With Friday looming as the filing deadline for offices statewide, a lot of folks are facing tough decisions. While I’ve encouraged various people to run in races for which they are suited, the reality is that every one of us has to decide what’s right for us. And every one of us has factors that should correctly weigh on our decision. Some of those are nobody’s business, and it’s entirely OK to say that.
I agree with the general goal of having candidates in every race possible, especially when I look at races like that of Twinkle Cavanaugh in 2016, whom we allowed to run unopposed for president of the powerful Public Service Commission, which is baffling. (This is why I’ve been obsessed this week seeking candidates for the two positions open on the PSC.)
But it’s an individual and intensely personal decision to be weighed carefully. I’d rather leave a slot open than waste money on a candidate who’s not qualified or serious. I’d rather leave it open than wreck somebody’s life if they’re taking on something for which they’re not suited.
Candidates and those considering a run: Think hard. Consider your qualifications, your family situation, your temperament, your economic stability and your reasons for running. Talk to veterans of past campaigns, your minister, your friends who care enough to be candid with you. And for God’s sake, talk to your family. You’ll be in this together.
If you’re doing it for the money or the recognition, you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re doing it because you’re unemployed, that’s the worst possible reason.
Do it instead because you love your kids, your parents, the underpaid teachers, the women with unplanned pregnancies, the immigrants all around us, and the hourly workers who make your life possible. Do it because you want your kids to have good schools where they learn real science instead of myths. Do it because, when you really look at what matters, you can’t turn away.
And if you look at the things that matter to you and see where you can make our state better, and if you simply can’t turn your back on the needs you can address, then God bless you, you’re a candidate!