Qualities of an Election Candidate

I’ve been attending the candidates nights, which honestly have been a bit disappointing. One of the questions at one event was “what characteristics do you think the person in this position should have?”

This is a question we should be asking ourselves of every single position on the ballot. Honestly – for me the answer is the same across the board.

  • Strong moral values comes first: Integrity – Honest – Transparency – Sincerity – Compassion
  • Interest in the concerns of EVERY citizen they represent – including their competition, including those who are less than desirable, including those with whom they disagree. And treating those individuals with respect.
  • Elected officials take an oath to uphold and defend the constitution – I want to know they take this seriously (not just the 2nd amendment – but the whole constitution). I hear too often “I have to follow the law”, “I have to do what the state tells me”. No – you first have to know the constitution and respect it as the supreme law of the land. Period.

I don’t care if the candidate is a great public speaker. I don’t care if they have more experience. I don’t even care if they’ve had some personal life issues.

For too long, I have voted for people because I liked what they wrote in their candidate statement. Yes – that’s probably gonna tell me something, but it’s written to entice me – it’s advertising, that’s it. If I don’t sit down and talk with them, will I know what they really think?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve chatted with quite a few of our currently local elected officials. I’m disappointed in some of them – as are a lot of people.

But WE voted for them! So now it’s time for me to rethink how I make the decisions on which box to check on my ballot.

There are more candidates nights coming up. I’ll be attending them not to hear what they say from the podium, some of them are just better speakers – does that make them better human beings? No! In some cases, it just makes them better public fibbers.

What I Don’t Want in a Candidate

Apathy – Indifference

I had emailed one of the candidates a while back and I spoke to her briefly at one of the forums. I gave her my business card and after I walked away, I watched her hand my card to an associate. I don’t know what she said, but the associate rolled her eyes and the official nodded her head.

I suppose there’s an off chance she wasn’t speaking about me, but that’s not the first time I’ve felt her lack of interest in my concerns. Her email responses have given me the same impression. They’re short and snippy and basically have the tone that my concerns are not important to her.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have an opponent or I would very seriously be talking with them.

Disrespect – Passive Aggressive

Some of the candidates are being unbelievably disrespectful to their opponents.

I understand having disagreements with the other persons platforms. I understand looking back at past experience and actions that have been taken. But using a public forum to try to embarrass or belittle your opponent will not win any points with me.

One of the candidates for controller/auditor is Krista Peterson, currently the 2nd in command of that office. She has worked there for 19 years, literally training for this position. On paper she might seem like the logical choice.

Her opponent is Candy Carlson, current Board of Supervisors member (which is an elected position that makes the decisions about how our county is run overall).

I’ve had several opportunities in recent years to have lengthy discussions with Candy. Long before she put her name in for this position, she had been publicly stating that she has concerns about the way our finances are being managed. She has an opportunity to make changes that will help the BOS make better decisions and I commend her for wanting to do so.

During the candidate forums, Krista chastised and belittled Candy because Krista doesn’t think that the controller’s office is doing anything wrong.

I take issue with this For 2 reasons:

  1. Candy is a current elected official who has been doing her job well and is respected by many – she is voted into office by the people and is responsible for the overall budget of the county. In asking deep questions about the finances, she is looking to protect her constituents. If Krista truly thinks the finances are properly handled, she should have simply offered to sit down with Candy and discuss the issues.
  2. Candy is also a citizen. If she has concerns about the practices of an elected official, it is her RIGHT to seek answers. No elected official should ever speak down to a citizen. When that citizen has a concern – it should be addressed. It’s really that simple.

History of Bad Behavior

I support one of the candidates for sheriff in large part because I know the history of bad behavior in regards to the other.

Chad Parker wants change for that office. he has great ideas about how to affect that change. Don’t get me wrong – I think he has the experience to do the job, but if the other candidate had integrity, it would be a toss up.

Dave Kain is currently 3rd in command at the SO and seems to think he deserves to be sheriff because he’s in the line of succession. But he won’t even acknowledge the concerns that many of us have.

Both my husband and Chad left the agency because the environment had become incredibly toxic. Approximately 40 other people in the last 4 years have also left. That’s more than 30% of the entire agency staff.

People need to hear this – no one wants to talk about it publicly because they don’t want to be thought of as whiners. But how do you know that there’s a morale issue if you don’t listen to the people who are suffering?

Kain would have us believe employees left because of salary. That’s simply not true – we know this because we’ve spoken with numerous people who have left. Yes some went to other agencies at a higher wage, but that’s not why they started looking.

He claims the exit interviews all support his line of thinking. Well, he actually did my husband’s exit interview – he was told about the concerns, he didn’t acknowledge a single one.

I have a huge list of issues like this – true concerns about whether he will continue to bully and belittle people if he becomes sheriff. He is doing it now during the campaign – so why wouldn’t he continue it in office?

It makes me sick to think people have bought into his ability to con them.

He’s led a dirty campaign and continues to treat my husband and Chad with disrespect. I don’t want someone like that in any elected office.

Challenge

If you are like me and have historically voted based on who has more name recognition or a better candidate statement, I want to challenge you to rethink how you’re voting. Ask yourself questions and have conversations with others.

What are qualities you think are important in a candidate?

What issues with current candidates do you see?

Do you want to see continuity in the way an office is run? Or do you want to see change?

I’m sharing my concerns because I think people need to know more about who‘s on the ballot. I want to hear from you too. Email me confidentially at shawn@tehamafreedom.org if you want to share information about a candidate.

AND VOTE IN PERSON! Learn more here: https://tehamafreedom.org/2022/05/08/vote-safe-vote-in-person/

Author: Shawn

"The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks, while in reality it is only a weight which is necessary to keep down the diver while he is hunting for pearls" Jean Paul Richter

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