I checked out George Barner’s Facebook page tonight to see if he had yet posted an explanation for why he filed at the 11th hour to run for county commission. So far nothing. That strikes me as strange for a serious candidate.
So what’s up with George? One theory is that he needs a gig. That doesn’t sound to me like a terribly compelling rationale. When you look at the enormous cost, effort and risk involved in a serious run for county commission I can think of a lot easier ways to find a decent job.
Another rationale is that his mission is to split the Democratic-leaning vote with Karen Rogers as a means of protecting incumbent Cathy Wolfe. Perhaps, but such a gambit could easily backfire. In addition, given all of the hassles of running even a half-hearted campaign, that’s an awfully big favor to do for a fellow politician who happens to hold your old job.
I don’t know George, but based on my general sense of career politicians I wonder if he wants to relive the glory days of being a county commissioner. Electoral politics can be mesmerizing — and even addictive. People who aren’t well grounded can disappear into the vortex of the political realm.
It happens all the time. Earnest people go into politics saying that they’ll only serve a term or two but end up sticking around until they are pushed out — or die in office.
Of course, one could argue that George is already an elected official. Yes, but being a port commissioner doesn’t have anywhere near the power of a county commissioner.
I hope George knows what he’s doing. I hope that his credo is “do no harm.” And I hope that he is grounded enough in his own sense of identity that he knows when to leave the public stage.