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Monday, September 13, 2010

Why do people run for public office?


Tomorrow people all over our country will head to the polls to follow a tradition of voting in the primary elections.

Slogans, advertisements, logos, yard signs and mailings blanket the community for the opportunity to gain your allegiance.

Your coveted vote will place someone into a role of responsibility regarding the future of our community.

Who are these people?

Last week I had a brief conversation with an elected official. The gist of our conversation was “Why do people run for office?”

I know some people desire to make changes because they feel they can do a better job than someone else that occupies the current office. Then there are those that are out to prove a point, so they run with the hope of making a statement (and sometimes there is a need for a point to be made).

And then there are those who want to be in a position of power. They have no real plan, no vision, and no concept of what they are getting in to, but meet the qualifications to hold office and some times gain the position they wanted and don’t know what to do next.

There is a difference between a thrill seeking power hungry politician and a public servant.

Who do we elect?

For all of the blood, sweat and tears that were shed for men and women to have the right to cast their vote, I feel personally responsible to make sure I know who deserves my vote and who is best equip to enter into the position they are seeking.
For some people it always boils down to political party. For others it is merely a popularity vote. For all of us shouldn’t it be the individual that has demonstrated the highest level of competence, desire, and track record of service and lays out the best plan of action.

Can we afford to support someone who if they lose the election we will never hear from them or see them until the next election? Service starts at home. It starts with people who don’t care about being re-elected more than they do about doing what is best for the community.

I plan to cast my vote for individuals who are service minded first. If they by chance happen to lose an election they stick around and still participate in making this community better.

It is the candidates that after this election never show up for another community meeting, never speak out to hold those in office accountable, never show any initiative to build a better community that we have to steer clear of giving our vote.

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