Ok, we were not on today’s ballot, and before the night is over, someone, either Micheal Beardsley, Matt Boor, or Jessica King, will be declared the winner of the Democratic partisan primary for the right to oppose incumbent Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman in November, But we won too.
Why? Because we had three diverse and outstanding candidates from which to choose. Beardsley, Boor, and King, while clearly Democrats, offered us choices. They gave us options and for that we should be grateful.
Running for office, particularly today given the highly partisan divide that dominates our political environment, is not for the faint-hearted, It requires an amazing amount of time, energy, and unfortunately, money. It also helps to have a strong support team, something that for new candidates, is difficult to develop.
It also requires a thick skin because once you announce, you are a public figure. Of course that can work both ways, but as a candidate you need to be prepared to see and hear things about you personally and politically that will leave you shocked and even defenseless. Welcome to the world of politics in 2020.
As Dems, however, we were presented with three candidates who took the high road, who did not denigrate or attack each other. How refreshing.
Beardsley, Boor, and King also presented us with differences that ultimately helped us decide which one would receive our support.
Beardsley, from Oshkosh, was a newcomer and this was his first try for elective office. He represents the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party,. Boor, from Cleveland, just outside of Sheboygan, probably worked the hardest of the candidates to gain visibility and traction. Although he too was a first-time candidate, he made it a point to attend and participate in any gathering within the district where there were votes to be had.
King, an attorney from Oshkosh, started with an advantage: she had existing name recognition as a former Wisconsin State Senator and a former member of the Oshkosh Common Council. Accordingly, her campaign reflected this experience. She also has a strong personal story to tell, having overcome challenges that would have humbled lesser people.
So regardless of who is declared the winner of the partisan primary, we, as voters, were the true winners.
Thanks to Michael, Matt and Jess for making this happen.