Democracy in Action

This was not an election that was in my plan.  However, if you love your community and you think you can make a difference then I believe you have to be a part of the solution.  Donalsonville needs a lot of solutions.
There was a three vote difference in the Mayor’s race when the polls ended Tuesday night.  Ironically, I had been saying for a week that I just didn’t want to win by three votes.  Today, the candidates, their families and supporters hung around the Courthouse all day long waiting for eight provisional votes to be validated.  
Provisional ballots are more complicated than this space and time allows to be discussed, but just suffice it to say that “it ain’t over until it’s over”.   Less than an hour ago, more than 22 hours after the polls closed, the final votes were counted.  We won by two votes.
I have been around politics a long time, as a candidate, supporter and student.  I hear of close races from time to time, but nothing can really describe the intensity of the day.  In the end, my opponent and I stood side by side and watched the final three votes being scanned and tabulated.  If one single person that voted for me had changed their vote, we would have been tied.
Democracy can be messy sometimes.  People want different things for different reasons.  Passions run high and you lay yourself out there for compliments and criticisms from people you may not even know.   
This close race and its ending could help our community or hurt it.  It is obviously a divided group of citizens.  My goal has always been to unite and heal.  My slogan was “Representing Us All”.  That is not an empty slogan for me.  I plan to build bridges and bonds that will make this city stronger and better.
My opponent and I have known each other for a pretty long time.  To my knowledge, there was not one single disparaging comment made from us about each other.   Our national politicians can learn something from us about that.
Our small town, divided in many ways, can set other examples for others to follow. We must find things to support that bring us together and benefit all.
Democracy gives us a chance to fight hard and then come together.  We have so much in common.  We want the same things.  We can all succeed.  I’ll work as hard as I can to make that happen.
I have spent my life believing that we succeed only when we work together.  Let’s give democracy a chance.  
o0o
Dan Ponder can be reached at [email protected]

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