Election day will be here before you know it, and with that, comes your responsibility to make the most informed decision possible when voting for a candidate. How we all come to our decision can vary greatly, from exhausting research, to throwing a dart at your ballot. Somewhere in the middle is the vast majority that vote by going with their gut and voting for the candidate they like.
My observation does not reflect on national office-seekers. Let’s steer clear
of that cauldron of mess, where Federal elections have morphed into a lab experiment gone wrong. As we have been witnessing, there is seemingly no rhyme or reason to that chaos and the “children in the nursery” are throwing tantrums and all but threatening to take their toys and go home if they don’t get their way. For that reason, let’s concentrate on local elections.
As I see it, the secret sauce to winning an election is to be likeable. Whether you’re an incumbent or challenger, people better like you or you’ll have about as much chance of being elected as I do of playing in the NBA. Being liked contributes to trust and if you don’t trust your elected official, you aren’t going to support them. Election time is where the ability to sell is put to the test. The candidates need to sell themselves as much as, if not more than, the platforms they are running on.
Most folks are too busy or frankly don’t care enough to delve into people they don’t like. The voter who takes the time to drill down into each issue, scanning the voting record of each incumbent and the background of all the challengers, is about as common as a smoggy day in Lake County.
Where do you find the recipe for this secret sauce to make a candidate likeable? It seems you either have it in your cookbook or you don’t but let me give this recipe a shot. Here are my ingredients for the secret sauce called likeability. Number one is know what you don’t know and admit it. Know-it-alls are not likeable; they were the kids that seemed to talk forever and say nothing, causing you to exhale loudly when they finally left the room. Number two, don’t blame others, we know it’s broke, just let us know what you will do to fix it. Number 3, and maybe the most important ingredient, smile and be nice, no one wants to vote for the candidate that always looks like they just got a speeding ticket while sucking on a lemon.
You may be asking, what happens if there are two candidates vying for the same position and you like them both? It can happen and I recall that a couple of years ago and I was truly stuck. So, I did what I thought was the best solution to my dilemma, I made a pot of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table with my laptop and searched Google for the nearest store that carried darts.
Exercise your right everyone and don’t forget vote.
2019 President, Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Owner, North Bay Merchant Services
Joe Casteel is a 20 year veteran of the Electronic Payment industry and moved his business to Lake County in 2006. A proud member of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and current President, Joe and his wife Jacie have called Lake County their home since 2001.