Monday, May 19, 2014

Brief Thoughts on a Shortened Campaign - Corey Andrews and the HoCo BoE

I am going to limit my commentary on Corey Andrews’ decision to suspend his campaign for the Howard County Board of Education to an off-the-top, visceral response.

It was a bone-headed move.

He should have stayed in the race.  Once you are in, you stay in and fight.  I see no advantage to his cause in removing himself from the field (figuratively speaking of course, as his name will remain on the Primary Election ballot).  Given the rationale he stated in his suspension e-mail, he implicitly acknowledges ceding the field to people he refers to as “bad guys.”  OK, let’s play out this line of thought.  If Mr. Andrews truly believes that “the people of Howard County deserve better,” then wouldn’t it be great if they had alternatives?  Oops. Well, look for one of them on the bench, because he opted to stop playing. That is the opposite of a rallying cry.

Perhaps he is hoping his self-imposed suspension will draw more attention to the race in general and all of the recent HoCo BoE controversies in particular.  If that was the calculus, I don’t think someone carried the two.  It just doesn’t work out.  

As I wrote in my recent post on the Howard County Board of Education candidates, Mr. Andrews did not emerge as “one-to-watch.”  I thought then, as I do now, that better choices exist.  Had I been an Andrews supporter, I would be left feeling disappointed by his decision.  As it is, I shrug, shake my head and move on. 

District 13? Coming up…soon.

Stay tuned, as more will follow.


  1. There is no "cause." After discussion with some current Board members, I've learned that people who have gone against the grain on this Board have risked their personal and professional reputations.

    That is not a risk I am willing to take.

  2. Corey,

    First, thanks for the comment. Second, I will share with you what I shared with someone else who questioned the intent behind this post:

    "Regarding the assessment [my initial post on this topic], i am coming from the perspective that suspending a campaign is rarely a good idea. The candidate who does this often regrets their decision. If he decides to run again for some future office, voters/donors/others are going to wonder, "does he have what it takes? he quit once already." He had other choices: he could have stayed in the race, he could have quietly suspended his effort without issuing a release, he could have decided to not run this time around. There are legitimate reasons for suspending, family emergencies. Based on his stated rationale for his actions, I don't understand his rush to the exits. A more cynical person than I might say that he knew he was going to finish poorly so he decided to hang it up early, offering up some High Principle as the reason for his decision. Such cynicism is rampant these days."

    In short, I think sticking it out would have been your best option - particularly if you want to hold public office at some point down the road. Second best would be the quiet suspension. I just have an issue, a priori, with candidates who suspend their efforts without a compelling reason. Risking personal/professional reputation? Perhaps it is a legitimate rationale, but not compelling. Politics can be brutal and if one accepts the premise that there are bad actors out there, i would rather see someone stand up to him/her/them at whatever the personal risk/cost.

    I will take your statement on its face value and from that, I understand why you took the action you did. From a professional perspective, I still maintain you had better options.

  3. Chiming in -- I just want to reassert that I think it is too soon to pass judgement on this. We're not cogs in an industrial news machine.

  4. Julia - glad to see the comment posted. Not sure about your earlier ones you mentioned.

    We all live in linear time, knowing what we know, or think we know, at any given moment. In my mind, the general topic of his decision is fair game the moment he put out an email announcing it. Since my blog is about choices, considerations and sure seems timely to me.

    Perhaps information will come out that will change my opinion. I will write about it then. Perhaps news will come out that will reinforce my opinion, in which case I probably won't write about it because so-what?

    If a second shoe drops, I will say something. But I am not going to ignore a first - and perhaps only - shoe when it makes such a loud thud upon hitting the floor. And a BoE candidate who took such a step? That is interesting to me and probably many of those who read this blog.