It’s a tradition for The Gardner News to endorse candidates. In actuality, we applaud anyone willing to put their name forward, especially at a time when negativity seems to rule.
Our area is fortunate to have most seats contested; competition is good and causes all candidates to be well-rehearsed and put their best game face on. Running for an elected position, sitting in a political seat, is not for the faint of heart.
We considered candidates on an individual basis, not a slate. Endorsements don’t judge a candidate as a person, but indicate we believe they have the strengths and temperament needed to best represent the community in the positions up for election.
We endorse Donald Roberts, incumbent, for mayor. He has a proven track record and is forward-thinking. Roberts is able to work with local and state officials, represents Edgerton in a professional way and always has the best interest of his constituents at heart.
We endorse Chris Morrow, incumbent. As with Roberts, he has a proven track record and is forward thinking. He has remained calm during sometimes raucous council meetings, suffered thru negative personal attacks online and in chambers, while remaining focused primarily on issues rather than personalities. Under his tenure Gardner has seen both residential and business growth. He responds to constituents’ concerns in a respectful manner and presents a professional and easy demeanor.
We endorse Michael Blanchard. Although new to the political arena, Blanchard, a GEHS graduate, has served on several community organizations. He has researched issues and formulated opinions. He appears able to debate but remains focused on issues rather than emotion or personality. He is both professional and respectful. He is an independent thinker and stands alone.
We endorse Randy Gregorcyk, who was appointed to city council and served 10 months before failing at a re-election bid. Gregorcyk appears even tempered and professional. He researches issues and has the strength to defend his opinion while understanding the art of boardmanship. He’s not a “right” fighter; he is focused on what’s good for Gardner.
USD 231 BOE
Rob Shippy, incumbent, was running unopposed until Dustin “Duck” Martin announced a write-in campaign. Shippy, who swept in to power and helped oust the district’s former superintendent, has served the district as board president and withstood criticism – although it sometimes leaves its mark. Martin is relatively new to the political arena, although he is well versed in city and school issues. Martin is not a “right” fighter; he’s more of a consensus builder. He has indicated he supports transparency.
We endorse Wes Rains. Rains would bring a breath of diversity to the school board. He’s an independent thinker and able to withstand criticism without rancor. He has the ability to respectfully disagree and move forward. Rains is knowledgeable but also willing to ask questions, dig in and research issues. He’s not a “yes” man.
We endorse Shawn Carlisle. Carlisle has indicated bringing transparency to USD 231 is one he is focused on. Although there has been discussion regarding videotaped (or live streamed) BOE meetings, it’s never happened. We are going to trust Carlisle to dig in, build consensus, and make it happen. Carlisle appears to think on his own and withstands criticism.
While we endorse the above candidates, what’s more important is that you exercise your right to vote. Please research and vote for the candidate of your choice.