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Endorsing the wrong candidate

Endorsing the wrong candidate

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I am tempted to thank the Napa Valley Register for its almost endorsement of Amber Manfree ("The choices for Napa County supervisor," Jan. 26).

As her campaign manager, and running a race-based on grassroots activism and fundraising and an army of over 100 volunteers, your own description of the candidate you chose to endorse stands out: “A well-funded incumbent with ties to well-heeled segments of the wine industry.”

Locally, and nationally, money in politics is a cause for concern. Yet this is who you chose.

That choice is even more interesting in light of your thoughts on Amber Manfree: “…we find Manfree to be intelligent, personable, and passionate about her work. There is a certain whimsey and refreshing authenticity to her.”

Considering what you had to say about the incumbent, “…..we caution Pedroza, who is an increasingly polished politician with a bright potential future, to be wary of the danger of coming to love the game of politics too much, lest he lose an authentic connection to his voters,” I am confused by your decision to endorse him.

“Authenticity” or “polish”?

Someone who is “personable”? Or someone who is “losing connection”?

The choices are laid out pretty well.

As a resident of Napa whose quality of life is impacted daily by decisions made by the County Board of Supervisors, I would hope for every supervisor on the board to bring a willingness, even eagerness, to learn along with their inherent strengths and skill sets.

As a life-long learner and teacher and with a well-earned PhD, Amber Manfree brings the inquisitive mind, fact- and science-based approach that will help steer the board to better decisions, in all arenas. Even you have said, “She seems to understand the issues at stake in development of wild lands as well as anyone on the board. “

In your editorial, you also encouraged Manfree to continue her quest to represent District 4 as a leader who listens, thinks critically, and brings back balance by putting locals first: “We encourage Manfree to remain active in politics and believe she is a potential rising star. “

Amber Manfree is the leader we need now and into the future. The issues facing Napa County are too important and complicated to continue with the direction of the current board. It is time that the people lining up to speak about how a project before the board that will affect their lives are listened to. It is time that what we say has an impact on the decisions made.

When I first met Amber Manfree, I knew I had found the right person to represent the residents of Napa County and became an enthusiastic supporter and soon volunteered to manage her campaign. It has been my pleasure these past few weeks to work with her and more than a hundred volunteers who hastily jumped in to help get her elected. We all believe that Amber Manfree is the leader we need now. She is refreshing, dedicated, knowledgeable, and focused on serving all of us.

Our only regret is that you chose to endorse the “polished politician” albeit with caution.

Jim King


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