Why canít we......have more elected
officials like James Patterson? After retiring from an
educational career which encompassed everything from teacher
to coach to assistant principal to principal, James
Patterson either decided to run for commissioner or was
recruited to run for commissioner.
Although I suspect Patterson had
previously voted Democrat before, he is now the embodiment
of what I used to think the Republican party stood for.
He is such a good elected official,
tending his precinct and the countyís business so well that
he doesnít even have to raise much money to run. Iíve always
said that if you are a good elected official, you donít need
much money to stay in office; you just need to do your job.
The power of the incumbency is such that come election time,
your name is already well-known.
Patterson seems to have political
fund-raisers only during the year when he is running. I
think he gets contributions from those pesky vendors, but he
doesnít solicit them like so many of his commissioner
cohorts. Why, he even turned in a Campaign Finance report
where he had raised ZERO money from January to July.
He also spends little money. He spent
around $5,000, mostly for small contributions and tickets to
various political things. Patterson contributes his time to
so many charities by handling auctions at their
fund-raisers. Heís told me he sometimes has two to three a
WEEK. Thatís his contribution and it is welcomed by the
charities. It also gets his name recognized, but at the same
time he is soliciting money for the various charities so it
is a double-edged sword.
Patterson and I do not see eye to eye on
certain things. He thinks I should print a much kinder
newspaper with good news and no bad news. Iíve said to him,
ďJames, this is not a school newspaper. You donít get to
censure it before it gets printed.Ē He laughs
good-naturedly. I donít think James realizes that some of
our elected officials would run hog wild if they didnít
always imagine a newspaper headline in the back of their
little bitty minds.
I donít usually indulge in such ringing
endorsements of local politicos, but in eight years, I
havenít found much wrong with James Patterson. He may not
walk on water, but he sure doesnít have to wade much.