Monday, June 9, 2014

Tom Coale, Democrat, House of Delegates, District 9B

If I've learned anything from my time in public service it is that you need to fight even when you're happy; even when things are going well.  "Fight" is a harsh word, but it's true.  Because those who are unhappy are fighting.  Democracy is a never-ending competition of ideas. The winner is not always who is right, but often who fought harder.  I truly believe in the principles of collaboration and cooperation, but to ignore the fight is to invite defeat.

In the 2014 Howard County Primary Election, I'm asking Ellicott City Democrats for their nomination in what will surely be a strongly contested general.  Based on our ability to fundraise, canvass, and leverage the campaign tools of the 21st Century, I have every conviction that we can win and give Ellicott City the representation it deserves in Annapolis.  I will bring pragmatic, issue-based solutions to the problems we face in our own backyards, from continuing support for our schools to bringing a renewed focus to the environment and local flooding.  I've put out a campaign of substance, often offering more in terms of policy positions than may be recommended.  That's because I trust voters to do their research and vote with purpose.

I'm a proud Democrat.  I will fight for our schools and am the only candidate in this race supported by Howard County Educators.  I will make sure we take on Global Warming as the threat that it is and move Maryland's energy infrastructure towards efficient, reliable, and affordable renewable energy.  I am dedicated to improving the lives of our least fortunate and have proven time and again my dedication to creating opportunity for those in dire straits.  Unlike my opponent, I have always shared the socially progressive values that have made Maryland more equal, more just, and more fair than our neighboring jurisdictions.  I'm also the only candidate who has taken front line positions on things like the legalization of marijuana, because I know that ideology is not what makes things right or wrong.  It is the substance of the idea that matters.

I'm proud of the strong, seemingly unyielding support I've received from progressive organizations and elected officials.  The list of endorsements is tremendous:

Howard County Education Association
Maryland State Education Association
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Clean Water Action Maryland
Equality Maryland
Columbia Democratic Club
African Americans In Howard County
Maryland National Organization of Women
Maryland AFL-CIO
IAFF Local 2000 - Howard County Firefighters
Howard County Police Officers Assocation

Comptroller Peter Franchot
Howard Delegation Chair, Delegate Guy Guzzone
Senate Majority Leader Jim Robey
County Councilmember Calvin Ball
County Councilmember Mary Kay Sigaty
County Councilmember Jen Terrasa
Register of Wills Byron Macfarlane

Every step of the way, I've been evaluated in terms of my ability to represent the principles and constituencies of these organizations.  Every step of the way, they've picked me.  Before this election, I hated it when a candidate would say they were "humbled" by an endorsement.  But being on the receiving end, you understand it.  You are humbled by the responsibility.  The work of our state legislature has significant gravity.  We not only affect those who currently live her, but also generations upon generations of future Marylanders.  Think of that and humility comes easy.

When voters think about me in the voting booth, I want them to think about the policies I represent.  I care deeply about doing the right thing and spend a great deal of time thinking about what that may be.  My goal in this race is to implement and execute the tremendous knowledge, experience, and civic will I've extracted from nearly a year of knocking doors, being in the community, and listening to you.

I put it all out there, for good or for bad.  Those working against this focus have tried to use my own, freely-offered, words to make me out to be a sneak, a liar, and a turn-coat.  I have to trust that when putting everything out there, you gain trust, you form relationships, and you make government into something much bigger than a campaign.

We're in crunch time now.  The three best things you can do to help the candidates you support between now and June 24 are: 1) Work a poll, 2) Make phone calls to supporters, and 3) Vote.  For me, you can also share this post on Facebook and Twitter.

But here's an unfortunate promise - it is likely, if not certain, that at least one of the candidates you support will lose on June 24.  You will be left with the question of whether you did enough, whether you cared enough, to help them win.  And worst of all, you'll have to wonder what would have happened if they did.

We need to fight even when we're happy.  Not out of anger, but out of the conviction that what we're doing is right.

Have a great Monday doing what you love!