I do not have problem with elected officials endorsing candidates before filing has closed. You make an endorsement in your own name. You’re not beholding to a group if you do not wish. Your name and whatever political capital it brings is your own to share or withhold.
Me, I wait for a vote by my membership. That’s my thing. It’s not better or worse than what others do. It’s just how I roll.
I founded an open ward organization where members vote on endorsements. My endorsement goes with the 7th Ward Independent Democrats endorsement.
In the case of the 7th Ward Alderman vacancy and Board President race, my endorsement will come after our 7th Ward Primary Candidate Forum/Debate (7 pm Monday, January 19th at Lafayette Park United Methodist Church) and our 7th Ward Endorsement Election Happy Hour (5:30-7 pm Tuesday, February 3rd at Sassy JAC’s, 1730 S 8th).
That’s how I do it. Some committee people also wait for their ward organization members to endorse. Others do not. Some have ward organizations without members. They exist on paper for campaign finance reporting purposes. There’s no uniform ward organization template in St. Louis City.
Aldermen, State Legislators, and Citywide Officials, of course, are free to make an endorsement any time they darn well choose.
Me, personally, with or without a ward organization, I’d want to see who files, particularly in an open primary, before I made a commitment. But that’s just me. It’s my thing. I respect that other electeds have their own thing.
I feel a need to bring this up because Sam Cummings, who may be a candidate for 7th Ward Alderman, recently Tweeted:
You’ll have to ask him whether he means “be wary” instead of “be weary.”
Sam Cummings does not represent the 7th Ward Independent Democrats. He’s a member but no longer an officer.
Sam Cummings appears to have a beef with some elected officials who have already endorsed Jack Coatar or Chelsea Merta for 7th Ward Alderman. I take that to mean he is either getting in the race or using his ridiculous #NoEthics #NoDemocracy #HiddenAgenda #Corrupt claims as an excuse for not filing.
One of the problems I have with Sam Cummings’ Pre-Filing Deadline Endorsement Conspiracy Theory is consistency. He’s fine with officials endorsing in the Board President race before filing closes. I’m waiting for my ward organization to make the endorsement but I’m not cranky over elected officials already throwing their names behind the re-election of President Lewis Reed.
Sam Cummings also does not appear to take issue with organizations, such as Labor or Business organizations with PACs, who do not wait until filing closes to make endorsements. They get a pass in his novel definition of ethics, democracy, and corruption. As conspiracy theories go, his is not very well developed.
Friday, January 2nd is the Filing Deadline for 7th Ward Alderman, Aldermen in even-numbered wards, and President of the Board of Aldermen. Here is some information on filing for alderman.
As I have said before, I am really looking forward to a robust debate by candidates for 7th Ward Alderman, be they two candidates or twelve. I have no control over other organizations, but I pledge to make sure that the 7th Ward Independent Democrats Candidate Debate is not about early endorsements.
–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman