Take endorsements with a grain of salt

  • Saturday, October 28, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

Voters need to be careful when looking at endorsements They can be misleading. Many people and organizations don’t even interview both candidates. They just endorse candidates because they know them, without even listening to what their opponents have to say. So they are biased.

Some candidates are endorsed only because they are of the same political party – Democrat or Republican. They may not agree with the candidate on any issue, but they still get the endorsement because of the almighty D or R.

Other candidates are endorsed because they agree on one certain issue – not because they would be the best overall choice. Most often, elections are not really about only one issue.

And still other candidates are endorsed just because they are the first to ask. Those endorsements should carry no weight at all.

So, how do you know if an endorsement is a worthy one or not? You don’t. That is why it is important to look at all the information about the candidates and don’t put too much stake in endorsements.

Also, voters should always be looking for an ulterior motive for an endorsement.

Such as if a Democrat is endorsing a Republican. Check to see why that is. Is it being done out of spite? Why is the D being disloyal to the party? Or is the D really a D at all? It could be because the other party candidate is better, but it might not be. Something to question and consider anyway.

And some people and groups probably shouldn’t be making endorsements at all. For example, should a governing board really be endorsing someone already on the board? What if the opponent wins? How would that person feel knowing the board doesn’t want him or her to be part of the team?

Why would they be willing to risk that for a sitting candidate? Is it because the incumbent always agrees with them and doesn’t rock the boat? Is it because the board is not open to change. We feel it’s good to have different viewpoints on a board so issues are discussed instead of rubber-stamped. Is there concern the newcomer would not be that way. Does the board not want to change because it could make things more difficult? The endorsements may be legit, but these questions do arise.

Also, be sure to look at the expertise of the group making the endorsement. For example, firefighters would be great in helping decide who to vote for in a fire commissioner race. But in other races, maybe not as much.

Consider other biases of a group, too. Such as, a chamber’s endorsement probably means pro-business. If that’s your No. 1 goal as a voter, you should put a lot of stake in that. But if that’s just one of many issues you care about, be sure to look at the entire candidate before choosing.

In closing, be careful reading through endorsements. Try to figure out why it was made. Then vote with confidence for your best candidate. Make endorsements a piece of the puzzle, not an end all.

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