Last year I ran for mayor. Up against a powerful incumbent, totally unknown and with no political experience, I had no hope of winning. One of the local newspapers published an editorial cartoon showing me as a snowball in hell. So why do it? Why bother? Why not sit on the sidelines tossing brickbats at the people who do run for public office? I did it because I had something to say. I believed (and still believe) that our city needs more affordable housing, better schools for all our children, and a comprehensive, long-range plan to manage our growth. Writing about issues is one thing; getting out and talking about it with real people, in real time is the only way to, well, make it real. Gradually, as I collected signatures on my nomination papers, and donations from friends and supporters, I realized that, while the bumper stickers may have had my name on it, the campaign wasn’t about me at all. It was about the issues and ideas that I was talked about. Just as no one is entitled to run for public office, no one can be forced to drop out of a race, no matter how far fetched or hopeless. Not only is that the way the system works, its strength of the system.
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