Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Difference In Mindset

I found this Jaime Canales flier on my car's windshield the other day. He and his staffers have made the rounds in my neighborhood (El Chacon) at least three times since his campaign started. I can definitely say that he's taking the county commissioner's race seriously.

His Facebook page is a testament to his dedication and stamina. In it, you see his updates where he's out meeting firefighters, residents of different neighborhoods, tenants of the Hamilton Hotel, etc. And that's exactly what he should be doing. Pounding the pavement, and utilizing social media outlets is the new norm in politics.

His opponent, incumbent Sergio Martinez, however, is taking a different approach. He held a press conference outside the County Courthouse to let us know that he's filed complaints against Canales and a City of Laredo employee. The complaints state that Canales entered a polling station on Election Day; also that he promised a student, and his family, a trip for their support. Canales counters that the accusations are without merit, and are the actions of a desperate man.

These two candidates' strategies couldn't be any more different. One is adapting to the times, while the other is exposing his panic mode response. And apparently, Martinez thinks he's without sin, so he's casting stones, all in hopes of saving his troubled character and career.

Apart from some campaign signs, I have seen no effort on the part of Commissioner Martinez reaching out to the residents of my neighborhood. I could be wrong. I definitely don't know everything that's going on in El Chacon, but in a town where political races are determined by a small number of votes, every little thing helps -- Martinez's poor showing doesn't.

His little presser outside the courthouse tells me this: he doesn't stray too far from his comfort zone, the place that houses his borrowed leather throne. His strength and motivation come from his temporary base of operation. It gives him the sense that all is well. Little does he know that his complacency and cynicism will be his downfall.

Some candidates are putting their best foot forward, and others are just flapping in the wind.

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