With the School Board race down to four, now we turn to the final two candidates in the running for 9th District County Supervisor. Tuesday's vote showed one clear message - that people are really liking the message and personality of Franklin's Common Council President, Steve Taylor. Taylor won handily in Franklin and Oak Creek, and took second place to Don Schwartz in Hales Corners. Overall, Taylor received 46% of the vote compared to 29% and 25% for his rivals, Oak Creek Alderman Ken Gehl and Hales Corners Village Trustee Don Schwartz. Such a strong showing for Taylor, especially in Oak Creek, could have Gehl as his remaining challenger a bit nervous.
Despite a strong pro-Oak Creek message, tapping into a variety of conservative positions, and holding an elected seat on the Oak Creek Common Council, Gehl wasn't able to beat Taylor in that community. In fact, Taylor won every ward in Oak Creek minus the ward where Gehl resides. Walking out of Tuesday's primary with results like that must have Taylor feeling very good about his position going into the final stretch.
Gehl does have an opportunity to make the race a challenge for Taylor. Franklin's conservative bloggers aren't Taylor's biggest fans, and already were telling voters not to support him in the primary. This pretty much already guarantees Gehl that they will continue to be solidly in his camp. Unfortunately, their track record of supporting candidates is a bad one. Only Janet Evans has received their heavy backing and made something of it. Gehl, though, could look to another avenue for support. There was suggestion that one or more Franklin aldermen, some perhaps linked with Mayor Taylor, were working behind the scenes against Taylor for Don Schwartz's candidacy. If Gehl could persuade that/those leader(s) to continue abandoning Taylor, it could prove interesting.
Looking forward, Taylor has a much easier road to drive on than Gehl. If issues stay the same and there is low controversy, Taylor's in. If Don Schwartz makes a decision to back Taylor's candidacy, that would also be a nail in the coffin for Gehl. At this time I'm not sensing any indication from Schwartz's campaign that he'd endorse anyone. But given the proximity and connections with Franklin, the leaning of a Taylor endorsement from Schwartz is higher. I suppose we shall see how things unfold over the next several weeks.