The Jury Talks Back


Another unknown candidate surprises everyone ….

Filed under: California Politics — aphrael @ 5:38 am

There’s been a lot of talk in the political press and blogosphere about the weird result in South Carolina: an unknown candidate who didn’t bother campaigning won a primary election, and there are allegations that somehow the opposing party was responsible.

Apparently something similar happened in California: an unknown candidate for Insurance Commissioner, whose campaign expenses consisted of paying the filing fee, paying for his statement in the voter guide, and flying to an endorsement meeting, appears to have won the Republican party primary.

Perhaps, in a year with a strong anti-incumbent backlash, this shouldn’t be surprising. But the fact that it is happening makes the similar occurrence in South Carolina seem less bizarre.


  1. This is not at all similar or relevant to the Greene selection. John & Ken’s ‘Heads on a Stick’ anti-tax crusade vilified Villines in what would normally have been an easy win for the Republican with name recognition. Here, name recognition is what killed him.

    Had there been one more candidate on the ballot, the anti-Villines votes would have been split and he doubtless would have won.

    Comment by ManlyDad — 6/14/2010 @ 3:40 pm

  2. Fascinating story, aphrael, and I would never have heard about it if not for this post.

    Comment by DRJ — 6/14/2010 @ 7:58 pm

  3. OK, let’s get serious, in a way everybody else is afraid to do. Everyone assumed that Vic Rawls would win in South Carolina, because he was the only “serious” candidate. But the Democratic vote in the Palmetto State is heavily black — remember how the DNC changed the primary arrangement to get more black voters involved in 2008? — and Alvin Greene is black, while Vic Rawls is white.

    How many votes did Mr Greene get just because he is black?

    Comment by The Dana who notices these things — 6/15/2010 @ 10:13 am

  4. Dana, it’s hard to say. Part of the problem is that it’s not clear how many people knew that Greene was black. It’s not as if he campaigned.

    Comment by aphrael — 6/15/2010 @ 10:26 am

  5. Should we not be looking at it the other way ?

    Rawls, with name recognition, was known to be both white and an establishment Democrat …

    It is entirely conceivable that, for those registered Democrats who cared about skin colour, they could look up Alvin Greene on the Web … it’s much more of a challenge now, with all the stuff about how “It’s all a Rethuglican plot” …

    My own guess, as to the most likely reason, is that it was a vote against establishment Democrats …

    Comment by Alasdair — 6/15/2010 @ 4:17 pm

  6. Brad Friedman says the South Carolina deal is all because of the damn voting machines.

    Comment by Patterico — 6/18/2010 @ 12:16 am

  7. ManlyDad is 100% correct. In fact, if you go on the Secretary of State Website, you’ll see the ONLY counties Villines lost were in the counties in the So Cal media market where the John & Ken show is based — LA, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial.

    Oh, and the SoS website apparently have Villines in the lead. Damn. And I voted for whoever that other guy was.

    Comment by Sean P — 6/19/2010 @ 2:41 pm

  8. Sean P – right. When I posted, Villenes was trailing, but late absentees and provisionals have since handed him the lead.

    Comment by aphrael — 6/21/2010 @ 12:19 pm

  9. The other guy was (unlike Greene) nominally qualified for the job, being a department employee.

    Comment by Kevin Murphyr — 6/23/2010 @ 7:24 am

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