Dec 22, 2006

Livingston County Democrats slowly and steadily climbing the hill

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus political reporter Dan Meisler wrote an interesting, well thought out recap of how the Democrats did in Livingston County in the last election.

I know Dan to be a fair reporter, and I agree with some of the column and disagree with other parts of it. But the most glaring thing that caught my eye was the ridiculous headline, “Baby steps or sleepwalking?” How many reporters have written great articles or opinion columns only to have editors or copy editors write a headline that has nothing to do with the piece after only reading a few paragraphs. I know headline writing is an art, but come on. I can guarantee you no one was sleepwalking in the Livingston County Democratic Party during the last election.

This is the second time in a week the newspaper has given the Livco Democrats some unsolicited advice; the first coming in an editorial that advised us to begin early to find “creditable candidates” for the next election. My answer to that is still the same: we did, and you need to start treating them as “creditable candidates.”

We know we have an uphill battle to win seats in the county, but we are slowly climbing the hill. We fielded the most quality candidates in recent memory, and some seats were challenged for the first time in years. We know that even if we don’t win a seat our candidates are performing an even bigger public service than the Republicans who are actually elected. We are making them accountable to the voters, many for the first time. There is at least one County Commissioner serving his third term who has never been challenged in the General Election, and he got his seat only after putting his name on the ballot when he found out just before the filing deadline that the incumbent could not run again.

It’s tough to find quality candidates to run with the odds so stacked against them, but they know they are making the elected officials accountable to voters the only time many of then are ever accountable, during elections.

Have you ever counted how many times an incumbent Republican is challenged during the primary in Livingston County? Not often. There is plenty of competition for an open seat, but once the Republican wins it’s hands off until the seat is open again. Now, all you have to do to continue winning is have the R after your name.

I agree with Dan when he writes, This indicates to me that county voters are looking at the individual candidate, and are moving away from blind party loyalty. Apologies to Martha Stewart, but that's a good thing.

That’s what we are banking on.

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