Tags: | |

Mayoral candidates  Tom Sheff and Jackie  Sequiera attracted a combined 487 votes  or eight percent of the turnout in Tuesday’s preliminary election.  But was their contribution larger or more significant than their results?  Here’s two comments from this week offering two different takes…

From “JHolden”…

Tom and Jackie are sincere Newtonites but why should we thank them for running?
Good people that they may be, neither of them brought thought provoking or illuminating issues to the discussion. Neither of them put on a serious campaign (fund raising or gaining support). The greatest achievement of both campaigns was to gather signatures, forcing the city to spend money on a citywide primary. They wrote a few letters to the TAB and showed up at one debate. Not much investment on their part, the investment was strictly from the taxpayers of Newton. Was it worth it? How did Newton benefit?
Our well intended instinct to thank people for participating is wrong. A candidate who does not make a viable effort, who has no chance for winning, who doesn’t bring a new or provocative message to the discussion, who diverts taxpayer money for the sake of their vanity should be met with scorn not thanks.

A lot of ink has been spilled questioning why Tom, Jackie and even Ted decided to challenge a popular and successful mayor and some of the things they might have said or done differently in the campaign. I’m a strong supporter of the Mayor’s reelection, but I have nothing but admiration for any citizen that will step forward and do something like this. It takes real courage to put yourself in a public fishbowl under these circumstances and all three candidates, whether you agree with them or not, have shown real courage in the past for unpopular or controversial issues they have championed. They have worked and advocated the way good citizens should for what they see as the public good.