Tonight is the night that county delegates will vote on who should finish the term for Dan Liljenquist. I have noticed over the weeks of campaigning – especially in the last few days – that many of the good ideas that have been promised by one candidate or another are being adopted by other candidates. These adopted positions may be talking points or they may be candidates recognizing a good idea and deciding that they are willing to adopt it on its merits (I think it is usually the latter). Regardless of their reasons there is one idea that I have decided to hold the eventual winner of this special election accountable for. Those who have made this promise already are going to be higher on my ballot than those who have not made or adopted this position.
This one key promise is that a recognition that representation is a two-way street. Whoever wins this special election must demonstrate their understanding of that fact by proactively maintaining open lines of communication with their constituents. I wrote about this a couple of years ago and have been very happy to see multiple candidates speaking to this aspect of holding office. This must include them communicating to constituents in asynchronous ways (websites being the most widespread method for this currently) and regularly being available for synchronous public communication (open houses or townhall meetings being the methods I have seen used for this by others).
Just as those who have made this promise already will be higher on my ballot than those who do not, the first and most crucial step that the winner can do to earn my support for future terms – whether I supported him or not and whether he made this promise or not – it to keep this promise that has been made by multiple candidates in this campaign.