Lest you forget, Sypolt was the “Larry” in the “Larry, Moe and Steve” contest for mayor of Columbia.
Former deputy Larry Sypolt withdrew from Columbia’s mayoral campaign Monday and threw his support to Mayor Steve Benjamin.
“I think it’s a disservice to the community for Steve and I to run against each other,” Sypolt said in front of police headquarters in downtown Columbia, with Benjamin at his side.
Sypolt dropped out after acknowledging that he has come to agree with Benjamin on public safety and other issues….
Benjamin’s main rival all along has been Moe Baddorah, of course. I was talking to Moe today at Rotary, less than an hour before I saw this news. So I missed a good chance to get his reaction.
I asked how he thought the race was going. “Well,” he said. He asked how I thought it was going, and I said I had no idea. These municipal elections, with their tiny turnout, are so hard to predict. All you have to go on is yard signs (and Moe has plenty of those) and endorsements. And those can be unreliable. All those endorsements didn’t do Daniel Coble all that much good. Moe grinned at that.
Mr. Baddourah, having learned a tough lesson from his defeat at the hands of Seth Rose for county council several years back, is big on door-to-door. He says he’s visited every neighborhood in the city.
And he thinks turnout might be greater than usual, because of the pull of the Richland Library referendum — from both sides of the issue.
But he said “no” when I asked whether that was something he was hearing about as he rang doorbells. Nor, he said, are people talking about strong mayor. So what is he hearing about? “Public safety, infrastructure, water bills, and not trusting the government.”
I also spoke, somewhat more briefly, with Steve Benjamin late Friday afternoon, at a campaign event at City Roots.
He, too, is confident, and he says he has objective reason to feel that way — he got some good numbers from a poll early last week. (I haven’t seen the numbers; but that’s what he said.)
Since I spoke with the mayor, The State has endorsed him. Here’s the link.
How do y’all think it’s going? If you force me to say, I say Benjamin wins fairly handily. But then, you don’t ever count Moe Baddourah out, as Daniel Coble can tell you.
Y’all guesses are at least as good as mine, and probably better. What do you think?