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I support non-partisan elections

I write in support of Councilman Terry Parker’s sponsorship of an ordinance to establish nonpartisan elections in local government. I would like to commend Councilman Parker and the other council members who voted in favor of this change for having the courage to stand up against the political machines and do what is right by the citizens of Hoptown.

As former Mayor Kemp said there are many benefits of nonpartisan elections. None of which hardcore partisans are going to support. Mayor Kemp proved himself to not be a partisan when he came out and supported nonpartisan elections while in office and also by supporting a member of the opposite party for Mayor following his term. Mayor Kemp never voted on nonpartisan instead sought a law change and it is time to call for a vote regardless of the current social distancing requirements that appear to be the new normal for sometime to come.

Nonpartisan elections take control/power away from a handful of partisans who have long controlled the democrat and republican parties in Christian County. Nonpartisan elections allows state employees the opportunity to run for local office. Nonpartisan elections allows the top two candidates chosen by the ward to move to the general election regardless of party. So you could have democrat vs democrat or republican vs republican. Nonpartisan elections opens up what has been a two party system giving third party candidates like independents an opportunity to serve. Nonpartisan elections gives all registered voters in a ward the opportunity to vote in a primary where a majority of local elections have been historically decided. Nonpartisan elections forces candidates to appeal beyond their party base.

According to Open Primaries the result of nonpartisan elections is more competitive races, higher voter participation and a more functional legislature that works more of coalition building than party loyalty.

Rather than focusing on maintaining party control we should focus on further empowering citizens, giving citizens more access, more power, more ability to impact and make their voices heard.

Rusty Plummer


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