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Friday, Feb 03rd

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Letter to the Editor: Some political speech is meaningless

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Dear Gallup Area Voters,

Oorah, luckily no one from the ‘good old boy’ system is running in the municipal elections this cycle and there are good candidates this time. That certainly leaves room for optimism doesn’t it? Though, as you would guess since I’m writing this letter, I do have an issue to present to you readers who acknowledge your duty to vote, and since all the current candidates, including the ones I personally support, are guilty of this, raising this issue publicly now, does not suggest my preferences.

First, how long has Gallup been treading water or on the decline? How long have the serious problems in Gallup (infrastructure, streets & sidewalks, stagnant economic growth, litter, street people, etc.) gone unresolved or only patched? Would you agree perhaps thirty years or more? I heard one ‘born & raised’ Gallupian push the timeline back to the 1970s.

In all that time almost every person campaigning for election to local office has emphasized one particular qualification above all: “I was born and raised here and attended the local schools.” I will say this unequivocally: Being born and raised in a particular location is NOT a trump card qualifier to run for and hold office in that location. If that were so here, Gallup would be in great shape and obviously, it’s not. If that were so here, the term of office would have to be reduced to three months so that everyone born & raised in Gallup would get a shot at being mayor. So, no, no, no. The best and only qualifications you should listen for is, who among the candidates has the best ideas on how to address the local issues? Who has the best vision? Who has the energy? Who has the “fire in their belly”? Who has the skills and maturity? Born & raised is virtually useless as a qualifier for local office as the conditions in Gallup prove so eloquently.

The born & raised line is also insulting to those of us Gallupians who chose to live here and call it home. Long time residents with good ideas are just as capable of a progressive vision for Gallup. Just as capable of addressing our local problems. Just as capable of loving Gallup…like me. So, on behalf of those of us who CHOOSE to live here, but were not born & raised here to those of you who think born & raised is a trump card qualifier for local office…pull my finger!

Gerald O’Hara


Oorah is the U.S. Marine Corps cheer, not a misspelling.