By SALLY Y. HAYES
Mt. Pleasant News
The political bug bit me at a young age.
Mom jokes that I was fated to be a political junky, due in part to her. Twenty-three years ago, she attended the caucuses and even the county convention, despite being eight and a half months pregnant with me.
My interest in politics is innate.
Lately I?ve been following developing red and blue races at various levels, from county supervisors to state senate to the primary election for the Republican nominee for president.
According to the current delegate count and the number of delegates still up for grabs, this summer could host not only the 2012 Summer Olympics, but also possibly a brokered Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay in August.
If the race results in a brokered convention, it will be the first one of its kind in 60 years for either Elephants or Donkeys.
The Democrats last had a brokered convention in 1952 and the Republicans were just one election cycle prior in 1948. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1932, was the last candidate to emerge from a brokered convention that went on to be elected president.
But the political races continue, and with the latest Etch-a-Sketch gaffe, I?m curious to see what else may come about this election cycle. Who will misidentify Cedar Rapids as Cedar Falls when visiting Iowa, or who will take to the podium to a song by a disgruntled musical artist that aligns with the other side of the aisle?
Southeast Iowa has already witnessed Dan Dolan, a GOP candidate for U.S. Representative from Muscatine, give his stump speech at the wrong party?s county convention in Albia at the Monroe County Courthouse last weekend.
Reportedly, upon arriving at the courthouse, a staffer on the Dolan campaign asked the crowd if the candidate could speak. Allegedly, when Dolan had finished his speech a man in the crowd raised his hand and said, ?I think you want to talk to the Republicans.?
The county?s Republican party was slotted to hold its convention two hours later at the same location.
Surely, some candidates will be able to laugh off the mistakes like Dolan, who attributed the mistake to a hectic schedule, while others will be scrutinized for misspeaking.
Now is the time to research candidates? stances on issues, before the campaign literature and telephone calls begin to flood phone lines, mailboxes and front stoops.
Currently, Henry County constituents have a fresh batch of candidates along with incumbents in races for county supervisor, sheriff, State Senate and U.S. Representative. Primary elections for any contested partisan offices will be held on June 5.
See candidates, especially new candidates, speak to groups in the community or research previous involvement in the area. Seize opportunities to speak with local candidates one on one, ask them questions and get to know them before checking a box in June or November.