It is amazing what two years, a national election, and an irresponsible state government, will do to the hype surrounding the City Council election. The number of candidates running has been more than cut in half, a natural reaction to a strong incumbent running for re-election, and a lack of media coverage caused by the larger presidential election. This election may be one of the closest the city has seen in a long time. While two years ago the second and third place candidates were separated by a slim margin, this year there very well could be four candidates within a few hundred votes of each other, making it even more interesting.
My goals in this first foray into writing anything that more than one person might actually read is to give some insight into the campaigns from the point of view of someone who was in the middle of it just two years ago. Politics is one of the most interesting contact sports out there. It is about strategy, positioning, and execution. Some may believe this is a cynical view of our political structure, I think it is simply realistic. I also believe that because of it we usually arrive at the best outcome and when we don’t two or four years later voters have a right to change the situation.
Over the next 45 days my focus will primarily be on the Turlock City Council race. Who is donating money, how much it costs to run a campaign, relevant election law, the impact of absentee voters and why candidates are doing what they are doing. I will also touch on Measure S the county-wide transportation sales tax, and I may examine a couple of statewide ballot measures and the overall dysfunction of our state government.
My simple advice to all of the candidates is to enjoy the campaign. It is a great chance to interact with the community and sort out the issues that matter to the public. My advice to all of the voters is enjoy the process, it is an opportunity to have the issues you care about brought to the forefront and contribute to the community. The only prediction I am willing to make is that it is going to be interesting.
~“A political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.”
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