Last November, my little town held town council elections. Neither of the people I voted for won, and the two incumbents won reelection (there were two separate seats up, so we got to vote for two separate candidates).
In March, one of the Town Councillors resigned for reasons still unknown to me, which triggered a special election. I filed to run for Town Council on Friday, 13 March 2020—the Friday before all the schools in South Carolina shut down and went to distance learning.
With The Virus hitting, the special election was moved from its original date on Tuesday, 12 May to today, Tuesday, 14 July 2020. My plan was to keep it simple, just talking to people and maybe going door-to-door, but quarantining—as well as a good bit of time on the road this summer—prevented that. It also didn’t help that I was cooped up inside for two weeks with a gnarly virus (fortunately, I tested negative for The Virus, but I’m skeptical as to the accuracy of that test).
But that’s mostly me making excuses for myself. I could have done more. I did talk to my neighbor and a few other folks. One older man approached me while I was loading my car up one morning and complained about a house with caged pit bulls in the backyard; he wanted me to introduce an ordinance banning pit bulls “when you get elected.” I’ve actually given that a great deal of thought, and might explain my thinking on that proposal in a future post. It will certainly become more relevant if I get elected.
As for the campaign, I resolved to spend $0 campaigning. I didn’t do any fundraising, or even funded anything myself (other than spending $31 for the filing fee). There’s no need to spend scads of money in a local election in a town of approximately 950 people. Public office should be attainable to anyone, especially at the local level, and I want to see if that’s doable.
I did, however, create a small (free!) Facebook page eight days ago. I wrote a short post explaining my vision for the town:
My basic pitch: Lamar is centrally-located in a rapidly growing part of South Carolina. Working families, especially young ones just starting out, are finding it more difficult to buy homes in the larger neighboring municipalities. Lamar is well-positioned to welcome those young families with friendliness, affordable real estate, low taxes, and proximity to the three large towns in the area (not to mention two Interstates).
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