The local June election is over, and we have new faces in local government. That’s how our system works. The people choose their elected representatives, and we move on from there. No clear-headed person in America should have a problem with that.
Jake Hibbits, the chair of the Lassen County Democrats, issued a statement from the Lassen Dems touting the election of two city councilmembers to the mayor (Quincy McCourt) and the mayor pro tem (Thomas Herrera) seats at city hall.
While I appreciate Hibbitts’ fervor and his unabashed support of these candidates — especially in light of their support of issues important to Hibbitts himself (with which I also completely agree) — our political parties should not weigh in on local candidates or local elections. Local candidates and local elections are strictly and completely nonpartisan. Always have been. Always will be.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with Hibbitts expressing his personal opinion, and I would forever support his right to do so, but it’s inappropriate for those sentiments to be expressed as the opinion of the Lassen Democrats.
Please. Let’s keep this red and blue, R and D, tribal combat grudge match that mars our state and federal governments out of our local politics as intended when these governmental entities were established as nonpartisan bodies. This is important, and we should never forget.
For those who missed it, here’s the text of Hibbitts’ statement.
“Y’all, it’s official: We have new leadership in Susanville! IT’S OFFICIAL: Susanville is moving forward in the right direction!
“The past month has felt like a whirlwind of emotions. But today, I cannot stop crying tears of joy.
“The dirty and downright shameful tactics used by the local far-right religious radicals were on full display this election cycle. The relentless and intentional use of misinformation and straight out lies, intimidation and harassment against candidates who dared to have a vision for the community meant one thing: they were out of options, without a clear vision.
“While there are growing concerns over religious radicals within our community who preach hate toward the LGBTQ+ community, I have hope. Last week’s Pride Celebration in Susanville (a first!) brought out more than 60 residents to Memorial Park despite a(n alleged) hate crime against the community. This event came on the heels of the city’s first ever Pride Month declaration by the Susanville City Council — thanks to the City’s reasonable and inclusive majority.
“This was then overshadowed by the horrific decisions by the US Supreme Court, prompting Sunday’s march for reproductive freedom in Susanville. Since then, many folks within the local LBGTQ+ community have expressed fear and anger over the deeper meanings of these decisions; worrying how it threatens them, their relationships, marriages, families and even lives.
“So while we have mounting obstacles in front of us, for today, I find myself hopeful for Susanville’s future, because as of this moment: Quincy McCourt is Susanville’s Mayor, and Thomas Herrera is Susanville’s Mayor Pro Tem!”