Lt. Gov. candidate Jeff Coleman has not wavered from his belief that a kinder, gentler climate is needed in state politics and campaigning.
Earlier this year, in an interview with the Sun-Gazette, he stated the need for civil discourse and this past week reiterated his concerns.
“My hope is that in the next cycle that we have more candidates adopting this approach,” he said. “It’s up to candidates to police their supporters to tell them that the negative campaign circus doesn’t help anyone. It just gives people a reason not to vote for one candidate over the other.”
The sarcasm, the name-calling, the negative campaigning, must stop, he said.
“What we are doing is not working,” he said. “Climbing into our own information bubbles creates animosity.”
Coleman, a former state House member seeking the Republican nomination in the Tuesday primary, referred to himself as a Christian and pro-life candidate.
Aside from his stance on abortion, he didn’t address many specific issues.
He said he feels the divisive politics needs to stop. Otherwise, the state could come apart in a way not seen since the Civil War.
Coleman, the first Filipino-American to serve in the state Legislature and owner of a consulting firm, said he feels his calm temperament makes him the best person to be lieutenant governor.
“The top qualities I bring are humility and loyalty,” he said. “You won’t see me on CNN and MSNBC pontificating.”
During his campaign, he’s heard from many people expressing their concerns about issues not necessarily connected to politics.
Rather, they are worried about their families, health and financial matters.
“We have to think on the government’s side how to help,” he said.
One issue Coleman specifically addressed is the problem of adequately serving rural communities with volunteer emergency response.
Funding and personnel, he noted, often fall short for EMS teams and fire departments.
That’s why the next governor should seriously address this issue impacting many communities.
“I think a call to action is needed,” he said.
As an example, he referred to his hometown of Apollo, where the number of emergency volunteers has dwindled considerably in the past decade.
Without adequate personnel, response times are slower, further jeopardizing the lives of people in time of need.