Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- My Decision

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

For the last several months I have been approached by many folks to consider running for public office. First there were those who wanted me to challenge Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C. I declined. Now I am being asked to consider opposing Rep. Tim Spear for a seat in the N. C. House of Representatives, representing the second district. I certainly am humbled as well as flattered by the encouragement of those who feel I could responsibly represent them and their interests in our halls of governance. But serving as an elected representative was never my true desire.

When my wife Marie and I moved to Edenton four plus years ago from Richmond, our thoughts were to try and enjoy semi-retirement at our own pace. We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase our dream home in the historic district of this wonderful community. This time around however, we would be very selective as to where we would volunteer, being especially careful not to jump at every opportunity that presents itself. More quality time with each other was our goal. Easier said than done!

Shortly after relocating, I was asked to become involved in local politics. I soon discovered that there are a significant number of folks who would like to know more about what goes on politically from a local, state, national and world perspective and how these events all tie together to shape our lives.

I responded to that perceived need by starting a newspaper column entitled, “A Conservative’s Viewpoint” that now appears in many papers. It has been very well received. For the last two plus years this endeavor has become a labor of love. I have never missed a deadline in all of that time and have filed a column each and every week. These columns hopefully not only provided commentary for discussion and debate, but from a personal standpoint gave my life an additional sense of fulfillment and purpose.

With all of the research necessary to put a story or column together it is hard not to reflect individual bias. For that reason I chose a politically liberal editor with decades of experience at two metropolitan daily newspapers to oversee my work. Her job was not only to edit punctuation and see that I conformed to AP styling but to also try and keep me from becoming a conservative flame-thrower. She has been wonderful. I couldn’t have done it without her.

I tried to write in a style that was easy to read and understand. I realize not all agreed with me but if my column fostered respectful conversation, debate and consideration among readers from varying political perspectives, I did my job. I may not have always been successful, but I tried.

Circumstances have now deemed that the time has come for me to embark upon a different path. Our government in Washington and Raleigh as well as in many of our counties, cities, towns and villages has run off the tracks. I would love to continue writing about all that’s wrong at all levels of government while offering possible solutions to get us out of this mess, but that may not be enough. I’ve been working and praying that someone with noble intentions and no personal agenda (including that of becoming a career politician) would unselfishly step forward for the second district house seat. It hasn’t happened.

After much prayer and consternation and after months of unsuccessful attempts at recruiting a candidate to oppose Tim Spear, including right up through 4 PM today (Feb. 15), I have decided at this time I must announce my intentions to file to run for the people’s seat in North Carolina House district 2 before the filing deadline of 12 noon on Friday, Feb. 26.

To the many newspapers who featured my column and to the faithful readers who allowed it to continue and grow, I sincerely thank you. I couldn’t have asked for more. You are a large part of the heart and soul of America. And to that I say, thanks be to God.

For the entire period in which Bob has been writing his column, I have posted it here with my comments. I thought people would find it interesting to see the disagreements... and agreements... between an intelligent conservative and an opinionated libertarian. No matter how many times we disagreed, Bob was always courteous and intelligent in his responses. The dialog was always fun and I have come to admire him greatly.

I know how much he has agonized about this decision. I know from our previous discussions that he does not want this position for the wrong reasons. He cares greatly about our nation and our region. I do not endorse Bob lightly, but enthusiastically, even though I doubt we will always agree. With the attitude I have observed I am convinced Bob Steinburg will do a great job.


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