Hyperpartisanship breeds corruption. Voters in Monroe County should have learned that lesson thirteen years ago, but we have failed. A letter to the editor last week urges readers “don’t vote for anyone who supports Trump!” So no matter what you are running for, if you support President Trump you should not win.
Here is the problem with that thinking. It is not a one-for-one equation between national and local issues. Local government deals with different issues than the state or federal governments. Many of these issues are brick and mortar issues like paving or plowing the streets, collecting trash, managing the fire department or even something as basic as properly counting money.
That last one is important. People in Monroe County voted for three consecutive county auditors who proved themselves to be corrupt or incompetent or both, simply because those candidates were Democrats. No human resources manager would have hired any of the Democrats running in 2016, 2012 or 2008 over the Republicans running, because the difference in qualifications, character and experience were so vast. If county auditor were a hired position instead of an elected one, the Republican would have gotten the job easily.
Administrative offices should not be decided by party loyalty. They should be decided by which candidate has the best skills, experience, management style and personal character. That a Republican candidate supports Donald Trump does not mean he cannot maintain the county’s documents in electronic and paper copies in the Recorder’s Office. That a Republican candidate supports Donald Trump does not mean he cannot maintain voter rolls, sign wedding licenses, or deal with traffic tickets in the Clerk’s Office.
Get out there and vote, but do not just blindly vote based on party affiliation, and certainly do not vote for local candidates based on national policies. It is your responsibility to educate yourself about the local candidates on your ballot and choose accordingly. You can hate Donald Trump and still vote for qualified candidates to serve in local government. Cast an informed vote, not a hyperpartisan vote.