To the editor:
The county's Democratic Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen face an interesting challenge this week. Given state Rep. Troy Findley's acceptance of a position with the new governor's administration, the Democratic Committee is charged with the responsibility of selecting a new representative to fill Findley's seat.
Rep. Findley should be congratulated for his new position and thanked for his service to our community, especially his commitment to the quality of education for Lawrence students and youths.
Findley has encouraged the committee to select a candidate who "can hit the ground running," but the opportunity here rests in the committee's ability to select our next representative based on its members' own criteria.
Will they select a candidate based on legislative savvy or dedication to our community? On length of residence in the district or on an ability to get things done? Or perhaps their criteria will include other important factors like a dedication to quality education, workable state financial goals, or perhaps on a commitment to state services.
Whoever the committee selects will face challenges of their own, not just in Topeka but in Lawrence, too. An appointed representative will surely face tighter scrutiny than a democratically elected representative would, especially as national campaign strategies show us that the 2004 elections are right around the corner.
Curtis Neal Harris,