Running for advisory neighborhood commissioner is all about getting your name out. So 24-year-old Jesse Rauch liked his chances against David Holmes for a seat on ANC 6A in Lincoln Park. During his student days at Boston University, Rauch had been elected to several student-government positions and was even president of a resident-hall association, which had more residents than the ANC district.
“I was actively knocking on doors every weekend. I was really trying to get a feel for my neighbors,” Rauch says of his campaign efforts. “I put fliers out and put out door hangers. I really tried.”
But he didn’t get much of an assist from the Voice of the Hill newspaper. The influential neighborhood rag left Rauch out of a voter guide printed just before the election. According to Rauch, the paper e-mailed a questionnaire to all candidates a few weeks before the election.
“I filled mine out,” Rauch says. “I had it in by 1 p.m. on the day it was due. I expected not to have a problem.”
But when he received a dummy copy of the election guide via e-mail, he saw he’d been left out. Rauch contacted the paper and was told that it was too late to make any changes. The paper had already been printed, bagged, and sent out for delivery.
Voice of the Hill Editor Patti Shea attributes the error to a production oversight. When the paper realized the mistake, it immediately posted a special online addendum with Rauch’s responses and an apology for the omission. “We sent it on to some very well-read neighborhood blogs,” Shea says. “They were all too happy to help.”
But the blogs couldn’t swing it Rauch’s way: Holmes ended up winning the election with 432 votes to Rauch’s 243.
“That [the omission] affected the campaign and the results I can’t be too sure,” Rauch says. “But for it to be my first public campaign, it was a little disheartening.”