It has been a week now. The results came in, along with my running mates, we lost our second attempt campaigning for our local school board. Just like the last campaign two years ago, I really hate using the word “lost” because that would imply that I had done something to cause that loss. In 2011, I fell short by less than 200 votes out of a possible 50,000 voters because only 11,000 had come out to vote. This year, another off-year election, voter apathy was even more horrific. And it was not just for our side of the campaign, but for theirs as well. So, the fact remains, with 50,000 votes up for grabs, why did only 8,000 vote? And could this have been the year that we could have been elected if a few more people cared?
That’s the hard part for me to swallow at this point. We put every ounce of energy and sweat into our effort from knocking on doors, making public appearances, even doing interviews, yet still less people came out to vote than before. And it is frustrating. We put in the countless hours working on the campaign because we had a mission to represent the people and students in our school district. We were only asking for five minutes of time.
It is hard to believe that one vote can make a difference when it comes to an election such as the president or a governor. But in a local election, this is the election that effects all of us personally and the hardest. The local school board election is what determines your tax rates and the truth is, your local elections have the potential to come down to one vote.
We discovered and communicated many of the things that needed attention in our school district. And we reached as many people as we could. But even as the expressions goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
I don’t mean to come across as cynical, but I would like to hope that the next four years will be respectful ones with the board members earning re-election. But that is doubtful as there has been no gracious acceptance for the congratulations from another board member, who also happens to be of the other political party.
Yes, I think respect is still going to be a major issue come the teacher negotiations next year.