No place for partisanship in local races

To the Editor:

In The Union Democrat’s news coverage this morning of the demonstration in Courthouse Park on Dec. 4, you quote Robert Carabas, chairman of the Tuolumne County Democratic Club, as saying that they are planning to run candidates in 2018 for the Board of Supervisors, school boards, and Tuolumne Utilities District.

This attempt to bring partisan politics into local races is most troubling. Supervisors, school boards, and TUD board positions are nonpartisan for a reason. In our rural community, I think we all want the best candidate elected regardless of their personal party preference. In fact, I suspect when we vote for these positions most of us don’t even know the party affiliation of the candidates. These are people we may know personally, and we vote based on their ability and character, not because of any national political party’s endorsement.

In 1989-90, I served as chairman of the Tuolumne County Republican Central Committee. At that time, county central committees had just permitted to endorse candidates for nonpartisan races. I felt then as I do now, that bringing partisan politics into local races is not desirable. I contacted my Democrat counterpart, and we agreed that neither county central committee would endorse candidates in local races.

Politics are already far too polarized in this country. We don’t need this on the local level as well.

William J. Coffill