EDITORIAL: Student running for mayor should go all out or not run at all

Oct. 4, 2011 Editorial Cartoon

Herald Staff

The Issue: Recently, Bowling Green sophomore Brandon Peay launched his campaign for Bowling Green mayor and although the word sophomore fits his school standing, he is merely a freshman in the political realm. Peay, who said he lacks experience, is running against two veteran politicians and if elected will juggle school and public office.

Our Stance: The Herald applauds Peay’s political involvement but thinks he should take a different route. The Herald acknowledges that running for office is a personal choice. However, if elected, Peay would act as mayor of the third-largest city in Kentucky for four years.

Political office is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Peay, a nursing major, previously told the Herald he would remain in school while campaigning and serving his term. If elected, he said he can manage his time.

Isn’t it hard enough already finding a balance between classwork, homework, jobs and a social life? Many WKU students know how challenging a nursing major can be, so throwing a campaign for mayor in the midst of all of that would weaken a campaign.

And speaking of his campaign: where is it? The Herald also thinks that Bowling Green hasn’t seen much of a campaign from Peay and as the obvious underdog, he must campaign hard.

He is running against two veteran city officials with strong backgrounds.

Current Mayor Joe Denning served as city commissioner from 1992 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2011, and current City Commissioner Bruce Wilkerson wore many hats for the Bowling Green Police Department for 20 years until his retirement in 1996 giving him a strong background in city government.

In the Sept. 23 edition of the Herald, Peay said he wanted to work on keeping WKU graduates in Bowling Green by advertising and making the city more attractive through social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

The Herald agrees that Peay does have a fresh and youthful outlook on the city and is probably more social media savvy than his opponents, but anyone with a smart phone or computer can look up any business in town on multiple social media outlets.

And if jobs are an issue for graduates, how will someone still doing homework in his upper level nursing classes create jobs for those who have already graduated?

The position of mayor of any city is a high-profile job, and the reason for running shouldn’t be “why not?”

Peay said he wants to gain life experiences if elected, but is that a reason to run for mayor?

In WKU’s history, other students have run for office and did receive some votes, but some students pave their political paths during college by volunteering for their local representative, state senator or volunteering for presidential elections.

Maybe Peay should dip his toes in the political waters before cannon balling into it, but if he wants the office, he should shout his platforms loudly from the rooftops so everyone knows he’s serious and dedicated.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.