Just announced: David Lapidus has decided to bow out of the Dane Co. Board of Supervisors race.
I apologize for taking a few days to decide. The reason it has taken a lot of thought is that my reasons to run are irrational, abstract, and unquantifiable (yet carry a ton of emotional weight), while my reasons against running are very rational, tangible, and quantifiable. Thus, it has been very hard to weigh things in the proper framework, but I have done so and reached a final decision.
First, my thought processes…
The primary reason to run:
Maybe it is arrogance, but I think I would do a dam good job as a county supervisor. Thus, I feel a duty to run and better serve the community, and something close to guilt if I do not.
The primary reasons not to run:
The burden it will put on people I care about on campus who would support me. Some of them sincerely reassured me it would not be a problem (both of the CDs who had kind words for me in CB’s “seriously considering” post included) so it is not because of them, but because of my concern over negatively affecting others who were more unsure.
The opportunity costs affecting my schoolwork, job, extracurricular activities, and social life next semester.
The opportunity costs of not getting my preferred summer internship (which may not be in Madison) next summer.
The opportunity costs of not serving in the military and getting the job I want immediately upon graduating college (since doing these things will not allow me to stay in the Madison area for one year after college, while serving on the board).
The alternatives to running will still allow me to serve the community, although perhaps to a lesser extent. I will still be active with Vets for Vets and People Opposing Prejudice and I am exploring ways to get more involved at the county or city level of government irrelevant to running or not.
The electability factor… would it be worth all these guaranteed costs to try win something that might not even be possible to win? This factor does not concern me too much having thought out all the possible contingencies, but it was still a major part of my analysis.
While my reason to run is significant and carries a ton of “gut instinct” weight, the reasons against it, after A LOT of thought and self-reflection, are too many. Although I would love to campaign for and be the fifth district’s next county supervisor, the costs outweigh even the tremendous passion I have for the position. Therefore, I will not be a candidate in next spring’s election for the county board.
In light of this fact, I am open to meeting with any potential candidates in the race as a resource on what campaigning to win requires and what knowledge of policy is necessary to understand county issues. Otherwise, if time allows, I intend to pursue at least some of the following campus projects next semester:
-starting a value investing club
-starting a military history/appreciation for veterans club
-working on student veteran’s issues at the campus and state level with Vets for Vets
-getting pluralistic spirituality and student development events setup during welcome week through People Opposing Prejudice
-getting a good public speaker on the Middle East to come speak on campus
-getting a debate organized between the College Democrats and Republicans on federal, state, and local issues
-getting more involved in policy making at the city and county level
-getting an occasional column going on a couple of student blogs or possibly in a student paper
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who offered his or her sincere support for my potential candidacy, despite the great costs and risks of doing so. Putting your ass on the line for someone else you believe in is a quality I will not easily forget, even though it is now for something that just “might have been”… Keep showing such principled character as you venture into the future and you will go places.”
So the question here: With the two potential favorites, David Lapidus and Suchita Shah completely out of this race, has this just become a free-for-all? If some of the most qualified individuals are bowing out, then what exactly does this race look like? Those “dark horses” might just want to start coming out and making a run for it. Because at this point, it’s a free for all.