By Grant McGee: CNJ Columnist
A few days ago I dropped in on Clovis Mayor David Lansford’s pharmacy to pick up some drugs. Um, I should clarify, I dropped in to pick up a prescription.
I raised my hand in hello as I walked through the door and loudly proclaimed, “I sure am going to miss you!”
“Do you want me to autograph a souvenir picture of me and you?” he joked.
Mayor Lansford isn’t going to run for the office this year, stepping down after being Clovis’ Big Kahuna for the past 12 years. Six folks have declared an interest in the seat. City voters will decide who’ll fill the vacancy on Tuesday.
They’ll also be voting on City Commission seats and whether or not booze can be sold in Clovis on Sundays.
“You’re in my mayor’s hall of fame,” I said as I walked up to the counter. “You’re a good dude. You’re right up there with the first guy I ever voted for in an election.”
The first candidate I ever voted for was a fellow named Noel Taylor. He was running for mayor back in my hometown of Roanoke, Va. To me he seemed to be a calm, peaceful guy. I don’t know if that was because he was a preacher-man or what.
He had been very instrumental in making desegregation in Roanoke a smooth operation. I had met the man and considered him to be a good dude.
I was so excited that day I marched into the voting booth to cast my very first vote. I pulled the big lever that sent my decision into the giant pool of voters and…
Ah, just like when I had my first kiss or when I got that high school diploma, there was no angelic “Hallelujah Chorus,” no band suddenly appeared to play “Stars and Stripes Forever” or a group of smiling well-wishers crowding around, shaking my hand and patting me on the back.
All I heard was just the low mumbling of everyone at the voting station going about their business.
Oh well, it still felt good to vote.
I get kind of excited over voting. I don’t know why. It could be some kind of “We the people” power thing.
The morning after a national election a few years back I heard an interesting comment from Paul Harvey that I’ve always remembered. He said something like, “We had a quiet revolution yesterday. Americans overthrew their government…” I liked that comparison.
And I think it’s a good thing when someone or something’s on the ballot that gets people excited and gets them to the polls.
In an election we get the leadership we deserve. If a bunch of folks get elected that you don’t like or an issue you felt strongly about didn’t pass, what part did you play in the process? It’s like they say, if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain.
No, you won’t find me talking too much about politics. You know that old saying, “Don’t argue politics or religion with friends.” My philosophy about politics amongst friends is much the same as an old bluegrass song whose lyrics go, “You go to your church and I’ll go to mine, but let’s walk along together…”
But one thing I do rattle off about is voting. This coming Tuesday is Election Day in Clovis. Get out and vote, won’t you?
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: