Audio Postcard: A Watch Party For An Uncontested Race | KBIA

Audio Postcard: A Watch Party For An Uncontested Race

Apr 3, 2019

A handful of supporters of city councilman Ian Thomas wait for results at Broadway Brewery Tuesday night.
Credit Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Political watch parties can produce moments of high drama, with supporters waiting anxiously for results to come in, and races going down to the wire.

But as KBIA’s Sebastián Martínez Valdivia found out, when a race is uncontested, the watch party can be a little different.

He visited last night’s watch party for Columbia 4th ward councilman Ian Thomas and filed this audio postcard. The postcard features the voices of Brendon Steenbergen, Ian Thomas, Karl Skala, and Leila Gassman. 


TRANSCRIPT:

BRENDON STEENBERGEN: I'M BRENDON STEENBERGEN AND I'M CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR THE IAN THOMAS FOR CITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN. WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT KIND OF OPPOSITION WE WOULD GO UP AGAINST; IAN WAS WELCOMING OF OPPOSITION, HE ENJOYS THE CAMPAIGNING PROCESS, SO HE WAS ACTUALLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN WE ENDED UP NOT HAVING AN OPPONENT. 

IAN THOMAS: MY NAME'S IAN THOMAS, I'M RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION TO THE FOURTH WARD SEAT ON THE COLUMBIA CITY COUNCIL.

REPORTER: AND WHO ARE YOU RUNNING AGAINST?

IAN THOMAS: I'M UNOPPOSED ON THE BALLOT. WE PLANNED THE WATCH PARTY BEFORE WE KNEW WHETHER THERE WAS GOING TO BE AN OPPONENT OR NOT. THERE SEEMED NO REASON TO CANCEL IT. IT'S A NICE OPPORTUNITY TO GET TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS. WELL WE PLANNED AN ENERGIZED CAMPAIGN - I'VE GOT SEVERAL VOLUNTEERS WHO WERE ALL GEARED UP TO HELP ME AND WE DESIGNED A PRETTY INTENSE CAMPAIGN OF BROCHURES AND CANVASSING DOOR TO DOOR AND AN EVENT AT THE START. 

SUPPORTER: ARE YOU PREDICTING THE WINNER OF THE MAYORAL RACE? 

IAN THOMAS: I AM NOT PREDICTING, I'M NOT EVEN DISCUSSING IT. 

[LAUGHTER]

DAVID TREECE: WELL I'M RELATED TO THE MAYOR, HE'S MY UNCLE. I'M JUST HERE TO SUPPORT HIM AS A FAMILY-MEMBER. 

REPORTER: SO YOU'RE NOT HERE FOR IAN THOMAS?

DAVID TREECE: NO. 

REPORTER: OH, OK. IS THIS A COMBINED WATCH PARTY?

DAVID TREECE: I DON'T THINK SO. AM I AT THE WRONG ONE? 

REPORTER: YOU MIGHT BE AT THE WRONG ONE. 

DAVID TREECE: WELL THAT'S INTERESTING. OKAY, I'LL SEE WHAT I CAN FIND OUT. YEAH I'M NOT HERE TO SUPPORT IAN THOMAS.

IAN THOMAS: EVERYBODY'S INVITED, IN FACT KARL SKALA IS GOING TO BE COMING DOWN A LITTLE BIT LATER; WE'RE MAKING IT A JOINT WATCH PARTY FOR THE TWO OF US - HE'S UNOPPOSED IN HIS RACE AS WELL AND WE AGREE ON A LOT OF THE ISSUES. SO WE THOUGH IT'D BE NICE TO KIND OF DO IT TOGETHER, A LOT OF HIS SUPPORTERS ARE ALSO SUPPORTERS OF ME AND VICE VERSA. 

KARL SKALA: IT'S IAN'S PARTY. I DECIDED NOT TO HAVE A WATCH PARTY, I JUST MORE OR LESS MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE AND KEPT ON WORKING. IT'S KIND OF A LONELY TRAIL, YOU TEND TO CUT BACK OR SCALE BACK ON YOUR CAMPAIGN - YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO RAISE AS MUCH MONEY, ENOUGH TO SEND OUT MAILERS AND SO ON, KNOCK ON A FEW DOORS MAKE SURE YOU KEEP IN CONTACT AND SO ON. BUT OTHER THAN THAT, DON'T GET ME WRONG, I'M GRATEFUL THAT I DON'T HAVE AN OPPONENT, BECAUSE IT'S A LOT LESS WORK. ON THE OTHER HAND A CONTESTED ELECTION OFTEN KIND OF SHARPENS YOUR EDGE, IF YOU WILL. 

LEILA GASSMAN: MY NAME'S LEILA GASSMAN AND I'M AN INTERN FOR IAN THOMAS AND I'M A SENIOR AT HICKMAN HIGH SCHOOL. WE'VE BEEN DOING LIKE THE GET OUT THE VOTE AND THE YARD SIGNS AND STUFF, BUT WE HAVEN'T BEEN RECRUITING PEOPLE FROM THE PUBLIC TO HELP OUT WITH THE CAMPAIGN AT ALL, WHICH IS UNIQUE. I THINK THAT IAN WILL WIN, BUT I'M HOPING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE GO OUT AND VOTE ANYWAY. 

IAN THOMAS: YOU KNOW IT'S STILL BEEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES, AND FOR ME TO REALLY THINK THROUGH WHAT I SEE AS PRIORITIES AND THEN RUN THOSE BY VOTERS. WHEN PEOPLE ARE STANDING ON THEIR OWN DOORSTEPS I THINK WE CAN HAVE A REALLY ENGAGED CONVERSATION. AND I JUST WANT TO RUN MY IDEAS PAST THEM AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK OF THEM.