Marathon Girl and I live in a small community of about 15,000 people. We like it here. It's quiet, we have nice neighbors, and there are plenty of kids for our kids to play with. You'd think that living in such a small, peaceful community that the local politics would be something that would barely be worth noting. Yet in the three or so years we've lived here, the local political scene has been fairly nasty.
Last week a local political group held a "meet the candidates" night. Half the candidates felt the group sponsoring the event was biased and decided to hold their own event. The result? Two separate events and a lot of nasty remarks about the candidates that went to the other event.
There have been ads in the small, local paper and left on our door advertising websites by candidates and other political groups targeting other candidates and encouraging you to find out the "truth" before the primary elections on Tuesday.
You'd think with such a nasty campaign that there'd be some big, local issue that would cause such bitterness. Sadly you read all the campaign literature or talk with the candidates and there's really not that much difference between the candidates. They all basically say the same things on the same issues. The only difference, as far as I can tell, is how much say some developers will have regarding the future growth of the community. While it's an important issue and one that I do have feelings about, I'm not sure it warrants all name calling and feuds that the candidates have become involved in.
I've lived in much larger towns where local elections were never this nasty. Sure, there were issues or the occasional spat between two people running for office but for the most part people has some sense of decency as they campaigned. I'm always more impressed with candidates that can differentiate themselves from the pack and use persuasion instead of name calling to attract votes.
It's enough to make Marathon Girl and I wish when you voted in the primaries on Tuesday that you could vote for "None of the Above."