I won’t be, because for reasons that continue to elude me, my own long-established subdivision — which is clearly a part of West Columbia — isn’t within the city limits. So I have my bucolic existence out here in the county. Maybe that explains why we don’t have sidewalks. It definitely explains why we pay double for West Columbia water.
But I keep getting reminders that you townies are voting today. Here’s my latest text, at right. I don’t know anything about Tyler, or about his opponent. Tyler must have something going for him, though, because my daughter has a sign for him in her yard — although I haven’t discussed him with her. But I have to say it’s distressing to get something about a nonpartisan election — which are far too rare, and to me, sacrosanct — framed in partisan terms. But I don’t blame Tyler, or his opponent. I’ve seen quite a few campaign communications such as this out of Columbia in recent days and years, and its a very disturbing trend, to me.
But what do I know about Columbia, now that I’m not longer paid to keep up with it?
I’m slightly, but only slightly — since I don’t get to vote on these things — more familiar with the contests on my own side of the river.
By slightly, I know how I would vote in at least one of these races, if someone suddenly told me before the polls close that I’ve somehow been annexed into Cayce. Based on very little recent research (but more than your standard name-recognition voter engages in, alas), I can tell you with confidence that in that situation, I would happily vote for Elise Partin.
Of course, I have long been in Elise’s corner, as you will see if you search for her name on this blog. My support extends to our having endorsed her at the paper, back when she was starting her commendable service as mayor. In fact, I see we endorsed her on the same day we did John McCain in 2008. She hasn’t disappointed me since.
I know little about her challenger Tre Bray, beyond what’s on his website. Oh, I can get a little critical about some things I find there. For instance, he complains that the town has been moving informally toward a “strong mayor” form of government (which I would love, of course, especially with an incumbent as strong as Elise)… and then he goes on to make promise after promise using “we will do this” and “we will do that” language. And y’all know I don’t like campaign promises of any kind, particularly ones stated in such definite language. But hey, who listens to me? Everybody does it. Well, almost everybody. I notice Elise’s site is more about what she and Cayce have done during her stint in office, which carries more weight with me.
And of course, that’s the traditional advantage of incumbency. But going by yard signs, Mr. Bray does have a lot of support. I don’t know what that’s about, so I’m holding myself back from assuming it’s just the revanchist sentiment of Cayce’s old power cliques, which have never fully adjusted to Elise. I just don’t know. Maybe some of y’all know.
Meanwhile in West Columbia, I know… even less. I know Iiked Tem Miles quite a bit years ago when I interviewed him for the seat representing my House district. But I liked Micah Caskey more. Beyond that, I know pretty much zip. Let me vote right now, and I’d back him — because I know a little about him, and it’s positive. But I have to admit that’s based on just a little more than name recognition.
I trust that if you live in West Columbia — or Cayce, or Columbia — you can do better. So please, get out at vote. There’s not much time left, so I’ll stop typing now…