Thursday night, September 9, I had the opportunity to attend a candidate forum hosted by the Greater Santee and East County California Republican Assembly groups. The event took place at the Ranch House Restaurant on Woodside Avenue, and included candidates in several East County races. Among those attending were candidates for Santee City Council, Santee School Board, Padre Dam Water District Board, and California State Assembly and Senate.
If you are interested in a report on who the delegates endorsed, you can check out the article on Santee Examiner. This article is actually more on my thoughts about the process involved. My original assumption was that the delegates would listen to the candidates’ opening words, ask some appropriate questions, listen to the answers, and then listen to the closing words. After that they would weigh the merits of the various candidates and decide whom they would endorse. However, from my point of view this was not the case.
First, the candidates had filled out what must have been some fairly long questionnaires that covered topics that sometimes seemed to have little or nothing to do with the offices they were running for. Second, there were frequently no questions asked, or the questions again were seemingly totally off topic. For example, what was the point of asking school board candidates how they would deal with illegal immigration? Finally in several instances the decision of whom to endorse seemed to rest more on how properly “conservative” the candidate was rather than on such qualifications as experience or vision. In one case the small contingent of delegates from one community simply left early rather than take a vote on the one candidate from their area – which, in itself, was apparently their vote.
I assume I am going to get some flack from this post, and some candidates might even feel I am disparaging them or showing a bias toward a different candidate. That is not my intention, although I am somewhat disparaging the process I watched last night. I still plan to write objective articles on the candidates based on questionnaires I plan to send out. These will focus on topics directly related to the offices involved, rather than being generic questions that might not always have a bearing on a position. I feel it is important that residents of Santee know as much as they can about what a candidate’s qualifications and vision are before voting. Please watch for upcoming articles here and on Santee Examiner.