I appreciated the excellent and accurate story by James Brooks relating to the Republicans nominating three men to fill the vacant Senate seat. As a lifelong Republican, I could not believe the process that was used, and frankly, am seriously ashamed of my own party.
First, some candidates and/or their wives were members of the selection committee. These candidates were present for the entire proceedings, including the confidential executive session deliberations. This made the process extremely unfair to candidates not on the committee, who could not participate in the interviews of other candidates or the confidential selection process.
The process used allowed the candidates on the committee to hear the presentations of candidates who were not, so they could respond to them. Those candidates not on the committee could not hear or respond to presentations of others.
Second, the voting was unfair. The candidates on the committee and their wives were allowed to vote for themselves. Chairman Glenn Clary tried to justify this by comparison to an election where you can vote for yourself. That’s not an appropriate comparison. There’s a huge difference between casting one vote for yourself out of several thousand, and casting 10% or more of the votes for yourself and/or your spouse in a small committee. One or two votes were a large factor here.
Finally, the Republican Party came across as sexist. None of the women candidates had a spouse on the committee. The party nominated three men and no women. Considering vote totals, at the end of the first ballot, there were four candidates who should have been forwarded to the governor — three men and a woman. The committee held another vote and were able to eliminate the woman. I cannot believe there was not at least one woman more appropriate for the position or more acceptable to the governor than any of the three men.
I am so disappointed in this process that I have changed my voter registration from Republican to undeclared in protest. In the future, I will change back to Republican, because I believe in Republican principles. At this point, however, I am so ashamed of the selection process that I have to register some protest in addition to this letter.
— Kenneth P. Jacobus
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