We need to take into perspective what those running for mayor and city council have committed to in simply running for their offices in the upcoming Jackson municipal elections.
Mayor Scott Conger laid it out in a way in his introductory statement at the beginning of The Post’s Jackson Mayoral Forum at Jackson State Community College last week (which you can still watch on West TN PBS): “I’d like to introduce my wife and thank her for supporting me, but our kids had a soccer game this evening so she’s taking care of that while I’m taking care of this. But that’s what we did four years ago the first time I ran for this.”
Being an elected official – or trying to be a good one at least – requires more time an energy than simply showing up for a meeting or two on a monthly basis.
But for a few weeks or a couple of months before election day, there’s a greater time commitment.
You’ve got to knock on doors to let people know who you are and what you stand for.
You’ve got to show up at every pancake breakfast to let people know who you are, what you stand for and show them you deserve their vote because you can eat more pancakes than them. (It’s very possible I’ve voted for a candidate simply because he or she ate 23 pancakes to my 17.)
Different groups want to hear from you.
Different supporters want to have you at their house or their place of business to put you in front of as many voters’ faces as possible to make an impact and let them know why you’re running and what your plans are.
Then there’s the media and other groups who want to have you and your opponents together for a forum or debate.
Mayor candidates have taken part in at least five forums or debates in the past month with the final one coming on April 13 at Jackson First Assembly Church presented by We the People of West Tennessee from 6-8 p.m. County Commission Chairman Gary Deaton will be moderating, and city council candidates will also have a chance to speak and answer questions as well.
For the next couple of weeks, candidates will more than likely spend a lot of time on the side of the road on North Parkway at the Madison County Election Commission. Voters will pass by them and see their smiling faces, waving hands and possibly get a handshake and one final request for their vote.
And that’s just what we know will happen. Unexpected things happen too when you put competing candidates on the same premises. We’ve had hammers nearly get swung at people in recent years. (It’s also likely possible that I got into a very loud conversation with a candidate for public office in the last couple of years when he or she and I disagreed on a topic that we both were adamant about.)
So while we know the importance of what happens in these elections and the effect they can have on the next four years in the City of Jackson, we also realize the work you’ve done to get here.
Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.