Of Slates and Allegiances

Plenty of chatter about the Democratic primary for Johnson County Board of Supervisors has been focused on which candidate is allied with which other candidate(s) (or not), which elected official is supporting which candidate (or not), which candidate supports which presidential candidate, and who represents real Democratic values…or not.

There are no slates in this election.  I am not running with any of the other candidates on your ballot this June 7th, nor to my knowledge are any of the others.  That said, a number of my supporters have made very public their support of one or two other candidacies.  As you travel around the county you will find my yard signs next to those of all five other candidates in the race, as well as next to those of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Rob Hogg, Tom Fiegen, and Black Lives Matter.  I am honored to be in all that good company.

In addition, some of the people who are donating or volunteering to help in my campaign are also doing the same for others.  This is logical, reasonable, and in an at-large race for three seats by six candidates, essentially unavoidable.

I have tried to make my positions on issues well known. We need to stop pouring concrete on farm land, broaden transportation options, lift the stigma from mental illness and take on the affordable housing issue once and for all.  There is much more detail at KurtFriese.com.

Many of my positions on issues are shared by other candidates, and I too have a ballot to fill out in this election.  Thus I have also said publicly that I will be voting for Rod Sullivan and Jason Lewis, in addition to marking the oval next to my own name.  There are many reasons, but not the least of them is that they are, like me, precinct captains and convention delegates for Senator Bernie Sanders for President.  I encourage everyone to make informed choices for themselves.

Which brings me to the topic of who may be representing Democratic values…or not.  All open-minded and thoughtful Americans are welcome in the Democratic Party, presuming that they support basic Democratic values such as equal rights for all, fair pay, support of labor, tolerance and inclusiveness, voting rights, and so on.  I have seen and heard many comments, in the social media and elsewhere, to the effect that one of my fellow candidates was less than forthcoming, at the April 27th League of Women Voters Candidate Forum, about party registration and roots in the Democratic Party.  That is unfortunate, and I will leave it to that candidate to explain the inconsistencies between those statements and the public record.

I am running for this office because of my deep passion for our community, and to help build a Johnson County that is more regenerative, resilient, sustainable and inclusive.  I am in this to put my progressive Democratic principles to work for all the people of Johnson County.

If you believe as I do in responsive government that works for everyone, not just the privileged; if you believe as I do that to go far we must go together; if you believe as I do in the words of the late great Paul Wellstone – that “We all do better when we ALL do better” – then I ask you to spread the word, I ask for your support, and more, I ask for your vote now thru June 7th.