We showed up at Joe Nation's election night party in the Marin County town of Greenbrae around eight o'clock. The event's being held at a restaurant called the Wipe Out Bar & Grill in a quiet strip mall here. State figures are showing Leno ahead of the pack by five percentage points. By the time we arrived at Wipe Out, the candidate wasn't around.
The restaurant's proprietor, Bob Partrite, told us Nation's crew was supposed to be here at a quarter of eight. Long after the hour, Nation was still missing in action. In fact, for much of the time we were hanging around, reporters outnumbered Nation supporters, as seen in the photos below. But Wyatt Buchanan of the Chronicle insisted on acknowledging that by half past the hour, a few people were trickling in. Most of the chairs remained empty, however, and a whole bunch of utensils went unused, at least while we were there. Just sayin'.
Joe Nation's supporters weren't filling any of the chairs. Those are reporters in the background from KPFA.
We came upon stacks of unused utensils at eight o'clock when we showed, 15 minutes after the candidate was supposed to be here. But some food did start to fill plates at around 8:30. The candidate still wasn't around, however.
More empty chairs.
Yet more empty chairs. Jeez, Joe, who voted for you and where are they?
Wyatt Buchanan from the Chronicle wonders where Joe's at. By the way, we just overheard a Nation supporter say into the phone that holding an election party at a restaurant called "Wipe Out" is a bad idea. We think holding an election party where reporters outnumber supporters is actually a worse idea.
TV reporters talking idly.
To be fair, another Wipe Out co-owner named Scooter Simmons said he was a Nation supporter because he genuinely believed the candidate cared about the concerns of small business owners, calling Nation "extraordinarily approachable."
"I've got kids in school and I love his support of education," Simmons said.