Last week, I mentioned that the Ventura County Firefighters Association endorsed Bob Huber for Mayor of Simi Valley. I received a handful of comments on the post, some good, some definitely not, but enough to inspire me to look into why this announcement got people emotional. It turns out, there’s a lot to say on the subject.
In past elections, the Ventura County Firefighters Association has endorsed Steve Sojka for Simi Valley City Council. It’s natural to believe they’d do the same for his campaign for Mayor, but maybe not. An organization like them would surely conduct some level of due diligence before choosing a candidate to endorse. In fact, I’m reminded of a phone call I had with Glen Becerra when I had some questions regarding his current campaign for City Council. He had to call me back because he was right about to start an interview with the Simi Valley Police Officers Association — part of the POA’s process for choosing the candidates they wish to endorse.
The Ventura County Firefighters Association did not conduct any interviews. They simply selected Bob Huber as their candidate to endorse for Simi Valley Mayor and they did so relatively early. Another potential candidate can throw their hat in the ring and be well qualified for the job, but the Ventura County Firefighters Association has already made their decision, and they did so without speaking to both candidates or even considering that in this early stage, another candidate can materialize.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that having the support of Elton Gallegly, former Simi Valley Mayor and current U.S. Congressman, can easily help influence these decisions. I realize that’s a bold statement, and I welcome any comments or criticism you have regarding the remark. However, I want to put that out on the table to make my point.
Does having friends in high places make for an uneven playing field in a local election? Honestly, what motivates us to vote for our Mayor? Is it the number of people endorsing the candidate or the caliber of these endorsements? Is it the issues that face our city and the candidates’ proposed solutions? I’ve always been concerned about a general disconnect between Simi Valley citizens and Simi Valley government. I’ve worried for many years that people simply vote “incumbent” or vote for the name on that sign they’ve seen so much of for the past so many months, without regard for our city’s issues. It’s that concern that motivates me to publish this site, and to compose this very article.
I’ve been voting for Elton Gallegly since I could vote. He’s a well respected member of our community and a well respected politician. He has real influence, and has many of his own influential supporters. Though I don’t know for certain, I have to assume that Mr. Gallegly’s influence inspired the Ventura County Firefighter’s Association to endorse Bob Huber. And please note, if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly admit it openly here and humbly absorb some much deserved verbal or written abuse.
The bottom line is that it’s likely I’ll receive more news from both campaigns for Simi Valley Mayor announcing endorsements. I hope the Simi Valley voters can understand that we’ll never fully know what’s behind these endorsement decisions. Your decision on who to vote for should be based on your own educated effort to understand the issues as they pertain to you and who you believe best fits the bill to resolve these issues.