Once again, I’m the only leg of the Triumvirate stool with the cojones, Tracy’s gender not withstanding, to publicize who I’m supporting for office in 2008. [Harumph! However, see my final comment below.]
I’m inclined to be even less issues-oriented this election than in the past. Leadership, transparency, citizen engagement, and collaboration are more than ever the characteristics I’m most looking for in candidates.
Northfield Mayor: Mary Rossing. I think both Mary and Paul Hager would serve the city well. I lean towards Mary because I think her more extroverted personality will help to more quickly restore confidence in city hall among the citizenry, engaging us and inspiring us after the tough years we’ve had. Her willingness to participate here on LG over the past year and then to become a blogger for her campaign are also pluses, as it indicates that a demonstrated belief in transparency and engagement.
Northfield Council, 4-year At-Large: Dana Graham. I think both Dana and Kris Vohs are capable. I lean towards Dana, as I think he’ll be more engaged with the citizenry. Kris has had many years on the Council and hasn’t held many Ward meetings or made use of the internet to make himself and knowledge of the issues more available to citizens. This was sorely needed in the past 18 months of controversy.
Northfield Council, 2-year At-Large: Lynn Vincent. I like her leadership experience in the non-profit and volunteer sector.
Northfield Council, Ward 2: Betsey Buckheit. (I can’t vote for her since I’m a Ward 4 resident.) I’ve been impressed with both Betsey’s and Jerold Friedman’s participation here on LG. Betsey’s deep public policy experience here in Northfield, especially as a member of both the Charter and Planning Commissions, make her the stronger candidate. I hope Jerry continues to get more involved in civic affairs.
Northfield Council, Ward 3: Erica Zweifel. (I can’t vote for her since I’m a Ward 4 resident.) I like Erica’s experience as a member of the Environmental Quality Commission and now as a charter school board member… not to mention her willingness to engage citizens via the internet via her blog. I’d like to see a longer track record of serving on boards and commissions and other civic engagement by Don McGee to know whether he’d make a good councilor.
Northfield School Board: Diane Cirksena, Rob Hardy, Anne Maple, Ellen Iverson. They have demonstrated a deeper knowledge of the issues than the others, plus a willingness to use the internet to engage citizens.
MN House 25B: David Bly. David’s very accessible — a blogger since 2003 — and I think represents Northfield’s left-of-center constituency quite well. I’m more of a moderate but Tim Rud’s been running too much on a social conservative values platform.
U.S. House of Representatives, MN District 2: John Kline. I was persuaded by the Strib’s endorsement of Kline over Steve Sarvi. We need more moderate Republicans in Congress and he’s been becoming more moderate/independent over the years.
U.S. Senate, MN: Dean Barkley. The partisan rancor of the Norm Coleman and Al Franken campaigns has been hard to take. I know Barkley’s not likely to win but I still think he’d be a more effective Senator… plus a reasonable check-and-balance on a legislative branch dominated by Democrats.
U.S. President: Barack Obama. Conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks first wrote about Obama’s personal and leadership strengths in October of 2006 and that intrigued me. Once I read Audacity of Hope over a year ago, I became more convinced of his ability to lead the nation in a way that we’ve not seen in my lifetime. Brooks’ column two weeks ago spoke to it again.
As for cojones, if I actually wore a hat in which I actually did real community work like Ross and Tracy have done over the years and continue to do, I wouldn’t publicize my candidate picks either.