Friday, October 26, 2012


As we grow older, each election cycle seems to becomes ever more tedious.  We read that the two presidential candidates are spending a combined $2-billion.  Well, today we voted so, as far as we're concerned it's over.  WHEW!  We will be even more glad when all the hoop-la ends. Hopefully, it won't be a tie vote.

The Bonneville County elections Dept. was totally swamped with early voters this afternoon.  There were people everywhere--waiting lines, the whole thing.  Four clerks processed voters in one room and then voters went into the rotunda where perhaps 6-8 other employees moved through with assembly line precision.  The Clerk who processed our paperwork said it had been that busy for three full weeks.  She said there a lulls "now and then, but then another busload of people show up."

We've voted early often (not early AND often) and we've never seen such a crush as the polls as we did today.  Usually, it's the oldsters who vote early.  Today, it was people of all ages and the oldsters were at best half of the participants.

Perhaps voting early this time around is a collective exercise in mentally getting it over with.

Twenty years ago, I was running in my last of four consecutive elections, none of which I won.  In the 1992 election I was running for Yavapai County Supervisor.  I knew going in there was no chance to win.  My only purpose for running was to keep Tommy M. from beating incumbent Carlton Camp.  Carlton was the first Yavapai County elected official who cared about The Verde River.  He sincerely wanted to help everyone collaborate and work together to resolve their differences by forming some sort of broad-based organization.  I knew if Carlton lost, efforts to preserve the Verde River would be seet back into the Dark Ages.  No one has ANY doubts whatsoever that Tommy M. would have been totally against ANYTHING pro-active on behalf of the Verde River.  We had been singularly instrumental in getting Tommy and his Bubba Boy Buddies out of the Verde River instream sand and gravel mining operations, thereby earning Tommy's everlasting enmity.

The fact that I was running to keep Tommy from winning only rubbed salt in those festering wounds.  It was quite the arduous, tiring election process.  After three prior losing elections, I really wasn't in any mood to run again in 1992 but felt I had no choice.  Whenever you run in an election, you really have to act like you plan to win, even if you know you won't.  It's a strange charade.  It's not easy.  It's just plain old hard work.

Well, I gave it the best effort I could and got somewhere around 5000 votes--can't remember the exact total.  Anyway, in the strange calculus of elections, those "in the know" had no doubt I succeeded in my goal and prevented Tommy from pulling off a narrow upset victory over Carlton.

In hindsight, it was the right thing to do and I am proud to say I stood up and did it.  However, after that last election 20 years ago ended, I wanted nothing ever again to do with running for elected office. Looking back, it seems so strange to me that I was actually almost a career political in that past life long ago.  How odd.

Anyway, my heart goes out to all the candidates who have to travel those rough partisan paths in this day and age.  I know from personal experience just how difficult the whole process is on an individual level. When it's over, it leaves you completely and totally mentally exhausted.

Many Cheers!  jp

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