May 24, 2012 —
This year is a big year in national elections, but for local offices, most voters may feel they can take a breather when it comes to political organizing. But there are generally a few exceptions, and they can make a big difference. One of them this year is in Tusten.
Because Supervisor Carol Wingert was a councilwoman when she ran for office and won, her seat became vacant as soon as she assumed her new position. Under town law, the board is empowered to appoint someone to fill such a vacant seat, and it did: Andrea Reynosa. However, Reynosa will occupy that seat only until the election in November, when the individual who will hold the seat for the remaining year of the term will be chosen by the town’s electorate.
There will be an extra twist in this race because last year Reynosa ran on the Rural Heritage line, after failing to get the Democratic caucus’s endorsement last June. Interestingly, even so, she garnered 192 votes in the general election, trailing Norman Meyer (who won a seat) by 10 votes, and leading Democratic candidate J.P. Lang by 42 votes and Republican candidate Ned Lang by 9.
Though the general election is not until fall, summer—typically June—is when the political parties select candidates, and that could make a big difference in what happens this November. Will the Democrats embrace Reynosa, or choose another candidate, splitting the vote? Will the Republicans endorse Ned Lang again, or endorse somebody new, or will more than one Republican decide to run?
It is not The River Reporter’s policy to endorse any particular candidate, but it is our policy, indeed our duty, to remind citizens that their active engagement is critical. This year, the Tusten race is one in which residents of all political stripes should be paying attention to the process, not just in November, but over the next month or so. The Town of Tusten Republicans will be meeting on June 5 at 7 p.m. at the Tusten Town Hall. As of press time, the dates of the Democratic caucus had not yet been set. But 10 days public notice is required, so keep your eyes on the pages of the newspaper if you want to participate.
We often hear people complain that they have to hold their noses and vote for the lesser evil in November. If that sounds like you, here’s a remedy: pay attention to the summer selection process, attend any meetings of the party in which you are registered, and exert your influence on the choice you will have in November.