“Does The Stranger have so much power that it no longer deserves its ‘alternative’ status?” asks Crosscut reporter David Kroman. “Even the most backhanded endorsement from The Stranger â€” the paper recently described one of its favorite City Council candidates as having a ‘serial killer vibe’ â€” is arguably a major win for a campaign, especially one challenging the status quo.”
In next Tuesdayâ€™s election, weâ€™ll almost certainly see The Stranger Effect pretty concretely in the District 2 race. The Stranger endorsed incumbent Bruce Harrell in the primary where he walloped the competition. Tammy Morales came in second with 24 percent to Harrellâ€™s 62. But the newspaper jumped ship on Harrell, switching its general election endorsement to Morales. â€œI hate to give one outlet such power,â€ says Morales, â€œbut I did have people on the doors ask me, â€˜What happened in the primary? We usually use The Stranger as a guide.â€™â€
Since she bagged the newspaperâ€™s endorsement, she says, â€œIt really turned the race around. It triggered this wave of momentum. Fundraising is up, support on the doors is up. Itâ€™s a weird thing to say.â€ Morales may remain a long shot, but with The Strangerâ€™s endorsement she seems certain to at least come much closer to Harrell than she did in the primary.