No election cycle is complete without checking out the action over in the City of Manassas. Their elections are often more interesting than those in Prince William County. Let’s do a little snooping across city lines!
Every election cycle, candidates lay out their platforms for voters to consider. If you look closely, you will notice that their issues are quite similar. There is no difference in the Manassas City elections this year. You will hear all candidates talking about what is basically the same issues which are:
-supporting great schools
-transparency in government
-supporting police, fire and rescue personnel thus creating safer neighborhoods
-Encouraging economic development and creating new jobs
Up and down the election board from President to Congress to local government, you will hear the same talking points on these issues. Sure, some will try new issues to try to appeal to certain voters or pander to their base supporters, but the basic issues are pretty much the same for everyone. So how does a voter determine who is best suited to hold the office they are seeking? One important thing is that incumbents have a voting record. Does this person say they support schools but vote against funding to repair or replace obsolete school buildings? Does an incumbent say they support fire and rescue but vote against funding to replace old equipment? Is an incumbent more concerned with budget and tax rate issues than putting an adequate number of police officers on the street to protect the community?
Newcomers have a more difficult time convincing voters because they have no track record. They must rely on rhetoric and personal appeal. Perhaps party affiliations can make a difference but many voters don’t take time to examine the issues and the candidates and make an uninformed decision. Manassas City faces this problem this year with three incumbents running against 4 newcomers. However, the dynamics are a little different this year because three candidates are running as a slate.Parr, Sebesky and Wolfe running together them the option to link up with Wolfe’s work as a two term council member.. The other four seem to be running their own campaigns with an occasional linking together for certain events. The issue seems to be “what have you done for me up to now and will this work going forward.”
Stay tuned as these events are discussed between now and the election.