Lamont never made it past the primary.
He did a little better when he tried again in 2005, but still finished 9th out of 10 candidates in the general election.
Something about him turns voters off.
After two losses, McClure was one of two Democrats appointed to Council vacancies in a back-room deal. Those were created when Executive John Stoffa named Republican Mary Ensslin and Democrat Michael Corriere to his cabinet. Instead of appointing one Democrat and one Republican, a partisan power play stacked the deck.
In 2007, McClure had to face the voters again. He raised and spent all kinds of money, most of which came from other asbestos lawyers and unions, to smear Democratic challenger Will Power. In one mailer, McMud claimed that Power had assaulted his own disabled brother. Dead, Will's brother was in no position to refute these accusations. But in a sad news conference, Will re-played a years-old video in which his brother denied there had ever been an assault.
Will had no power and went down in flames, but McMud obviously left a bad taste in voters' mouths. They don't like incessant smears and robo calls. So in the general election against little-known Mark Schwartz, McClure won by just 91 votes against a person who ran no campaign and spent no money.
In this election, Lamont repeated the same mistakes he made in 2007. He flooded telephone lines with incessant robocalls, painting himself as the Savior of Gracedale. He also smeared Connolly over real estate taxes owed by two businesses in which he is a partner.
Right before the election, Lamont also circulated a last-minute flyer that smears Connolly again, and with a picture that makes Matt look more like Satan than a race car driver. Democrats were so turned off that they started giving these mailers to Connolly, telling him that McClure had lost their vote.
Once again, McClure has spent a lot of money to barely defeat a candidate with practically no money to spend or time to campaign, although Connolly tells me he did knock on 1,200 doors. According to the unofficial results on the County web page, McClure has defeated Matt by a scant 114 votes out of 8,052 votes cast. A 0.014% victory.
That victory is anything but certain at this point. When the official count takes place, that number could go up. Or down. On top of that, there are reports of problems with a voting machine in one of the precincts, which refused to light up for voters who wanted to vote for Connolly.
According to one voter (I do not have his permission to identify him at this point),
"[M]ost voters trying to vote for Matt would push his button more than once when his light didn’t light trying to get his light to come on. And the same machine worked perfectly if you voted for his opponent and the marker next to his name lit up. And according to the poll worker I reported the problem to that is exactly how you cancel a candidate selection when you change your mind or make a mistake. You can be almost sure he lost some votes because of this problem.Obviously, this problem is being investigated. If the machine was failing to record Connolly votes, probably all votes cast on that machine should be invalidated.
"And when I reported the problem they were skeptical that there was a problem. I offered to show them but he said anytime they reset the machine it will count as a vote if we test pushed buttons. Another poll worker overheard the conversation and offered to vote in the same booth. We then verified the problem was happening and they said they were taking that machine out of service, but I left the polls and can’t be certain they did. And at no time did he mention to me that it would count the vote whether the light was lit or not."
A look at the results in that District reveals that McClure's position as Defender of Gracedale meant little to voters. He lost in the Townships and won in the boroughs.
Allen Township: Connolly, 297 to 253. (Voters here killed an open space referendum, and this issue likely increased turnout.)
Bath: Connolly, 101 to 91.
Bethlehem Township: Connolly, 1462 to 1410. (Three disputed Commissioner seats, especially the Atiyeh-Nolan race, probably increased Republican turnout).
East Allen: Connolly, 350 to 270
Freemansburg: McClure, 106 to 42.
Lower Nazareth: Connolly, 320 to 271. (Why did the Champion of Gracedale lose in the Township right next to it?)
Lower Saucon: Connolly, 703 to 622. (Another open space referendum here probably increased turnout).
Nazareth: McClure, 380 to 276. (McClure got 1.3 votes to every vote garnered by Connolly in a community where many Gracedale workers live. Shouldn't the Savior of Gracedale do better?)
Northampton: McClure, 510 to 307. (Heavy Democratic edge).
North Catty: McClure 259 to 116. (That's right next to Catty in Lehigh County, where McClure convinced Council members to give $10,000 to its YMCA. With your money).
I'm not certain Landside Lamont has even won this race. But I am certain that, in contrast to the claims made by earnest Express Times' columnist Tony Rhodin, this race had nothing to do with Gracedale.
Perhaps Landside Lamont should think twice or even three times before bombarding people with robocalls and sending out vicious smears.