Some final thoughts and field notes on the 2007 Aberdeen Election:
I began the day throwing up in my car on the way to work (how’s that for full disclosure). I’d have taken the bout of sickness as an ill omen if I hadn’t made the same ineffective claim during the last Aberdeen election. In 2005 while campaigning for re-election in Park, Councilman Ron Kupferman was stung at least once by an infuriated yellow jacket. As he swatted at the fleeing insect, I mentioned it probably was something of an ill omen to be stung on Election Day. He agreed and promptly went on to be re-elected in two subsequent elections.
– Did anyone else find a certain lack of drama in the final moments of the election Tuesday? By posting the machine-by-machine results on the wall, it only took a few glances to see who the winners were. Meanwhile, outside in the lobby, folks waiting for the much anticipated pronouncement had the results trickled to them as people left the voting area. I miss the good old days when everyone, friend and enemy alike, packed in shoulder-to-shoulder to listen with hushed breath as the results were read. There was a certain magic in those few seconds of pure joy and utter defeat, as candidates, family, friends and supporters screamed in joy or crumpled in defeat.
– Why is it that whenever there is a huge voter turnout everyone automatically assumes they are going to be the beneficiary? At one point in the evening Tuesday, I had members of both the Fred Simmons Team and the Mike Bennett Camp proclaim things were looking good. While Bennett proved victorious in the end, I firmly believe no one knew what the hell was going on until the results were read.
A final act of Simmons vigilantism?
After Simmons disappeared from the scene of his Election Day defeat Tuesday, I was wondering where he would go or what he would do. He seems like neither the type of guy to go home and mourn nor the sort to go out for some heavy partying. Come first thing Wednesday morning I thought I had my answer – back to a last night of crime fighting.
The talk early Wednesday was that there had been a late night police chase through the city and that Simmons had somehow maneuvered his vehicle to hit the fleeing car as it tried to elude pursuing police.
As it turns out, that is not far from the truth.
Sarah Simmons, Fred’s youngest daughter, was turning into the driveway of their West Bel Air Avenue home when, unbeknownst to her, a car chase that began in Havre de Grace came roaring up the road behind her.
The car behind hers, that of the fleeing suspect, went into the left lane to try to pass her, but Sarah was turning left into her driveway at the moment so the suspect’s vehicle hit the front end of her car. The suspect kept driving and was tailed closely by four police cars. Thankfully neither Sarah nor her young daughter was injured.
Havre de Grace Police confirmed there was a car chase overnight Tuesday. The car was reported stolen through the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and while in pursuit at least two cars were rammed and damaged on Route 40.
Havre de Grace Police broke off the chase in Stepney, but Aberdeen, HCSO and Maryland State Police kept the chase going until they neared the Riverside I-95 exit. A deputy later found the car unoccupied in Havre de Grace off of Route 155, but no suspects were found and the investigation continues.
With his swearing-in ceremony set for Monday night, Bennett began familiarizing himself with his new position the morning after his resounding mayoral victory. The word from the Bennett Camp Wednesday is that a transition team to assist the new mayor will be named shortly. I am also told city residents should expect Bennett to hold true to his promise for a new vision and master plan and movement in a different direction with the goal of a more user-friendly attitude toward citizen service.
Although changes within City Hall are expected and have been whispered about prior to the results of Tuesday’s election, the Bennett Camp said there will be no direct attempt to shake things up. The desire is peace within City Hall.
To that end, what are we to make of this snapshot provided by a Dagger faithful, which shows Aberdeen police chief Randy Rudy, a Simmons friend and supporter, chatting it up with Bennett outside the Senior Center Tuesday?
Was Rudy gesturing for Bennett to get out of Fred’s town or was he perhaps trying to make 11th hour amends as the high voter turnout foretold a change in City Hall?
More than likely it was just one guy exchanging pleasantries with another guy – neither Bennett nor Rudy got involved personally in the mudslinging of the election season.