With the beginning of a new year, a number of people will be testing the waters in the political world.
Since this is an election year, we are going to hear names tossed around for many of the offices open for election. By this time, we know which incumbents have decided to run again. Even as this column goes to print, new people are making decisions about offering themselves for certain offices.
Not using this column to endorse candidates, I will be writing about the various positions of candidates and the experience they bring to the offices they seek. We hear statements regarding the qualifications to run for office such as “new blood”. That statement assumes the newer people with little or no experience in public office will bring new ideas and ways of serving the people.
We also hear the statement “good old boy”. That idea brings to mind the people who are connected to certain groups within a political system. As the time moves closer to the date for qualifying, the people who are serious about running will be known.
Today, I offer the following thoughts regarding the questions that should be answered as we consider the people that seek public office. One of the thoughts is the level of involvement in the community by the person seeking office before they let it be known they were running. Another consideration is the alignment the person is willing to express with the positions and platforms of organized political parties. As a candidate indicates they are independent of a political party, we should know what core beliefs drive them as they make decisions — another concern deserving an answer. Of all the issues best serving the public interest, which ones reflect the feelings of the candidate is another concern. It sounds great to say one is independent, but experience teaches that it is usually not true. A person willing to offer for public office has a core set of beliefs and values that reflect in the way they have lived up to the point of their announcement for public service. Knowing the driving set of core values and beliefs of the person running for office is vital to the voters as the decision is made as to who will receive their vote on Election Day.
Another major issue deserving an answer from the candidate deals with the one issue that motivated the person to run for office. It is important to know — is the person a “one issue” candidate?
As voters, we have major decisions ahead this year. This is going to be one of the most vital elections cycles in our lifetime. As a voter, I want to know everything I can know about all the candidates before I go to the polls to vote on Election Day. From where I stand, I make my decision from the best knowledge I have as to the person for whom I will vote.
How will you get to know the candidates for public office? Tell us in comments.