There is nothing more personal than running for public office. You open yourself to the scrutiny, criticism, and judgment by others all in an effort to serve; there can be nothing more humbling. With this in mind let us praise Van Turner, Jay Bailey and all the other candidates that have and are seeking to lead the Shelby County Democratic Party during these most difficult times.
Having been a voter since age eighteen I have only missed pulling that lever once and that was due to my intense involvement as a campaign worker which caused me to miss the cut off time. Nothing is more cherished or approached more soberly than when performing my civic duty in selecting a person to represent my values and needs.
My commitment to the Party has, for some time, had me actively working to improve its operations, specifically in outreach. This afforded me the opportunity to work with many of the executive members, whom several I can now call my friend. It has troubles me to see the Party I care so much for, and the Party that holds the fate of the democratic future here in Tennessee struggling.
Why is this happening? This City has been stunted due to political bosses, political machines and an overwhelming number of citizens who lack even the basic understanding of government. This has created a cesspool of political corruption in the form of kick-backs, payoffs and nepotism. This has also created a mind-set that experience and sincere commitment to the public is not a prerequisite to ascending the political ladder. So it's not surprising that our own Party would find itself adrift.
The next chair will need to deal with a divided Party. A Party who's members are distrustful of each other. A Party without a direction. I've spent a great deal of time getting to know the two remaining candidates for SCDP Chair and I can honestly state that they both possess the drive and commitment that will be needed. But we need more. We need a leader that can bring people together under one tent. When I look at those supporting Van I see black and white, young and old. I hear people speaking about building bridges not burning them down. Now more than ever we need a leader that can help us mend our wounds and move our Party forward, united. In my opinion only one person can do this and it's Van Turner and that is why he has my support.