To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
Ward 2 council candidate Martinus Geleynse sent a media advisory this afternoon stating Brian McHattie and Mark Chamberlain will be endorsing his campaign.
McHattie is the incumbent city councillor in Ward 1 and running for re-election.
Chamberlain is president of Trivaris and one of Hamilton’s most predominant business people.
High profile endorsements, such as Chamberlain’s, have a positive impact on the campaign. They draw media attention, boost the morale of the campaign, and encourage donors to give additional funds near the end of the campaign.
Media attention is critical to building name recognition which is the single most important factor in municipal politics.
There are only two media outlets with wide reach, one of which – the newspaper – has vastly greater reach, in Hamilton. These endorsements may draw them out to cover the announcement.
The morale of the campaign is boosted by these announcements. The team will take these pronouncements of support as a sign they are succeeding in convincing the public of the merits of their candidate. The last weekend and voting day are the more critical periods for a campaign. A campaign can be made or broke its performance during this period.
Brian McHattie, in an interview at the Convention Centre tonight, confirmed that he is publicly supporting Geleynse’s ideas in Ward 2. He stopped short of calling it an endorsement while acknowledging that the public perception is of an endorsement.
McHattie says he feels Geleynse’s put forth the best ideas to move the lower city and Hamilton forward.
I asked McHattie if he’s concerned his support will create the appearance that Geleynse and him would be a voting bloc. (Especially in light of recent concerns about Council voting blocs deciding issues such as removing Confederation Park from the Pan Am stadium list)
McHattie says he and Geleynse share many common beliefs and goals. While they’ll often be in agreement, they will not be a voting bloc.
Geleynse, in a separate interview tonight, notes they are both progressive thinkers but not a bloc. “Our wards border,” said Geleynse. He continued that many of the issues facing Ward 2 are shared with Ward 1.
Could these endorsements be the decisive factor in a tight 20-way race for Councillor? We’ll find out Monday.
Here’s Geleynse’s release:
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Notice of Press Conference
Who: Hamilton City Councillor for Ward 1, Brian McHattie
Candidate for Hamilton City Council in Ward 2, Martinus Geleynse
Mark Chamberlain, President of Trivaris (unconfirmed attendance due to scheduling)
What: The press conference will last less than 30 minutes.
-The format will consist of the release of a program proposal and brief platform overview by Ward 2 candidate Martinus Geleynse.
The program is a City-run lending program for upgrading businesses in downtown Hamilton to meet accessibility requirements for disabled persons.
-Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie will also officially give his support to the proposal, and give his public endorsement to Martinus Geleynse as his preferred candidate in Ward 2.
-Pending his availability, Mark Chamberlain may also offer his endorsement to Martinus Geleynse. To date he has offered it in writing.
When: At 10:00 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Where: Hamilton City Hall forecourt
In case of rain, the press conference will be held inside the lobby of City Hall.