I was in New York City attending a communication symposium at Baruch College when I received an email from reporter Terence Ward asking about my candidacy for Legislature. He quoted from my answer in a Gunk Journal article:
“With an excellent challenger on a major line, my “mission” is accomplished – I won’t be in the Leg race… Just focus on town issues.”
The decision to not run marks – hopefully – the end of many years of personal sacrifices and vicious attacks against me. The first measurable effect of refraining from politics at the county level was the excellent blood pressure reading taken in my doctor’s office – where usually the “white coat syndrome” sends the numbers through the roof!
A few days ago I participated to a very interesting political training session where it was stressed how important consistency is for candidates – it’s all about “consistency, consistency, consistency.” It makes me proud to have been consistent when running for Legislator and now, when getting out of that race.
To elect means to choose, and – as many of you know – I was “obsessed” by the lack of choice in the Legislative race in our district (former District 1 in 2009, District 21 in 2011, following redistricting).
I tried to offer a choice in 2009 and 2011, when nobody else stepped up as a challenger. In 2011 I stated in Blue Stone Press (June 17, 2011, pg. 8) that:
“My four years of experience in local government provide a solid platform to move to the county level. Somebody truly involved, who knows the pulse of the town, is a good choice for voters. Starting at the local level it’s the natural way. Any of our town board members would make excellent legislators.”
Now when Councilwoman Lynn Archer – who has six years experience on the Town Board – decided to run, I feel my “mission” was accomplished. I offered a choice when there was none, “paving” the way, somehow, for the multiple choice the voters have this year. I can only hope their answer will be correct.
I value local government experience in the make-up of a Legislator and I believe that total lack of such experience was one of the reasons for the many problems we’ve seen in the past four years.
As described by Irina Eremia Bragin (Subterranean Towers: A Father-Daughter Story) “A world without choices would be a world without heroes…” The author concludes: “The hero is a man or a woman who behaves as decently in an extraordinary situation as in an ordinary one.”
I feel that getting out of the Legislative race is the decent thing to do.
I would like to go back on the Town Board to continue working for the people of Rochester. As I said even in the 2011 Blue Stone Press article mentioned above, “I’m not ruling out the possibility of running for the town board in the future.”