There's no way to view Mary Rydingsward's defeat of city Democratic Party leader Elliott Nelson except as a rebuke to the party establishment.
After all, the town committee overwhelmingly backed Nelson.
No doubt some of Rydingsward's support came from women who feel like outsiders dealing with the male-dominated party leadership team.
But there's also no doubt that some of those votes she racked up came from Democrats of both sexes who feel left out or shunned by party officials who are largely loyal to Mayor Art Ward.
Rydingsward worked hard in this campaign -- but so did Nelson. Both of them put in the effort that winning requires.
But when a Democratic Party chair loses a political race that only rank and file Democrats can participate in, the outcome is not just a referendum on the boss. It's about something more.
And that something may spell trouble for Ward, too, when it's his turn to run again next year.
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