There were a lot of interesting election results Tuesday night throughout Arizona. But also in the Town of Paradise Valley. There, after running a superb race, Anna Thomasson was rightfully rewarded as the top vote getter. Ellen Andeen finished an impressive second.
But it was who got the bronze medal that was noteworthy: 2-term incumbent councilman Paul Dembow. Not only did he get smoked by two first-time candidates, he barely beat the fourth person in the race who didn’t even run a campaign.
Keep in mind residents in Paradise Valley overwhelmingly feel that things in their town are headed in the right direction. So an incumbent should have done better. Yet, voters served Dembow some humble pie. Why?
There are surely any number of reasons from curious positions taken against a variety of proposed improvements to Paradise Valley in recent years, as well as his demagogic and ongoing opposition to the Ritz-Carlton project in town. There was also his widespread and very smug email to voters basically saying Thomasson was too much of an outsider in Paradise Valley and to ignore her in favor of his slate of insiders.
Town voters are a smart lot and they see if someone is maturing, or not, as one of their seven representatives.
And then there was the scandal that Dembow found himself engulfed in a few years back when a town resident tragically lost his life at the hands of a Dembow family member. Local media raised questions about whether he did or did not improperly interfere with the Paradise Valley’s Police Department handling of the matter. Lawsuits ensued and while Dembow has apparently prevailed questions remain. And rumors abounded that the family who lost their father was going to weigh into the election in opposition to Dembow.
If they would have there’s little doubt that he would have lost. That he didn’t should be of little consolation. Because the only reason he will still be on the Town Council is the only person who fared worse in the election ran like he spent too many weekends at Bernie’s.