Straight from the Mike…VOICE YOUR CHOICE
Spring has sprung, along with elevated pollen levels and, thankfully, blooming flowers. It should give us reminders that we need to be engaged and attentive. Add to these natural factors, let us be reminded the political season is upon us and we have a number of reasons to be so thankful.
As a voter, elected official and former candidate, I welcome the early primary season. It seems so much better to me than trying to ignite the electorate during the near dog days of summer. Moreover, I happen to be quite impressed with the bevy of candidates offering themselves in this election period for a number of key offices.
You have to admire the courage, commitment, and energy being exhibited by candidates, challengers and many first timers, running for important offices across the board. I happen to know several of the candidates running and I try to encourage them every opportunity I have. It really does matter; as I am sure each one will tell you and they welcome the engagement, as well.
I have to admit that much of my excitement is for the open seat in my state house district. For several cycles, I have been disappointed at the lack of representation the district has received and now I am optimistic about the winds of change blowing with an increased velocity.
Of significant note, I believe more voters are finally waking up and realizing the importance of primary elections. For far too long, some voters have chosen to ignore the primary and only pay attention to the November races. I have long maintained that it is too late, at that juncture. The die has been cast, the choices have been narrowed and many times, not with optimal outcomes for the voter. If we are fortunate enough to have quality choices in the primary election, lets embrace it, and make it work for us, as it was intended by our major parties.
It is my hope that as we proceed through this early voting season, the voter turnout will continue to be ahead of some prior years and stem a steady draft leading to the big vote day of May 24th. By the way, don’t be shy about being supportive of your candidate in any way you can. I can tell you from my experiences, it is much appreciated. The financial contribution, of course, however volunteering and displaying yard signs matter a great deal as well.
We are well aware of the sage that says ‘every vote counts’ and surprises can happen for the underdog. It still seems like just yesterday when I first ran for public office. I will spare you what year it was. My real point here, I ran for the Town of Canton, MA Board of Health against a hometown native. I was considered an outsider, and by some quips, a carpetbagger.
Nevertheless, I happen to know some of the votes I received were because some thought I was Irish, when the dust settled on election night, I had won by 76 votes. One of my volunteer poll workers emerged right after the count in City Hall and shouted out in Polish, ‘The black man won’. By the way, the ‘Townie’ I happen to have defeated in that race was Gina McCarthy, the former head of EPA and now serves as President Biden’s Green New Deal point person. Recently, we just witnessed an 80 to 1 shot racehorse, ‘Rich Strike’ win the 148th Kentucky Derby. An event like that alone should give challenger candidates a similar ray of hope of victory in the political arena.
Let us make the most of this opportunity before us to exercise our valued right and make a choice in the respective races of interest to you and for you. One should not complain, and not take the opportunity to get in the game and vote your interest. We pay for the government that we get and get the government we deserve. As Frederick Douglass so aptly said, “ We may not get all that we pay for, but we surely will pay for all that we get.”
See you at the polls.
Until next time…