Originally Published: 4/13/2010
“Call the Tune” by Mike Anthony
Political science students learn to never underestimate the intelligence of voters.
A true statesman is someone who is gracious in defeat. But some politicians never learn that lesson, preferring instead to blame everyone but themselves when they’re on the losing end of an election.
That’s the thing about elections — there’s only one winner.
Oftentimes the conduct of someone who loses an election provides true insight into that person’s character.
Just consider last week’s election in Sunset Hills in which Mayor Mike Svoboda faced three challengers — Ward 4 Alderman Frank Gregory, Ward 1 Alderman William J. “Bill” Nolan Jr. and Mary B. Wymer.
Svoboda, who was seeking his second two-year term as mayor, was handily defeated by Nolan.
From what we’ve seen, Nolan has been gracious in victory and is ready to hit the ground running as mayor.
We believe Nolan, a fiscal conservative with a clear vision for the city, will do an excellent job.
Gracious in defeat were Gregory and Wymer. For example, Gregory, who in the past served with distinction on the Lindbergh Board of Education, thanked his family, friends and the voters who supported him in his mayoral campaign. He also wished his aldermanic successor, Claudia Svoboda — Mike Svoboda’s wife — and Nolan the “best of luck.”
Wymer said campaigning enabled her to build relationships with city officials and her fellow residents.
She’s happy Nolan won, and said she would continue to be involved in the community.
Then there’s Mike Svoboda, who apparently is a little bitter over his defeat, given his post-election comments critical of Nolan.
“I don’t have any hopes for him. I had hopes for me,” Svoboda told the Call after the election. “He was wrong about everything he was talking about, but he fooled the people and there’s been a change. But that happens in politics …”
When asked by the Call’s Evan Young if he would consider running for office in Sunset Hills again, Svoboda said, “I’m not throwing my signs away.”
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision of the voters, their choice is final. We believe voters in Sunset Hills — or anywhere else for that matter — are too smart to be “fooled.”
Underestimating the intelligence of voters can only be considered foolhardy.