Something I have noticed in my many years of being a voter is this: how a candidate in any race runs his or her campaign speaks volumes about how that candidate intends to conduct themselves once elected. When a candidate has little of value to offer citizens besides party affiliation, the candidate and his or her supporters tend to spend most of their time either engaging only those they know will immediately support them based on that party affiliation; or attempting to discredit (or even disrespect) their opponents. What a waste.
Candidates who are effective leaders and truly worthy of the offices they are running for don’t have time for mudslinging, belittling, or other types of negativity. (They discourage it from their supporters as well.) Worthy candidates are just too busy engaging as many constituents as possible. They are sharing their visions of what they would like to do once elected. More importantly, they are listening to what the constituents have to say. They realize that government isn’t just about the leaders, but more about the average person on the street who must live with the decisions being made by that government. That is true for city councils and all the way up to our highest offices in our federal government.
Joda Thongnopnua, who is running to represent District 30 in the TN House, understands this. When he saw that there was no one running who he felt could meet the needs of our district, he stepped up and decided to BE that person. He saw the challenges our area is facing; and using his professional experience in problem solving, he has come up with very doable plans to handle those challenges. He has personally knocked on countless doors in this district to engage voters. That’s actually how he come to be known by my household. He literally showed up on our doorstep.
If I had any doubts in my mind about who the best person to represent our family was, they were all put to rest on October 29th. I attended a candidate debate for TN House District 30 that was held here in East Ridge at the Community Center. Unfortunately, Joda’s opponent, Esther Helton, did not show. I was pretty disappointed because I had been looking forward to finally hearing from our councilmember, but instead it turned into a Q&A for Joda. It was very informative regardless. Questions came from two moderators and the audience. While I did not agree with his view points on every single issue, I was impressed by how well he presented those views and how open he was to hearing the other side. He never skipped a beat, whether he was answering moderator questions or those from the audience. He has studied data on everything from roads to opioid abuse; and can tell you probably way more about all of it than you really ever wanted to know. It is undeniable: he knows and is personally invested in our area. He has a clear understanding of what this position entails. He is available to ALL of his potential constituents.
I am very proud to support Joda Thongnopnua. He has the knowledge, the drive, the compassion and the fighting spirit to represent District 30. He truly intends to represent us all and work hard to make Tennessee the best it can be.
_ Constance Nolan