Up & Coming Weekly

November 04, 2014

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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NOVEMBER 5-11, 2014 UCW 5 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM THIS WEEK WITH MARGARET Serving Fayetteville Over 50 Years! 484-0261 1304 Morganton Rd. Mon-Sat: 6am-10pm Sun: 7am-2:30 pm Banquet rooms available up to 100 guests Book Your Banquet & Holiday Parties Early! Family & Business Groups Welcome! Contest&RequestLine: 910-764-1073 www.christian107.com KeepingtheMainThing...theMainThing. visitusonline FocusontheFamily 20Countdown Magazine Adventures in Odyssey As I write this column, we do not know the outcomes of the 2016 mid-term elections. By the time you read it, though, we will know who was elected to offices ranging from the United States Senate to the Cumberland County Soil and Conservation Board. Some of us will have followed the election results with family and friends. Some of us are delighted, some of us are sad and more than a few of us are thoroughly disgusted both by the process and by at least some of the outcomes. All of us are probably relieved that this particularly vicious campaign season has passed and that our mailboxes and televisions can return to their pre-election states, but not, unfortunately, their pre-Citizens United ones. That relief is especially palpable for candidates, whether they were elected to the offices they sought or not. Either way, they are bone tired and more than ready to have some time in the quiet of their own homes with the people they hold dear. You and I may be sick to tears of the negative tone of many of this year's elective contests, but we have not been the targets of any of those ugly messages, nor have we been out in public day in and day out, month in and month out for the better part of 2014. My initial run for public office, my first election since being elected president of my senior class in high school by the other 46 students, was a learning experience like none other. I realized early in the game that if I worked as hard as I could, if I left no event unattended, no door un-knocked and no possible contributor unsolicited, I would be at peace with whatever the voters decided. Realistically, there were many things in that campaign that did not get accomplished, but I did work as hard as I could, several campaign issues broke my way and I was indeed elected. Being elected by the people of the community where I have spent most of my life was a great honor and one of biggest thrills I have ever experienced. Other elections followed, but like many other life experiences, the first is etched into my memory forever. Throughout my years in elected office, I met people I never would have met otherwise and learned more about my community and my state than I had ever imagined. Candidates may think they know their communities, but they are really just beginning to learn. Running for office; however, is entirely different than serving in office. Elected positions have no job descriptions and few qualifications beyond age and residency. There are no supervisors to pat you on the back when you do well or to point you in another direction when you take a wrong turn. There are only your constituents who either rehire you at the end or your term or fire you and give the job to someone else. Your training is all on the job, and if you are lucky, you might get some advice from others who have been there longer than you have. At the end of the day, you have to figure out how to serve the people who elected you effectively. All things come to an end, and elected service is ended by retirement, death or losing an election, which was the case with me. I would be lying if I told you it was not a painful experience for my family and me, but it gave me the opportunity to spend much needed and wanted time with people I love and who, in all honesty, I had neglected. I understood that politics is cyclical, and that a perspective different than mine was on the ascendency. The other party simply turned out its voters more efficiently than mine did. Leaving public office has also allowed me to travel, and I have now visited five continents, with only Australia and Antarctica to go. And, if I never again have to ask my family, friends and people I do not know for money to finance my political campaign, that is quite all right with me! If you see someone dancing a jig today, it may well be someone who was elected to the office he or she sought. The hangdog folks are the ones who, despite whatever time, talent and treasure they put in, lost their elections. Either way, whether we like and support or disagree with and dislike any given candidate, we owe them thanks nevertheless. It takes courage, perseverance, stamina and money to run for public office in our country, and the people who are willing to do so make our system work. They provide us with choices that many other nations do not have, and that is one of the many blessings of living in the United States of America. MARGARET DICKSON, Contributing Writer, COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com.. 910.484.6200. Reflections From a Former Candidate by MARGARET DICKSON The Mid-Term Elections are over and the tenor in which they were conducted has left many bruised. The winners and the losers are now reflecting on their campaigns.

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