Is the Brevard talent pool exhausted by good political candidates?
We started our candidate interviews this week on Bill Mick LIVE. We cover two County Commissions, three school boards and two Florida House district contests.
In total we invited 20 candidates to appear to discuss their candidacies and the role they see for themselves in case they are elected. I do not invite write-in candidates, even in the general election.
As of this writing, nine of the candidates will not be appearing on the show.
Campaign ads can be costly. The captured media is entertained by an experienced candidate or elected official. Interviews like this and forums like that hosted by FLORIDA TODAY only require one candidate’s time and at no cost. However, almost half of the opportunities offered will not be accepted by the candidates.
Only one turned down the opportunity because of an earlier promise.
What about the others? Crickets.
Some did not respond to the email invitation. It went to the address provided by each on the Supervisor of Elections website. Candidates in the House only listed phone numbers to contact them. I left messages for those who did not answer the phone (three out of four). One returned the call and, like the one I spoke to directly, agreed to appear.
I find it strange that the two County Commission candidates in District 4 do not have contact information available on the SOE website. All other commission candidates have readily available information. For cases like this, I posted the invitation and schedule on my website and announced on my show where it was located. However, there was no word from these two candidates.
One has to wonder how serious their campaigns are.
That leaves six candidates not tracking their email, not responding to it or indifferent to the free opportunity to reach voters who, if I judge my audience correctly, are members of the participating voter.
In other words, they vote. Veteran candidates will not miss this opportunity.
If a candidate does not respond while campaigning, are they likely to be accommodating when in office? It’s hard to imagine. Are they new? Not all of them. Don’t they understand campaigning? That is possible. are they arrogant Maybe. Or, maybe, just maybe, we have run out of dedicated, high-quality candidates willing to serve.
Who can blame them? Our political environment is toxic. Campaign attacks and lies are common rule of the day. Character killing is common. Who wants to subject their family to that?
The ideal candidate is one who understands these positions are about serving our community. I wonder how many of these candidates actually understand this. My hope is that our interviews and forums will help us find out.
Every viable candidate (and perhaps some not) has a chance to emerge. To them the call. They can appear and reach our audience if they choose. If they don’t, someone might tell us that too. Let’s see what they say after the ball is in the voters’ court.
I feel sometimes that those who enter the field of politics think it’s like driving. They can drive; that is why they must be on the pole in Daytona. Politics is a game that must be learned. There is a science to winning here and to conveying the message. Because of what I’ve seen these past few years, I’m wondering if there’s an unexcused talent pool.
Bill Mick is program director and host of “Bill Mick Live” on WMMB-AM. Read more at billmick.com. Support local journalism and become a subscriber. Visit floridatoday.com/subscribe.