Who should I vote for? This is a question that I am asked and that I have asked of others. Sometimes, we just look to see the party affiliation, or we rely on endorsements and mailers to give us the answers. Using these methods might not net the ideal candidate. The purpose of voting is to select the candidate who will best represent our own interests and ideals, selecting a candidate whom we can trust.
I encourage people to visit VoteManatee.com; this is the Supervisor of Election’s website. There is a tab titled Candidate Information. Each candidate manages their own “Candidate Information” link; they are responsible for accurately reporting information to the public.
This is a direct link to Local Candidates and Committees. The candidates have included their personal phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses. This is the ideal time to test how responsive a potential public official will be to answering questions and concerns.
Candidates must report any money or services they have received; where the donation or service originated from; and how they managed and utilized the donations and services. How candidates spend and report contributions can be an indicator of their ability to manage public finances and insight into who is financially supporting their campaigns.
Contacting a presidential candidate might not be realistic, but contacting local politicians is 100 percent possible. Most local politicians want to provide the public with a personal response to questions and concerns.
Also, attend public meetings and workshops. This will give insight into how incumbents are performing their jobs. My best advice is to research before trusting any candidate with your vote/trust.