Establishment Restores Discipline to the Ranks

Over the years the establishment has been very good about keeping tight control over their minions.  It is well known when three or four candidates run for a Council seat it can result in some strange upsets.  The most recent example was when Charlie Able won a Ward 1 seat with a little over 40% of the vote.  It was slightly more than his establishment opponent.  However the other establishment candidate drew away nearly 20% of the vote, making Able the first place finisher.


In the past the establishment has been good about ensuring their team fields only one candidate.  If there were multiple candidates it often involved multiple independents which then cut into each other’s vote.  We remember when Bob Murphy was first elected mayor with less than 50% of the vote against the 26-year-old young woman who led the “switch for the ditch” campaign.  She lost because a third independent candidate drew away just enough anti-Murphy votes to rob her of a mathematical majority.


This year was shaping up to be different.  Originally there were two establishment candidates in Ward 1 and Ward 3 and three in Ward 2 and Ward 4.  This seemed to suggest the establishment was losing control over its candidates.


However, establishment party discipline now seems to have been restored.   Jeslin Shahrezaei in Ward 1, Trish Merkel in Ward 2, Lisa Watkins in Ward 3 and Jon Ludwigson in Ward 4 have been persuaded to drop out of the 2017 race.   It would be interesting to know what sort of enticements were offered to get these candidates to be good team players and play ball.  The only remaining exception is in Ward 4, Democratic newcomer William Furman has remained in the race to oppose establishment candidate Ladawn Sperling and independent candidate David Skilling.


Furman’s democratic credentials may cut into Skilling’s unaffiliated standing which appeals to Democrats as well as his fellow Unaffiliates.  Sperling is claiming to be a Republican despite the fact she supported Democrat Betty Boyd against Republican David Wiechman in the 2007 Ward 4 Council race and supported Democrat (parading as Unaffiliated) Adam Paul against Republican Ramey Johnson in the 2015 mayoral race.


  1. Interesting update on the City Council race. Those who have been paying attention know that Mike Bieda (Ward 3), Dave Skilling (Ward 4), and Nancy Pallozzi (Ward 5) have already been fighting for their communities and speaking up on behalf of citizens at City Council meetings. For our “Imagine Lakewood” theme, I am imagining a new majority City Council that works for the citizens and not developers.

  2. Well said Anita. I would add that another champion of the people is Ramey Johnson in Ward 1. She is running for re-election to a second 4-year term. Although her opponent is a 20 something kid without a serious job or grownup qualifications, the establishment is pouring a lot of resources into trying to get rid of Ramey.

  3. I agree with both of you. We have some great people running for Council (Johnson, Bieda, Pallozzi and Skilling). But like Wiechman noted, the establishment is pouring a lot of money into trying to keep control of Council this November.

  4. Weichmann, aren’t you and your buddy Barb Franks, along with all your developer cronies at least half the reason all of this horrible development is taking place in Ward 4 in the first place?? You should quit your day job and start selling some of that grease….

  5. I believe the accusations against Weichman and Franks are incorrect. If you attended the city council meeting on January 23, 2017, these two voted AGAINST large development in the Rooney Valley (Ward 4). They strongly objected to it and are certainly NOT in the pockets of developers. It was Koop, Gutwein, Harrison, Vincent and Shakti who voted FOR putting 4,000 new homes in this small area of our neighborhood meaning we, the taxpayers, would have to foot the bill for a new school, police and fire protection, snow removal, wear and tear on our roads and other city funded services. These five are in the pockets of the mayor and whenever he signals how he is going to vote, they cast their vote accordingly. They are no friend to Rooney Valley. We need to vote for representatives who will listen to their constituents and stand up for WISE, WELL PLANNED GROWTH and NOT BE INFLUENCED BY DEVELOPERS who will fund their races.

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