Did you do it for love? Did you do it for money? Did you do it for spite? Did you think you had to, honey?
Who is gonna make it? We'll find out in the long run. — Eagles, 1975
For the 2013 City Council elections, it'll be a very short run. Ballots go to voters in mid-March, so at this point candidates have just a month to get their messages out. With 24 candidates vying for six district seats, the political calculus is brutally simple:
You need money or name recognition, and preferably both.
Obvious as that is, few candidates appear to have paid any heed. It's hard to understand why some are running, other than simple vanity. But the price of entry is low. Collect 50 signatures, fill out a few forms and you're a candidate.
It's democracy at its best, a merry free-for-all, a Fannie Mae Duncan party — everybody welcome!
There's no Vegas line on our elections, but here are some odds. Just remember, these are fantasy odds — not endorsements. Note that the highest odds are 25-1. I honestly don't want to embarrass anyone by making them 10,000-1.
• District 1: Joe Barrera, Don Knight, Tim Leigh, Linda Mojer and Julie Naye have entered. Mojer, Naye and Knight are unknown quantities. Barrera has long been active in local politics and civic life, and is a credible candidate — enough that the Media Trackers attack dog nonprofit ran a long, disparaging piece last month characterizing him as a "liberal activist." Knight has loaned his campaign $1,500 and has political strategist Sarah Jack helping him, so he's serious. Yet incumbent Leigh will be hard to beat. Leigh 1-1, Barrera 5-1, Knight 10-1, Mojer and Naye 25-1.
• District 2: Angela Dougan, Joel Miller and Bill Murray. Dougan has money, incumbency and conservatives' affection in a very conservative district. Dougan 1-1, Murray 10-1, Miller 25-1.
• District 3: Jim Bensberg, Tom Gallagher, Keith King, Bob Kinsey and Brandy Williams. What a delicious goat rope! An incumbent, three former elected officials, and the 2010 Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate. King is first out of the gate with a sophisticated, well-financed effort, but Bensberg and Williams will be as aggressive. Gallagher and Kinsey just entered, so it's hard to imagine either finding enough support. Without Kinsey, Williams would be favored — but any votes for him will come from her base. King 2-1, Williams 3-1, Bensberg 4-1, Gallagher 15-1, Kinsey 25-1.
• District 4: Helen Collins, Gary Flakes, Deborah Hendrix and Dennis Moore. Hendrix has reasonable name recognition and support from the political establishment. That should be enough, unless former "Reform Team" candidate Collins musters enough conservative backing. Hendrix 2-1, Collins and Moore 8-1, Flakes 25-1.
• District 5: Jill Gaebler, Bernie Herpin, Al Loma and Roger McCarville. Ordinarily, Herpin would be a lock. He's been a thoughtful, steady voice on Council who has never strayed from the Main Street conservatism that Springs voters usually prefer in their elected officials. But thanks to redistricting, he has formidable opponents in Loma and Gaebler. Loma picked up the Housing and Building Association's endorsement, but Gaebler should run strongly in the North End and attract support from women, independents and moderates. Gaebler 4-1, Herpin and Loma 5-1, McCarville 25-1.
• District 6: Ed Bircham, David Moore, Andres Pico. Almost by default, Moore is the establishment candidate. A soft-spoken pastor who has lived in Colorado Springs since 2008, he received the HBA's endorsement because ... well, because he filed early and showed up for the interview. Conservative businessman Bircham has money and name recognition, and can't be counted out despite his well-chronicled eccentricities. Moore 4-1, Bircham 7-1, Pico 10-1.
Is there an overall narrative? Yes. It's men against women, youth against age, the future struggling to be born.
Imagine a Council with Julie Naye, Angela Dougan, Brandy Williams, Deborah Hendrix, Jill Gaebler and David Moore. Now imagine one with Tim Leigh, Bill Murray, Tom Gallagher, Dennis Moore, Al Loma and Ed Bircham.
No disrespect to my fellow geezers, but somebody might follow the lead of pro sports. Successful franchises get younger and faster — and in a footrace, the five women and David Moore would kick some butt ...