I spent yesterday participating in two parades in Ogden and Logan for the Jean Welch Hill for Attorney General Campaign – and though I had a blast walking down their respective main drags, I was once again reminded of how hard it is for candidates challenging an incumbent.
You see, time and time again, I have seen candidates told that they can’t march in a parade because they won’t allow political candidates. Ok, fair enough, only problem is they will allow elected officials in and, if they so happen to be running for office, well…I guess they get that exposure too.
Now I understand the importance of having people know who their elected officials are, after all these are the people who make day-to-day decisions that affect the very citizens who are watching the parade. But is it fair that the citizens are denied the possibility of finding out who is running against those elected officials?
I contend that it is not. I understand that the average person watching any particular parade is probably not going to do much research about a candidate just because they saw them in a parade, just as the average passer-by is not going to research a candidate just because they saw a lawn sign or billboard, but this is not the point. Citizens are being denied information simply because parade officials don’t want a certain group of people in a parade.
Parades provide something that other exposure does not – it allows people to put a face to the name in a personal way and may cause at least a few people to investigate further.
In the end the Jean Welch Hill campaign was able to participate in Ogden and Logan’s respective parades yesterday, but only because we were invited by the local county Democratic Parties to walk with them.
Candidates should not have to “sneak in” to parades; if they are willing to pay the entry fee, they should be allowed in.