Carol Anne Costa: Gorbea is Pitch Perfect
Thursday, November 20, 2014
So, as we sit 3 weeks past general election, the noise subsiding and the transitions underway, can we take away a ray of hope from our election process? I submit yes, in two words - Nellie Gorbea. She is a fresh face and a smart and talented woman. But more, she is the long shot that beat the field, as all the political handicappers had her coming out of the gate 50-1 odds and as she crossed the finish line she dragged an impressive bit of history with her, as the first Hispanic elected to Rhode Island Statewide office. She beat the field, the odds, and the pundits with an honest, straight forward, mission driven march to the election. A campaign void of vitriol and filled with facts. Nellie hit the right tone at every turn and ran a campaign that was a remarkable success.
Nice Gals Finish First
A primary and a general election that were each hard fought, honest, and won with boots on the ground retail politics. Note to future candidates and even poli sci students; people like to meet, greet, and talk to candidates running for office. Rhode Islanders, in particular, adore a home grown campaign. Nellie Gorbea in my view was pitch perfect, “a ca-mazing” if you will. She bucked every trend and introduced herself the old fashioned way and voters responded. She proved that war chests and high priced consultants are not always the end all and be all of a grassroots effort to engage the voters. Her political advertisements resonated with the voters, as one friend told me, “Her ads were nice, informative, and told me a lot about her.”
Timing and luck don’t hurt either and Nellie benefited from those intangibles as well. This diminutive powerhouse pulled it all together and I cannot wait until her campaigning and people skills are brought to bear at the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office. It is a new day for RI and for the Democratic Party. Nellie brings an impressive resume, degrees from Princeton and Columbia, and a spark to begin the task of re-energizing the office which oversees our elections, corporations, open meetings, lobbying database, and oversight, State Library, Archives, and is the keeper of the records for the State of Rhode Island. No small undertaking, but I remain convinced her intellect, analytical prowess, and passion for data driven change will reap strong returns for the people in transparency, customer service, and election improvements.
We know that Gorbea’s plan is to make elections fair, fast, and accurate but, it is within the path she has begun to craft is clearly based in evidence, collaboration, innovative resource utilization and analysis of procedures and data. As Nellie will lead the charge to clean up the voter rolls we can see her initiative to use resources and engage directly with the all too often over burdened town canvassers and clerks who are the wealth of knowledge in the vote role equation. By establishing an elections fellows program, where college students interface with and examine data with the clerks and canvassers at the grassroots exhibits the true understanding of process. She has also indicated the desire to modernize our voting equipment. I concur, as our voting machines and optical scanners have grown old and tired, technology has boomed and the time is now to harness that innovation and proper procurement of those machines should emanate from the Secretary of State’s office. The blurred lines which exist between the Board of Elections and Secretary of State’s office must be addressed in the Gorbea administration and based on her tone and direction, I see that in our future as well.
Nellie is no stranger to the office as her service as Deputy Secretary of State from 2002-2006 will no doubt let her hit the ground running come January, and I for one am eager to see her reshape and reinvigorate the Office of the Secretary of State. But, it is what Nellie told me recently that has me so buoyed by her election, “It is not about plans or mission, it is about the people.”
- Carol Anne Costa: The Pope, the Pols and the People
- Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard’s Summer Concert Series Announces Final Lineup
- Carol Anne Costa: Way to Go #39
- Carol Anne Costa: Say it Isn’t So, Renee
- Carol Anne Costa : “Open Sesame” If Only it Was That Easy!
- Carol Anne Costa: Ancient, Horribles and Happy 4th!
- Carol Anne Costa: Rhode Island Has Desperate Need for Change Agents
- Carol Anne Costa: Memorial Day—A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
- Carol Anne Costa: The Devil is in the Details
- Carol Anne Costa : Carpe Diem
- Carol Anne Costa: The Boys and Girl of Summer
- Carol Anne Costa: Monica Lewinsky, Patient Zero
- Carol Costa: The New VA … A Winning Model - An Inspired Mission?
- Carol Anne Costa: God Help Us
- Carol Anne Costa: Fence Jumping and Fist Pumping Bureaucracy in Crisis
- Carol Anne Costa: From Shock to Chakra
- Carol Anne Costa: Will the Mission Trump the Mayhem?
- Carol Anne Costa: Is It Really Only About the “Goodell” Boys?
- Carol Anne Costa: A Progressive by Any Other Name…