On Friday at 4:15 PM I went down to the municipal building next to city hall to pay my water bill. On one of the counters were a bunch of full color "VOTE FOR MAYOR Stephanie RAWLINGS-BLAKE" flyers. Since it was the end of the work day/week it was pretty obvious that they had not just been placed there. This is another example of the advantages of being an incumbent. I do not think a challenger's flyers would last very long in the municipal building.
The 12th district race is going to show if incumbency is powerful enough to beat door knocking, grassroots endorsements/support, and sheer determination. I ran into Odette Ramos at the brand new Liam Flynn's Ale House (an incredibly positive sight on North Avenue) last night. Odette was in a great mood considering that she is now running against incumbent Carl Stokes who was expected to run for mayor. I wonder if the citizens will care that the incumbent's first choice was to run for higher office and is only using his current position as a back up? The people who supported Odette in this video have not changed their minds so that is great news. I do not like flakes.
Odette and the other challengers are going to have a hard time dealing with the name recognition that Stokes brings to the table, although, since Robert Stokes is still in the race, there could be confusion, and Carl could end up losing votes to Robert. Robert is currently on Carl's staff. The Stokes vs Stokes aspect of this race brings an added dimension to this race.
It is important to point out that Carl Stokes was appointed to his current seat by the City Council when Jack Young became City Council President in 2010. Stokes lost the city council president election in 2003 and the race of mayor in 1999. Stokes has not won an election since 1995!