Wrong to paint all candidates with same brush
I owe an apology to Rick Adams, incumbent in Place 6. He confirmed his participation at Candidates’ Night immediately upon filing early in the process.
His opponent, Tanya Chambers, who filed late in the process, was the one who confirmed participation 30 minutes before the deadline last week.
Early or late, both will be at Candidates’ Night on Thursday, April 29, on the fourth day of early voting, which starts Monday, April 26, and ends Tuesday, May 4. Election Day is Saturday, May 8.
For future reference, Candidates’ Night is scheduled around four things: School board meetings (second Thursday), city council meetings (third Thursday), the South Texas Press Association’s annual convention (third or fourth Thursday through Saturday of April) and the start of early voting. That pretty much puts Candidates’ Night on the last Thursday of April, and a few days after the start of early voting.
From now on, I’m going to eliminate the drama and ask that candidates confirm their participation at the same time they file for office. That’s more than a full year’s notice for anyone who is considering running for office in 2011. There will be many more notices, and no excuses for not knowing when Candidates’ Night is, or that candidates must confirm participation.
Typically, we run a story about a month before filing begins for city, school and water district elections. Once the filing period opens, stories are published weekly. The stories include all the details about the free statements we offer candidates as well as Candidates’ Night.
If the candidates do their job, and we at the South Jetty do our job, we should have some well-prepared candidates and voters.
However, voters can take it a step further by approaching candidates with questions of their own via e-mail. Under those circumstances, they can ask any question they want, including the proverbial “When did you stop beating your wife?” question and get the answer in writing – well, maybe not to that question.
At Candidates’ Night I can only ask about four or five questions, and I won’t ask a candidate when he/she stopped beating his/her spouse.
So, voters, get after it. If I don’t cover the question you want an answer to, ask it yourself.