John Peavy Can't Catch a Break; Negative Ad Targets Jones
In yet another prescient bit of analysis from AlabamaElections, John Peavy's request to postpone the mayoral runoff has been declined (as we predicted on Friday). In what reads as a pretty contentious meeting, the Mobile city council did not move the election date as supporters of postponement fell one vote short of moving the runoff from Sept. 13 to Sept. 27. As we noted in a previous post, a delay would have given Peavy more time to focus a Hurricane-weary electorate on the looming election. Peavy needs as much time as possible to campaign against frontrunner Sam Jones. However, due to the council's decision Peavy will have no extra time and will undoubtedly find it difficult to focus many voters' on the campaign while they are still reeling from the Katrina crisis.
In a sign of the Peavy campaign's desperation, they have released a hard-hitting negative ad implying Jones is unqualifed to be mayor. The Peavy ad none too subtley points out that Jones did not graduate from college, has no business experience, and has no published plan for the city. While the Peavy camp says the ad is based on facts, Jones has lashed out calling the ad "shameful" and negative.
While it is easy to condemn Peavy's attack ads, it is probably smart politics. Peavy has alot of ground to gain on Jones in only a matter of days and he needs to both add to the number of his own supporters but also peel away some of Jones'. It is doubtful that Peavy's ad will dramatically change the race(especially given the hurricane), but he is running out of time and a negative ad has the potential to shake thing sup.