What do you think of conventional wisdom? That’s a big topic, so let’s apply it only to the American Numismatic Association board of governors election. Tomorrow afternoon we will find out the results. I have my hunches about the results. I have conventional wisdom. I have a professional opinion.
But I do not have the results.
Depending on who I talk to, the results can go dramatically in either direction in favor of the anti-incumbents or in favor of the incumbents.
But I think it is important to see what conventional wisdom says.
Conventional wisdom has it that ANA members believe in orderly transitions of power. Vice presidents always succeed the outgoing president.
Insofar as this year’s election is concerned, that will hold true. Barry Stuppler, the sitting vice president, will become president. Patti Finner, a sitting governor, will ascend to the vice presidency.
Conventional wisdom tends to favor incumbents. They have survived the electoral winnowing process before and will likely survive it again. That would put Gov. Don Kagin back for another term and Gov. Alan Herbert. Both are incumbents. Both are widely known.
You can argue the other side. Don Kagin recently was exonerated by the board in a Dwight Manley complaint. While he won, the publicity can’t be counted as a plus. Alan Herbert has lost an election before. He could do it again. However, conventional wisdom says he will be back.
That makes a count of four incumbents.
For the anti-incumbents, widely known and widely liked candidates have the familiarity factor on their side. Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler come from a long tenure as founders and builders of Krause Publications, my current employer. They are both well known to the ANA electorate.
Former ANA president and executive director Ed Rochette is also widely known and widely liked.
A fourth candidate for this slate, Walter Ostromecki, is widely known and widely talked up by anti-incumbents because he has the distinction of being the first governor to be voted off the board.
There is a huge electoral element in the sentiment to correct the present board’s action to toss him off the board.
That puts the new board at a 4-4 tie. This is not exactly a sweeping victory for either side.
Conventional wisdom can argue the final board member either way. Arthur Fitts, a former governor whose wife currently is retiring from a seat, is viewed as part of the incumbent group. He might provide the fifth vote and a majority for incumbents.
Joe Boling, who is currently chief judge, might provide the fifth vote on the other side. He is widely known as a hard worker and he has done an outstanding job as chief judge. Will that be enough? It could be.
Boling on the board would be the fifth vote for the anti-incumbents.
What will happen? I still don’t know, but I have, I hope, explained conventional wisdom.