I enjoy being not being registered with any political party. I like to think of myself as a political free agent, always free to vote for the candidate I like best, rather than feeling bound by party loyalty. As a journalist, I feel like it’s responsible for me to remain unaffiliated.
But today, my civic duty as a voter trumps my desire to appear impartial as a journalist, and so for at least 48 hours, I am a Democrat.
An important local primary is happening today in Bridgeport. Two powerful mayoral candidates – Mayor Bill Finch and challenger Mary Jane Foster – are vying for the D slot on the ballot in November. This primary may well decide the mayoral race. True, we also have Republicans and Independent candidates running for mayor, but the Dems are the dominant party in town, and I felt that to properly participate in this race, I had to vote in the primary.*
I don’t like being affiliated. I don’t always agree with the National Democratic Party. But this isn’t the national party we’re talking about here. For me, local politics is infinitely more important than the national variety. In local politics we’re closer to the government, we’re closer to the politicians and there are fewer of us voting. We’re also choosing entry-level politicians who may or may not go on to state or national office. That gives us more of a voice at the local level.
To use my voice effectively, I felt I had to register as a Dem.
I don’t know if that means that I’m going to remain a Dem until we move out of town. I’m thinking about it – it might make sense to vote in each primary. But I may return to unaffiliated bliss by the end of the week. I haven’t yet made my decision.
*I shant say for whom I voted, because as a journalist who sometimes covers Bridgeport, I think it’s important to keep that sort of thing to myself, particularly in a blog post that will remain on the Internet forever.