McConnell, Williams react to results
City Council member happy with campaign despite falling to Hannigan
Though Erin Hannigan easily won her third term as District 1 Solano County Supervisor seat, challenger Robert McConnell remained positive Wednesday afternoon.
“We got the message out,” said the second-term Vallejo City Council
member. “We tried to get people interested in local politics. A lot of people don’t think local politics is as important as national or state but it really is. A lot of things are impacted by city and county government and people need to start becoming aware of it.”
Hannigan secured 8,173 votes to McConnell’s 5,444 — or 60.02 percent to 39.98 percent.
“The numbers are what the numbers are,” McConnell said. “They speak for themselves.”
McConnell said he “wasn’t paying a lot of attention” to the results Tuesday night when he joined supporters at Red Man’s Hall in downtown Vallejo.
“The idea was to enjoy the people, meet with friends and bask in the fact we all worked very hard to get our message out,” McConnell said. “The voters made their decision and
we’re going with it. It’s not the end of the world. There are a lot of things to do.”
One of those things, apparently, is not running for Vallejo mayor in November.
“Nope. There’s no reason to,” McConnell said. “I’ll just finish off my term on council. Between council and the planning commission, I’ve devoted 17 years to the city of Vallejo.”
McConnell added that his wife, Paula, “might have her husband back” after the months of door-todoor campaigning while being a council member and running two businesses.
“It’s not like we’ve had a lot of time to ourselves,”
McConnell said his decision to shoot for Hannigan’s seat was the right move.
“I needed to run for supervisor because I don’t like what the county was doing,” McConnell said. “They didn’t treat Vallejo as well as it should be treated. Vallejo needs a very strong voice in Fairfield (the county seat). Otherwise we’ll get run over as we have for years.”
He said there are no regrets.
“I think we probably did more than the best we could. We covered the district well and knocked on at least 4,500 doors.”
McConnell called Hannigan “an entrenched force” in the county.
“The unions rallied around her,” he said.
McConnell said he was surprised how much he ended up enjoying walking precincts.
“You get to meet people … people you might not have ever come in contact with,” he said. “I got into it and enjoyed it. And I lost weight.”
If nothing else, he learned that “I really enjoy talking to people, much more so than I did before.”
While campaigning, McConnell heard the complaints — mostly about Vallejo’s roads. which he hopes to confront in his time left as an elected official.
“Everybody hates the roads,” McConnell said, promising to focus on “putting more money into our streets than ever before. As I walked, I heard how angry people are about the condition of their roads. I’d like to double what we’ve done. I don’t feel the city is doing enough. I have to admit, there are some lousy streets, particularly in the less wealthy areas of town. It’s something the city really needs to decide if it’s a priority.”
Ravi Shankar takes a photo of Solano County Supervisor candidate Robert McConnell and former Vallejo school trustee Ruscal Cayangyang at Tuesday night’s gathering at Redmen’s Hall.