We were out at the post-election parties last night. Here's a few observations:
* Bob Turner was classy in defeat. He called the Dickert campaign and offered congratulations, and said he'd work for Racine in the Assembly. "If Racine wins, I win," Turner said.
* Not surprisingly, his party at Park 6 on Sixth Street was subdued. Alderman Michael Shields, Mayor Tom Friedel, Bev Hicks, Jameel Ghuari, Jim Spoddick (who owns the Park 6 building) and Pete Karas were all there when I got there at 9 p.m. WRJN's Jan Hoff was covering the party live.
* It was another rough night for Karas, who's been campaigning non-stop for several months. He helped a candidate in New Orleans run for Congress and a state superintendent candidate, then ran his own campaign for mayor and finally threw in for Turner in the last month. While a little disheartened (he lost all of the races) Karas promised he had more plans in the works.
* Friedel, who will step down as mayor in two weeks, said in an interview that he wasn't personally conflicted by the special election. He said he knew he was serving in interim role and looked forward to returning to the City Council.
But he also said there were a few times during the candidate forums when he got the itch to jump into the race. "Listening to the candidates, I thought a few times, 'I have better answers than these,'" Friedel admitted.
But he wouldn't touch the idea of whether he planned to run for mayor in 2011. "I'm not going there," Friedel said.
* On policy, Mayor Dickert will face an immediate challenge with the budget, Friedel said. The state may cut shared revenue this year, which would force the city to cut spending.
He added the big difference between being mayor and being an alderman was the broad scope of items that come across the mayor's desk. "It can be anything from honorariums to life-and-death issues and everything in between," Friedel said.
"The mayor serves everyone every day," he said.
* The Dickert party was - surprise, surprise - lively. Hundreds of people packed Salute's on Main Street to congratulate (and, in a few cases, suck up) to the new mayor.
* Frank and Sandra Tingle attended Dickert's party. Frank boasted that he traveled the greatest distance - 4,000 mile from London - to vote for Dickert.
* Here's a question: Now that Dickert is mayor, will Tingle's lawsuit against the city go away?
* Community for Change leaders were at Salute and talked about their next project: a communitywide forum on health care reform this summer before Congress votes on the issue. Organizers are hoping to put together a nonpartisan forum to discuss the issue and call for needed reforms. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and other big-name politicians will be on the invitee list.
* Aldermen Terry McCarthy is now, officially, a Canadian citizen. He received his dual citizenship on April 27.
* City Council members McCarthy, Jeff Coe, Aron Wisneski, Greg Helding and David Maack were all at the party.