Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Results and Lessons I Have Learned

About a week ago I was asked to run as a write in candidate for Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation Commissioner. No one had filed for this position so there was no one on the ballot. I agreed to do this and passed the word around to my friends and family. Yesterday morning as I heard the results announcing that Barack Obama is our new president, I searched to see who had won my race. Amazingly, there were 11,926 write-in votes for this race. I looked through the rest of the races and I think there isn’t any other race that had this many write-ins. The local newspaper even mentions that the winner is unknown because they have to count the votes. I find this exciting because I have no idea who else was running as a write-in but I’m glad to see there was an interest in this race. I think it is a shame that no one filed to be put on the ballot for this but I am also to blame because I didn’t check on this either.

When I first ran years ago for this, I encouraged my students to take an active role in their future. I encouraged them to get involved and know what was going on in the world around them. Then when asked, I had to practice what I preached so I filed to run. As a hiker, I am very interested in the environment and the conservation of our resources. Surprisingly, I won the election with 67,000 plus votes and served for four years. I truly enjoyed it and learned a lot from being actively involved. I felt I made a contribution to my community by being a watchdog on how some of our tax money was being spent.

This has taught me a valuable lesson again. Whether I win or lose, I need to pay better attention to all of the candidates who will be running. All of the focus was on the Presidential election, which is very important, but local races are important too. I saw this recently when my city decided to increase my taxes by 25%! Luckily for them, none of the city council members are up for reelection this year, but I promise that this will definitely be in my mind when they do come up for reelection. Many people do not realize how much of your tax money is spent on things until you get your tax notice. 90% of my tax money goes to our school district so I plan to attend more school board meetings. I also plan on attending County Council meetings and City Council meetings more. Again, I have lectured that we shouldn’t complain if we aren’t willing to be involved so I need to practice what I preach. By attending these functions, I will be better informed during election time and I won’t have to depend on all the propaganda and campaign ads that are out there. I will have firsthand knowledge and be able to make my own decisions from this.


Annette said...

Pat - I can't find the results of the election ANYWHERE. Did you win? If not, who did?

I just got an email from a friend who voted for you as I suggested, and she also wants to know if you won!


loonyhiker said...

Annette: I'm sorry to say that I didn't win but if I had known no one filed for it sooner, I would have run a better campaign. Thank you for spreading the word for me.