Myth of local non-partisan races

Filed under OPINION

THE DAYTONA TIMES EDITORIAL STAFF

One can truthfully argue that the Democratic Party, since the 1960s-era Lyndon B. Johnson administration, has stood for issues of importance to Black Americans in recent decades, including voting rights and affirmative action – issues that the party of Abe Lincoln, the Republican Party, fought.

Yes, Blacks are grateful for Republican President Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation, which (at least on paper) freed Blacks from hundreds of years of slavery in America.

But the real question to Republicans from Blacks is, “What have you done for us lately?

One can also truthfully argue that the Democratic Party, which assumes that Black Americans will never vote for a candidate put forth by today’s Republican Party, has taken the Black vote for granted. Democrats should know that Blacks could still choose to vote for a third party – or not vote at all.

There are differences
We all know that there are substantial differences between the two major parties.

For example, Republicans John Mica and Sandy Adams were chosen to represent Volusia County in Congress, but they have consistently voted against many initiatives supported by the Obama White House that would clearly have benefited Volusia – a county that has more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Voting for a candidate because he or she is Republican or Democrat shouldn’t matter when it comes to local politics, but unfortunately this is a myth that needs to be debunked.

The majority of those sitting on the Daytona Beach City Commission now are “trickle-down” Republicans who support a budget that again calls for cutting property taxes – which leads to cutting city jobs and cutting city programs. They say lowering taxes will attract more people to live here, that businesses will open up or relocate here, thereby creating more jobs.

City leaders should wake up. ‘Trickle down’ economics has never worked throughout the country and is not working in Daytona Beach.

Providing social and recreational services to low-income seniors and high-energy youth are not expenses; they are investments that improve the quality of life of all Daytonans.

When such services are provided by the city, the city DOES create jobs. And a city job is still a job that feeds families.

It’s a myth
In the Volusia County District 2 Volusia County Council race between incumbent Josh Wagner and challenger Nancy Epps, the GOP publicly endorsed Epps. Republicans essentially gave voters a wink and a nod to let voters know that Epps “is one of us.” That’s contrary to what nonpartisan races are supposed to be all about.

All but one seat on the council is up for grabs. ‘Coincidently,’ a Republican faces a Democrat in each of the county council’s supposedly ‘nonpartisan’ races.

Republicans make an effort to inform their supporters who’s really a Republican and who’s not. However, many Democratic voters, especially Black voters, aren’t aware of the party affiliation of candidates they vote for in these nonpartisan races.

Blacks should know
Three races in Daytona Beach pit Republican against Democrat – the mayor’s race and Zones 1 and 4. Zone 6 has two Democrats facing each other.

The time has come for Black voters to know who they are voting for, what is the candidate’s agenda, and the party with whom they are affiliated. It’s time for all candidates in ‘nonpartisan’ races to come out of the closet. Tell us all who you are with!

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