(Update: For my current views of Mr. Bolin, please check out this new post.)
I support Republican Jim Bolin for the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Why do I support him? Well, Mr. Bolin was one of my favorite teachers in high school. I have fond memories of his classes, including all the times we tried to get him to tell us stories of his time teaching in Africa. It's safe to say Mr. Bolin played a big role in the person I grew up to be.
But beyond all that, I think he'll make a great legislator. I've been watching him during the past year. He served as a city commissioner in Canton for six months. At that time, the community decided to change the form of government and Mr. Bolin was the only commissioner who stayed. And he was even elected mayor of Canton by the other commissioners.
During his time as a commissioner he fought hard for fiscal responsibility. Remember the hard time Canton had with a previous finance officer screwing up Canton's finances? Well I think one of the reasons Mr. Bolin ran for the commission was to help Canton get back to financial responsibility. He did want to cut spending where he could, but he wasn't a radical conservative in that regard (like, say, Rob Paul). He seemed to think that there were some things worth spending money on, but we need to be responsible with how we do it.
Another reason I think Mr. Bolin will make a great legislator is that he'll listen to people. Even if he disagrees with them, he'll respect them enough to give them a chance to voice their opinion. He has a strong sense of fairness and wants to make sure that every aspect of government treats the citizens fairly.
I was very sad when Mr. Bolin decided not to continue as Canton's mayor, but I hope he'll get into the legislature and do some good.
Mr. Bolin is also a teacher, so hopefully he'll care more than other Republicans about making sure SD's teachers are paid a living wage.
Now Mr. Bolin is a conservative and I'm a liberal, so I know he'll do things I disagree with and say things that frustrate me. Just look at his answers to the Family Policy Council's survey (warning: PDF). It's safe to say I disagree with most of his answers. But, if our legislature runs the way it's supposed to, those won't be the only issues that they will deal with. And I know Mr. Bolin will work hard for everyone in this district and this state. That's the kind of guy he is.