In response to your article, “Fairfax County Democratic Committee Calls Virtual Unassembled Caucus” (8/4/20), the Democratic Party endorsement of Herndon Town Council candidates is unwelcomed by many town residents who wish to keep our elections as non-partisan as possible.
Demographically, the town of Herndon is mostly Democratic, so those candidates who seek an endorsement, and therefore whose names will appear on the Democratic sample ballot, have a distinct advantage since many voters who are not thoroughly familiar with the individual candidates simply look at the sample ballot and vote “party line.” Those endorsed candidates are mostly a shoo-in to get elected. The candidates who seek this party endorsement know this, which is why they do it.
The disadvantage of this, however, is that any candidate who chooses not to declare themselves to be a Democrat, or who chooses not to seek the Democratic Party’s endorsement, is left out of the process and their names won’t even appear on the party’s caucus/endorsement ballot. This means that any other good candidates who are Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or who just choose not to seek an endorsement, will have little chance of getting elected. I recall that we have had many very capable, honorable and dedicated councilmen over the years who were Republicans -- Harlon Reece and Richard Downer, for example.
Also, those who get the Democratic Party endorsement know that they have to do little campaigning in order to earn their votes from us.
Diversity of thought on a town council is a good thing. Councilman del Aguila, who avidly supports the Democratic endorsement process says, "I believe candidates should share their world view.” Conversely, I believe that candidates who choose to serve on town council should have a Herndon-centric view, always thinking of what is best for Herndon, no matter what your party is. This endorsement process is not good for Herndon, but is only good for the individual candidates who seek it.