Letter to the editor: Analysis of the hospital district election

(The following letter has been corrected to state those candidates supporting the district received 58.4 percent of the total vote, not 58.9 percent.)

A report of the recent election and comments by a portion of the winning candidates would lead citizens to believe that overwhelming support for dissolution of the Hospital District and the property tax are responsible for the outcome of the election. However, after further analysis, a far different picture is revealed.

The candidates who announced opposition to the district received 41.6 percent of the total vote, while current members of the board and those supporting the district received 58.4 percent of that vote, a decisive margin in any political election. When two candidates receiving the lowest number of votes for each side are subtracted, a common practice to fully analyze the impact of a political election, the support for retention of the Hospital District jumps to a whopping 64.7 percent.

Although this was a small local election, the “political” implications are obvious. The winning side ran a small number of candidates, one-third of the total, while those supporting the district totaled 12, or two-thirds, of the total number of candidates.

The supporting vote for the district was spread so thin over a large number of candidates that the outcome was predetermined by failure to recognize the danger and take the necessary steps required to win. The opposition, on the other hand, mounted an organized and well-crafted campaign that spelled victory and takeover of the seven-member board.

While these new members exercise their majority control of the board, they will do well to remember the true feelings of a majority of Somervell County voters who expressed their support for the Hospital District in this election.

Larry P. Smith

Glen Rose

One Response to Letter to the editor: Analysis of the hospital district election

  1. Suzanne Gentling Reply

    May 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Excellent analysis, Larry, and an important reminder of how critical it is for citizens to engage and participate, to think critically and not just accept as fact what they hear or read. Being a responsible citizen and voter takes work and a lot of attention.

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