On June 10 this past summer, I received a phone call from my father, Bob Wilcox.
He called to tell me that he had officially filed to run for Edmonds City Council, and that he’d appreciate it if I could come home for the summer to help out with his campaign. As a senior in college majoring in public relations, I jumped at this opportunity to gain real, hands-on, experience as his campaign manager.
With a belief in the need for public officials who are not merely building a resume, I was excited to work with my father on a daily basis. While his decision to run for city council allowed me to gather information and insights daily, it also forced me to dive into an arena by which I had only ever observed from the surface.
From doorbelling to emails I found the response from those who got to know, or have known, Bob Wilcox was clear; we need to elect individuals with his character and common sense in Edmonds. Along the way I realized that what we too commonly receive from our representatives lacks precisely that. I also found out why that is.
It was from the beginning that my father insisted we run a completely honest, positive campaign promoting what he would bring to the council, and I agreed. We would do this without the name-calling or spreading of misinformation that is the tried and true approach in today’s political arena.
It should be noted that, through documented public records, I found ample opportunity for us to use actual evidence in combat against the purposeful spread of spin that was being used against my dad. Despite the proven effectiveness of negative campaigns across all levels of American politics, this is a cowardly approach, and one my father made clear he would have none of.
Objectively considering this method has led me to believe that be it corporately funded or individually devised, this is an epidemic which will continue to prevent the best representation of our communities for as long as we idly accept it. In this case, I fear we have followed through with stagnant repetitiveness.
To summarize, I hold my head high as I consider the differences between our campaign and many others. On a relatively miniscule scale, we were a difference I wish to see in the future of American politics. I have discovered an election might be viewed as war; with its battles consisting of open forums, mail pieces, written statements, etc. Respectively, the strategies used will represent and determine the leadership and character of a given side’s candidate.
I can proudly say I fought on a side that represented an honorable leader, by and for Edmonds.