Before next week’s release of how I am voting in the Primary Election I thought I would share with you how I make those decisions. This list may not be comprehensive, but it’s a glimpse at the things that matter as I contemplate my vote.
I begin with my personal political philosophy. Yes, I am a conservative Republican and therefore my votes will usually be for Republican candidates (and they certainly will in a primary). That is as it should be. But, since our audience is not all Republican and not confined to my precinct or district, I also interview candidates from other locations, parties or no parties that choose to take advantage of our forum.
My philosophy is that less taxes, less government regulation and restraints on government spending are core positions that serve communities and governments well. I look for candidates who espouse these views. I also look for candidates who are effective in relating their views and implementing them whenever possible. Knowing it is not always possible, I also look for candidates who can be practical in governing. Change in government does not happen overnight. Patience and the ability to work with other office holders to reach a goal are also important. What good is pristine philosophy when it handcuffs a candidate from being effective at all in governing? Practical decisions guided by philosophy are key.
Candidate positions on the issues as they apply to the office being sought are of import. These vary from position to position and they are a factor in making the determination.
How the candidate presents the issues and his position is important as most elected offices will require collaboration with other officials, government employees and interested parties in order to accomplish anything. If the candidate can not relate this to me, how will they ever relate it effectively to another office holder or committee?
Another part of the presentation of the candidate is the ad campaign conducted by the candidate and his advocates. Does the candidate give direct information on his positions and goals for office? Does the candidate lie or put down his opponent? Does the candidate endorse false or misleading information about the opponent? This tells me a lot about the integrity of the candidate and if he can’t be honest here, why would I ever think he would be honest in office?
To sum it up, I don’t look for perfect, but practical candidates. I look for honesty and integrity in a candidate be it in office, personal life or campaigning. The candidates ask us to buy them as people. OK, sell me something worthwhile!
There you have my guideposts for making election picks. They are out next week in our INSIDER column.