In the most recent race for State Senator of Legislative District 5 (LD5) our local candidate Elaine Bohlmeyer was paired against the incumbent, Sylvia Allen and was defeated rather easily, mostly through lack of support from the hometown voters.
I’m wondering how many people of Payson really know the boundaries of LD5. It is the largest voting district in the state geographically and includes five (5) counties; approximately 100,000 registered voters, is 300 miles by car from the northwest corner to the southeast corner and includes Payson, which has the largest population of any community in the district. This could give Payson the ability to sway and control elections.
I spoke with Elaine after the election and she said losing was not so bad, but to learn that she did not carry a single voting precinct in Payson, including Precinct 5, the precinct she lives in, was not only disappointing, but most hurtful.
I’ve been a friend and neighbor of the Bohlmeyers for six years of the 14 they have lived in Payson. I don’t know another person in the town of Payson, who is more capable, caring, giving and dedicated to the support and improvement of this town.
Elaine is currently the president of the Democratic Women of Rim Country, is very active in her church and has volunteered thousands of hours in support of local organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Payson Community Kids, Time Out Shelter, Payson Public Library, etc.
Bohlmeyer like several other excellent candidates lost for the wrong reason, people didn’t vote against them, they were voting against our president.
I know we have and have had excellent candidates from all parties — Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, etc. — however, we don’t always elect the best or most qualified candidate. It seems like we spend the majority of our energy supporting the party we belong to rather than getting to know the values, character and capabilities of all our candidates.
Our own state is a prime example: for the past 40 years our state Legislature has been dominated by Republicans and look at the mess our state is in. For years we have attempted to balance the budget on the backs of our kids, and what has it got us? Arizona ranks 49th in our country in funding public education.
This is just not acceptable.
I am personally disgusted and embarrassed to live in a community that does not recognize and support extraordinary efforts and dedication of individuals living here. To my knowledge, no candidate from Payson has ever been elected to the Arizona State Legislature. Will Payson ever support and elect one of its own?