Ted Kingston explains why the early endorsements of candidates by party leaders undermines voters’ faith in the political primary process.
By Ted Kingston | January 18, 2020
I’ll get right to the point. With each and every endorsement of Brigid Harrison, I trust her less and less. It is way too early in the process for these endorsements. We are still shell shocked from the Van Drew fiasco, and I know that I want to be a little more cautious and a little more knowledgeable this time around. We want to get to know these candidates, and party leaders should want to get to know them as well.
It’s OK for party leaders to give endorsements, but don’t you think maybe you should be a little cautious this time? You messed up big time with Van Drew. More importantly, don’t you think you should listen to the Democratic voters? Wouldn’t it be appropriate to consider all the candidates? Don’t you think a little modesty on your part might be in order after what has hapopened? And why the big rush?
Party leaders have apparently missed the point of the last election. Cape May County Democrats didn’t lose because the county is trending more conservative. They lost because in the words of Rick Wilson, “They will crawl over broken glass to vote against this guy(trump)”. The Democrats in the district were having no part of Van Drew’s impeachment stand, and no part of Andrzejczak’s support for trump. Voters have been chanting, “vote blue no matter who”. You were foolish enough to think we would support incumbents voting red? The goal was to throw you out and it happened in short order.
The dust from the last election hasn’t fully settled, and South Jersey party leaders are trying to lead us by the nose where we don’t want to go. It’s not going to happen. Just like the last election blew up on Democrats, and just as the party leaders don’t seem to have a clue as to why, they are trying to take us down this same path again. We will reject it. We will reject it. We will reject it.
I have nothing against Brigid Harrison, she may be a great candidate. I don’t know anything about her. About all I know is that she is a college professor. Don’t you think it would be nice for the voters to get acquainted with all the candidates? Don’t you think it would be nice to wait for some debates, or some forums, or until everyone has announced before we are asked to get on board. Don’t you think it would be nice to see if she can stand on her own two feet, to see if she can hold her own, to see if voters like her. As a party leader, don’t you think you have a responsibility to see what other candidates get into the race, get to know them, see what they are about; then make an endorsement. What if another one of these candidates shows themselves to be head and shoulders above the rest, and you have already made this endorsement. How has that served us?
I’m mad at Van Drew. And now I’m getting mad at Harrison. At a minimum, she is tone deaf for not understanding the cause of the anger in the district. She may be a great candidate, but with each useless endorsement by people that haven’t considered the field, the odds of me voting for her become less, not more.
If she is such a good candidate, then let’s see her stand on her own words, stand on her own actions, and stand on her own credibility. After the Van Drew fiasco, we need a chance to vet the candidates. We need to pick a real Democrat. The party leaders helped created the Van Drew fiasco, and have misread the electorate, and are now blundering headlong into the next election. Van Drew finally realized Democrats were having none of it, but apparently the party leaders haven’t. We reject these early endorsements, they are wrong, just plain wrong. Let the best candidate win the primary, not the best connected.
Ted Kingston describes himself as a lifelong Cape May County Democrat.