This letter is not about partisan politics. The 2010 elections are over. But it is about the importance of having two strong, well informed, and, hopefully, unselfish, focused candidates for every office so we, the electorate, have a choice in our democracy.
Did you see the “Throw the Bums Out” bumper stickers last fall? They represented a frustration with candidates that have been in office too long, who have come to represent one kind of special interest or another. They are financed by people and corporations that want to take from our government and society rather than do what is right. Some of those “bums” want to force their religion on all of us. Others have nothing positive to offer, so all they do is spread lies and half truths about their opponents.
When you think about it, why would anyone want to run for office unless they were going to benefit from those special interests by making money or because they were on a power trip? Running for office takes a lot of time, precious time away from family, church, work, and leisure interests.
But some candidates, thankfully, are not interested in power or the support of special interests for their own gain. They are truly running as a public service just as George Washington, James Madison, and the others of our Founding Fathers did personally and intended for others to do as well. They couldn’t wait to get back to their farms and businesses, but they also knew that a democracy needs patriots — citizens willing to sacrifice for the good of all.
That was the spirit of Elaine Bohlmeyer’s campaign for Arizona State Senate. She took no special interest money. She was not secretly representing any corporations, or power groups seeking access to the Legislature. She simply felt that Payson and the rest of the Senate district deserved an open-minded candidate who had learned the issues and was willing to use her best judgment in the Legislature to do the best she could for the people. She did not tear down her opponent, but offered her ideas for a better life for all. Even the Payson Roundup recognized her for these positive attributes of her candidacy.
Elaine’s husband, Del, also unselfishly dedicated countless hours driving her around this very large district, putting up campaign signs, and supporting her in every way possible.
I hope that more and more thoughtful, independent thinking, and unselfish candidates will come forward to run in 2012. Our democracy depends on it. For now, I wish to thank Elaine and Del Bohlmeyer for her candidacy — an unselfish and very patriotic act.