The conventional wisdom continues to be that the special Democratic primary election for the District 91 state House of Representatives seat is Kemba Ford’s to lose. But the impressively credentialed crowd that turned out Thursday night for a downtown Terica Lamb fundraiser indicates that it ain’t over yet.
Among those who turned out at the Prohibition club on South Front St. were George Little, Aubrey Howard, Lee Harris, Martavius Jones, George Monger, TaJuan Stout-Mitchell, Michael Hooks Jr., O.C. Pleasant, Nika Jackson, and Beverly Robertson.
Some of these were stout supporters of candidate Lamb, some were friendly encouragers, and others were merely paying their respects, but the fact that each of them — and several more unnamed here, including even sometime Republican Rod DeBerry — represented some substantial corner of the local political universe was a sign that Lamb’s campaign has to be taken seriously by candidate Ford and others in the multi-candidate field.
Ford is regarded as the frontrunner in the race to succeed the late Lois DeBerry for reasons having to do with her membership in a highly pedigreed — and still very active — extended political family, as well as the credibility Ford achieved in an impressive 2011 race for a City Council seat that was ultimately won by Harris in a runoff.
But special elections are notoriously low-turnout affairs, subject to surprise outcomes. The bottom line is: Who has an organization that can turn out the vote at a time when most people aren’t paying attention to the race?
In brief remarks to the crowd at Prohibition, Lamb, an employee of the Trustee’s office, skillfully paid homage both to tradition — especially in a tribute to the late, highly admired Lois DeBerry, whose death this year created the vacancy in District 91 and whom Lamb claimed as a fellow sorority member — and to the concept of change, notably in an observation that the Old Guard of Democratic activists was “aging out.”
The Democratic primary for House District 91 will take place on October 8. There will be no Republican primary, and only one other candidate, Libertarian Jim Tomasik (listede as an independent), will be on the November 21 general election ballot.