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Top 4 Qualities You Want in a Political Candidate

by Daniel Pauly

Citizens have the important responsibility of choosing candidates that will serve them well. Whether that candidate is running in a national election or as a local civil servant, finding the right person for the job is paramount. It isn’t always easy to navigate the nuances of proposed policy between candidates, but choosing someone using these top four qualities will ensure your vote goes to the best person for the job.

Experience

According to Kathleen Conti, an experienced commissioner Arapahoe County, Colorado, the simplest way to know how a politician will govern is by looking at previous experience.  Incumbents often have an electoral advantage because voters rely on a proven track record in government. However, life experience outside of politics is also a solid indicator of the candidate’s skills, and the ideal candidate should have both.

Honesty

The stereotype about politicians being dishonest does a disservice to the many who are serious about telling the truth to voters. Allocating the finite resources of government sometimes involves difficult choices, and any candidate who is afraid to tell you otherwise is not being truthful. Look for a candidate who fearlessly faces difficult issues and solutions honestly, even if the answers aren’t always popular.

Leadership

Regardless of the particular role, strong leadership is an essential part of any elected official’s job. Identifying a strong leader isn’t about finding a candidate who gets everyone to go along with an idea, but rather it’s about a person who leads by example and respects all opinions.

Principles

The United States is set up as a representative republic, meaning that officials are elected to do their best to implement the will of their constituents. Because not every issue that arises during a given official’s term was something discussed during the campaign, voters need to know candidates’ core guiding principles and rest assured they’re ready to stick with them consistently.

Voting for your political leaders is a grave responsibility that requires careful consideration of all the options. Knowing what traits to look for will help you narrow down your choices next time you’re at the ballot box.