It looks like a split decision last night in the battle of the Pagan candidates, resulting in a historic win for Republican candidate Dan Halloran. In a very close race Halloran defeated his Democratic opponent by a margin of 1300 votes to become the next New York City Councilman for District 19. This is a dramatic win for the beleaguered Theodsman, and his victory represents a dramatic first for modern Paganism, the first openly Pagan/Heathen candidate to gain an important political office. We await an official statement from Halloran, in the meantime, you can read congratulations from his supporters, and commentary from a snarky but somewhat humbled Village Voice (not to mention a peeved-sounding Steven Thrasher).
“But there are some less expected results, and one involves one of the “Losers to Watch” we mentioned early today: Queens council candidate Daniel Halloran (pictured), the pagan/heathen Republican looking to succeed Tony Avella. He seems to have bested Democrat Kevin Kim, 53 to 47 percent. By Odin’s beard, his magic must be strong!”
Indeed, and I look forward to following councilman Halloran’s career with interest in the coming years. Sadly, it isn’t all good news on the Pagan candidate front. While Halloran pulled off a win, Democrat Alice Richmond failed to unseat incumbent Republican Robert Griffith in the race for a seat on Page County Virginia’s Board of Supervisors. Griffith won by a very large margin, and while the revelations about Richmond being “Lady Raya” couldn’t have helped, Virginia saw a wave of Republican victories last night, and that turn-out most likely made the contest into a total rout. On her blog, Richmond inferred that the county was suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”, and gave the following statement.
“For those 546 people who came to the polls and voted for me, thank you. For those 47 people who contributed nearly $6,500 to my campaign, I did the best work I could do. The voters of District 1 made a clear choice. The vote was not close.”
So a somewhat bitter-sweet, yet ultimately historic night for Pagans participating in the political realm. Halloran’s win, and even Richmond’s high-profile candidacy and loss, have broken down barriers that will greatly benefit future Pagan adherents looking to get involved in the political process. It has proven that while no race in the near future will be easy for an “out” Pagan, in the right circumstances we can win.