Thomas, Jeff Dem 7,278 25.35%
Hebert, Mike Dem 6,324 22.02%
Santa Cruz Bradley, Ruth Dem 5,435 18.93%
Herr, Steven Dem 5,302 18.47%
Hall, Don Dem 4,374 15.23%
So what's the problem? Read on...
The other candidates:
Mike Hebert had a campaign which consisted almost entirely of him and his brother making lots of hand-made plywood campaign signs - he never had a website or registered with the FEC. Ruth Bradley campaigned almost entirely by passing out fliers at conservative churches. Steven Herr had a professional website, joined DailyKos, was very strong on the issues, worked every fair, festival, and crowded downtown in the district each weekend, had a strong presence at the State Democratic Convention, had standard issue union print shop yard signs out, targeted mailings and doorhangers to likely Democratic primary voters, and the endorsement of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Don Hall, like Steven Herr, ran an issues oriented campaign, but lacked the time and resources Herr had.
As a conservative blogger in the district put it, Seriously, I have no idea why they do what they do. So why didn't Steven Herr win? Part of it is his fault: in a low budget campaign, he didn't have the gimmick to draw in voters who would know nothing about him and he wasn't able to make maximum use of the volunteers he had. Still, you'd think his advantages would still be plenty to get the nomination in this motley crowd, and on paper he'd easily be the strongest general election candidate of the bunch.
The biggest problem is the reason why Democrats aren't ready to win back this district and no doubt many others across the country: no effective organization.
- The 1st CD Coordinator hired by the State Party did nothing to recruit or promote strong candidates
- None of the counties invoked the "Jeff Thomas Rule" to dis-endorse him, nor did they even pass watered down resolutions condemning his candidacy
- The Party in the largest county in the district is so divided, they have official and unofficial websites.
- No elected officials or party leaders endorsed or dis-endorsed any candidate in the race
- No elected officials or party leaders gave tacit support to any of the candidates
- Unions either gave tacit support to Hebert, a thoroughly unviable general election candidate, or gave no tacit support at all
- There is no 1st CD Democratic blogger
- There are basically no liberal political bloggers in the district
- There is no organized Democracy for America chapter in the district
- When Herr diaried here under the title Putting One More Seat in Play, he just missed the recommended list because of several meta-diaries discussing the DailyKos community already on the list.
Obviously, even a very strong candidate, like an elected official or self-financed candidate, would have a difficult time winning a general election here because there is very little support and coordination. In short, anyone with a prayer of winning a general election would be crazy to try in this district. As Chairman Dean points out, we need to rebuild our Party before we can take back our country.