When You Can't Attend Political Events, Maybe You Shouldn't Be RunningDemocratic candidate in Tennessee House District 62 Ty Cobb (brother of the resigned incumbent) couldn't make it to a public candidates' forum Monday night and he sent to representative in his place. Was he at some other political event? No, he had to work:
When there is an important constituency event-and this forum can certainly be seen as that-the candidate has an obligation to put his or her potential constituents ahead of his or her work schedule. If he or she really believes that job or family may be too much of an imposition to doing that, then that person has no business sitting in the General Assembly. Many very good Representatives and Senators have left Capitol Hill in Nashville not because they couldn't get re-elected, but because they believed that their familial and professional obligations required them to take their leave, whether temporarily or permanently, of the employments of public life because those responsibilities required them to place other priorities ahead of family and employment on many occasions.
As I stated in the article, which I hope all will read, there is not only no problem with a candidate or legislator who also engages in good, honest work, this is to be encouraged. The problem lies with the reality that you must be willing to place your constituents first, and that starts as a candidate. If your job or family life is going to get in the way of your candidacy, you should not run for office. I have turned down opportunities to run for office for those very reasons, because I understand that public responsibilities must be able to be placed on your front burner.