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Do Political Parties Matter on City Council?

Find out what council candidates Ed Bottorff, Dennis Norton and Jacques Bertrand think about party politics in the city council race.

In general, city council races are not considered partisan elections. It's not supposed to be about which candidate is a Democrat and which one is a Republican. 

But it doesn't always go that way, especially when newspapers and big organizations make endorsements for certain candidates overtly on the basis of their political leanings. 

So we asked the three men running for Capitola City Council whether they thought their political parties mattered in this race. Ed Bottorff is the only Republican in the election, and if elected, would fill the seat of Kirby Nicol, Capitola's only other elected Republican. See the candidates' responses below.

Question: Do party politics matter on a city council? Some people say it's not a partisan race, but others argue that personal politics play into decisions made on the council. What do you think?

Ed Bottorff: While campaigning and walking every street in Capitola, attempting to make contact with all the registered voters, and engaging in some lively discussions with residents, I can definitely say that party politics do not matter at this level.

Only a handful of people even bothered to ask me what my party affiliation was. Only two people chose to slam the door in my face when told them I belonged to the party opposite of theirs. People's concerns were about local issues and the City's past mistakes. Being on a local city council is about making good decisions for the city you live in. Common sense, consistency, compromise and compassion will go a long way a to make a good Capitola City Council person.

Jacques Bertrand: I have been watching the Council almost since I came here (14 years ago), partisan no, but personal positions and views yes. This is why we like to have some time to get to know those we choose as our representatives; and in Capitola there is plenty of opportunity to do so.

Dennis Norton: It is not political parties that mater. It is the personal beliefs on social issues, environmental issues, economic priorities, etc. It's not personal politics, it's personal beliefs, which we all have.

Do you think political party affiliations play into city council races and ultimately city council decisions? Can "personal beliefs" and "personal politics" be separated as suggested above? Tell us in the comments!

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