BOCC Non-Partisan Elections
By Commissioner Mike Brown
Definition; In partisan elections, the party affiliation of the candidate is indicated on the ballot, whereas in nonpartisan elections it is not.
HISTORY - Non-Partisan Elections at BOCC began at the creation of the new Johnson County Government Charter in 2001 when the electorate voted to change our county government organization. There were many changes however the most important was moving from partisan elections to non-partisan. At the Charter Review in 2011 the Non-Partisan language was retained BY ONE VOTE in a 13-12 tally.
There are only two examples in all of the BOCC races since the Charter was changed in 2001 where the candidate hailing from the larger city did not win. The reasoning for this is simple; in a typical voter vacuum of information a person standing in the polling booth and staring at their ballot has no clue about the names of the two people in front of them but the odds are the person staring at it comes from the larger city and -with no other information to go on - has that in common with one of the candidates on the ballot. Thatís how the person from the larger city always gets elected. In the 2018 election cycle something happened that had never happened before... the state and county Democrat Party interfered in our BOCC Elections - you know, similar to the way supposedly the Russians helped Trump except there is actually proof the Democrats did interfere and here is the proof;
Multiple $2k checks were handed out from the Democrat Party to candidates
Direct mailers were sent by Mainstream Coalition and paid for by the Kansas Democrat Party
Walkers and door-knockers were hired and paid for by the Democrat Party
These things coupled with the Blue Wave that came through in 2018 got two Republican Commissioners bounced. Crossing these historical no-go lines betrayed an understood and unspoken rule that said in Non-Partisan races the party steers clear. When I ran in 2004 and again when running in 2016 I specifically asked the Republican Partyís to stand still and hands-off. They did just that but the Dems plowed right ahead last cycle. Now that this trust has been breeched it can never be undone and the Democrats cannot be trusted to control themselves which mean the Republican Party MUST now engage.
And all of that leads to right here, right now. With both Partyís participatory these so-called non-partisan elections are anything but non-partisan... in all non-partisan means now is in a vacuum of information the lower-information voters will split 50/50 on a candidate from their city while the Democrats have energized and educated their base. This give the Democrats a big advantage - and that my friends is exactly what they will do going forward and itís exactly how they will do it.
Having an R and a D behind a candidates name at least and at a minimum gives the voter some idea about the ideology of the candidate. It gives them a clue about the candidates ideas of government and their personal ideology. And itís a heck of a lot more important than what city they live in... please join with me in educating your friends, family and neighbors. The decision making about our priorities in a $1.267b county budget depends on us this getting done.
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Paid for by Olathe Republican Central Committee; Ted Lockwood, Treasurer