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KU professor to analyze election results in live chat

April 7, 2009

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

John Nalbandian

Join us Tuesday night at LJWorld.com for a live election chat with John Nalbandian, a professor of public administration at Kansas University and former Lawrence mayor and city commissioner.

Reporter Mark Fagan will moderate the chat, and will join Nalbandian in analyzing election returns in the Lawrence City Commission and Lawrence school board races during live 6News coverage on Sunflower Broadband channel 6.

Both the chat and live TV coverage begin at 8 p.m.

Moderator:

Hello and welcome to our election night chat with John Nalbandian, a former Lawrence mayor. He's a professor of public administration at KU, and he's willing to help educate us about the goings on with today's election.
Thanks for joining us, John.

John Nalbandian:

Glad to be here, Mark. Thank you for inviting me.

Moderator:

We'll be answering questions here throughout our coverage tonight -- here online, on channel 6 and providing updates on Twitter.com.
A question: what are we expecting tonight, without a primary election to rely on for guidance?

John Nalbandian:

This is such an interesting question for me--the one about the lack of a primary. I think the low turnout we expect is in part due to the lack of a primary which can generate interest and can help people know who the candidates are that have a realistic chance of winning. I didn't know what to expect when the legislature passed the law changing the minimum number required for a primary, but I think now that it hurts us. In fact, I confess, I had to ask someone last week, "When is the election!"

As to the results I expect, I am most interested in seeing when Gwen K. finishes because her election will tell us something about the way people see the desired composition of the cc. Without her or constance, we really do not have what we would in the past have considered a "neighborhood candidate." We would have turned more definitively to a business oriented cc. Of course, I am not sure exactly where Cromwell fits into the traditional way we breakdown candidate positions.

John Nalbandian:

This is such an interesting question for me--the one about the lack of a primary. I think the low turnout we expect is in part due to the lack of a primary which can generate interest and can help people know who the candidates are that have a realistic chance of winning. I didn't know what to expect when the legislature passed the law changing the minimum number required for a primary, but I think now that it hurts us. In fact, I confess, I had to ask someone last week, "When is the election!"

As to the results I expect, I am most interested in seeing when Gwen K. finishes because her election will tell us something about the way people see the desired composition of the cc. Without her or constance, we really do not have what we would in the past have considered a "neighborhood candidate." We would have turned more definitively to a business oriented cc. Of course, I am not sure exactly where Cromwell fits into the traditional way we breakdown candidate positions.

Moderator:

What kind of role is experience playing in the city race? Dennis Constance is a former commissioner. Mike Amyx is a current commissioner -- and former county commissioner. Price Banks is a former city-county planning director.

John Nalbandian:

Experience translates into name recognition. That's what Amyx has. We know what we are getting with Amyx and Constance. So it can work for a candidate and against one. In Banks case, he has built substantial experience in the development community since leaving the city. So, he should be a known quantity as well.

Moderator:

It's a tight race for third place on the city commission. Any chance of that changing when the last five precincts come in? How about provisional ballots?

John Nalbandian:

Absolutely. It can change, and I am glad I am not one of the two candidates, sweating it out. If it ends up as close as it is now, provisional ballots could make a difference. I don't know how many ballots are considered provisional, but even a few could make a difference here.

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