Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What’s in a Name?

I know of at least two cases where a candidate has declared in upcoming local elections and, in so doing, instantly created a whole lot of positive buzz: for their opponent. I’m not going to name names, but you do have to be “some kind of special” to motivate the public to go out and knock doors for someone else.

Name recognition is a big deal in Howard County, as it is everywhere, I guess. If you’ve got that plus money in the bank I suppose you might think you can sail all the way to victory in the primaries and beyond.

Not so fast.

There are some candidates whose names are well known because the public is painfully aware of what they have done. Or failed to do. And that may be startlingly difficult to overcome when voters go to the polls.

If your record in public service involves dismissing constituents, arrogance, lack of transparency, and a general all-over indifference toward responsiveness to the public, I have to wonder why you are pursuing higher office. It is called “public service” for a reason.

This primary season is certainly going to be a test to see whether informed voters or low information voters make the decisions around here. I’m hoping it’s the former, but there are clearly some candidates who are hoping otherwise.

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