates, CW Correspondent 985-288-9609