A common theme often found in political races is one in which a candidate accuses the other of “playing politics.” In other words, it is like accusing a pitcher of playing baseball.
No matter how you put it, politics is a game. There is strategy involved. There is showmanship. The end result is that whether it be a political race or an action item, you want to have the higher score, which in this case is votes.
Throughout the course of a campaign, candidates and their managers develop strategies on the best ways to defeat their opponents.
Like anything else in life, you win some and you lose some. When last week began, there were five people seeking the Republican nod in the race for the New York State Assembly’s 147th district race.
That gave a candidate a 20 percent chance of winning the game. Now it appears, what was a five-person race – with Kevin Smardz, David DiPietro, David Mariarcher, Dan Humiston and Chris Lane – will likely reduce to three candidates.
On Thursday, May 31, Smardz, who is currently in his first term in the Assembly, announced that for personal reasons, he would have to bow out of the newly formed 147th district.
A few days earlier, Humiston suffered serious injuries in an accident, which left him with several broken bones.
While there is no official status on his future in the race, at this time, it is unclear whether Humiston will be able to continue with the campaign.
For both Smardz and Humiston, circumstances that are greater than politics has forced their political futures to be at best, murky.
Ultimately, the dream of both men – to which Smardz succeeded – was to serve on boards and make a difference. They both wanted to win, but the reason was to make changes they feel are for the better of their constituents.
Smardz has served as both a member of the Hamburg Town Board as well as a member of the New York State Assembly.
Humiston was entering his second political race after his unsuccessful attempt to unseat Brian Higgins in a run for Congress in 2008.
For that, The Sun would like to salute both men who had the courage to run for office and strive to make a change.
The Sun would also like to wish both men the very best as they deal with the issues that ultimately forced them to put politics aside for now, and we hope that circumstances allow them to pursue their political aspirations at a later date.
Sometimes in life, there are issues greater than that of Democrat vs. Republican, and winning a battle on the political scene.
In a few weeks, we will learn who will face Kathy Hochul in the race for Congress. We will know in September who is going to go toe-to-toe with Christina Abt in the race for State Assembly. Will Barack Obama be a two-term President or will Republican Mitt Romney move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., in Washington D.C. come January?
After all the campaigning is over, and the races come to a conclusion, the answers to who will serve will be known come November.
By that point, people like Smardz and Humiston may not be in the spotlight. Both unfortunately for valid reasons.
The fact that they had the guts to enter the race in the first place should be commended and while they may not receive any votes, they are winners.
As debates become more prevalent, let us try and remember what is truly important in life. It is not a seat on a town board, or a seat in Albany. In the end, whoeover is victorious this year is going to win a job.
After all, politics is just a game.