Hed Lines: Writer can't wait until elections are over

I can't wait until after Mohave County elections workers count the last votes by the wee hours of Nov.

6.

Over the past several months, I have written a stream of stories on candidates for offices ranging from constable to governor.

Some candidates gave short notices of their intentions to visit, and others dropped in without telling us in advance.

Several Republican candidates showed up at the office after speaking to luncheon gatherings of the party faithful.

Their timing was not always mutually convenient.

A terrible day to show up is on the Mondays in which the Mohave County supervisors meet.

On some of those days, multiple candidates arrived at the Miner newsroom.

Miner colleagues Jim Seckler – the crime reporter - and Marvin Robertson – the city hall reporter - were gracious enough to pitch in when I was swamped interviewing candidates and working on other assignments.

Education reporter Terry Organ profiled the eight candidates running for five seats on the governing board of the Kingman Unified School District.

For the most part, the candidates need reporters to get their message across to an audience wider than those who have the time to attend luncheons and other campaign functions.

Exceptions abound, such as at least one candidate who has not sought interviews and left a message on my voicemail at home indicating that he planned to send me a videotape to "bypass the liberal media filter."

I would be lying if I wrote that candidates and reporters belong to a mutual admiration society.

Some Republican candidates regard reporters as too liberal and cynical.

Relations between reporters, candidates and those eventually elected to office can get testy and confrontational.

It also seems that some candidates feel more comfortable talking to reporters at small-market newspapers and radio stations because they believe the reporters will be less knowledgeable and experienced and thus less likely to throw hardball questions.

For the most part, I have been too busy working on campaign and other stories to ponder the above factors.

Trust me.

The process is time-consuming.

I sat down with an immediate supervisor to go over the questions to ask the six candidates for District 3 in the state House of Representatives and Senate.

Then, I had to arrange the interviews.

I interviewed five candidates in person and one over the phone.

The interviews alone, which covered four subjects, took about an hour per candidate.

I initially planned to begin running the four-part series in the Miner on Sunday.

However, it took several phone calls and days to arrange some interviews.

I did not finish the interviews until Monday morning.

I hope the stories educate the voters and will influence those who have not voted early.

I am trying to do justice to the statewide ballot measures as well.

See me – and Terry Organ – next Tuesday night after the polls close.

**

I have little contact with some of my neighbors, and for good reason .

My next-door neighbors receive a lot of traffic, so I am not sure who is living there at any given day.

One of them surprised me by leaving a note on my windshield.

He cleaned the left bumper and door of my vehicle, which had been damaged and smudged after my left-rear tire separated on the interstate.

I had not done anything yet about the car's appearance because I am processing a claim with the tire manufacturer.

He wrote "smile" on the note and signed it "the bald guy." I planned to thank him and even offer a few dollars, but I was not sure which bald guy was the Good Samaritan because at least two regular guests fit that description.

I found out two Sundays ago when police barged in to the neighbor's apartment, drew their weapons and took a bald suspect away in handcuffs.

They arrested him on several charges.

If convicted, the suspect needs to pay for his crime.

However, the incident shows that even accused criminals have redeeming qualities.

Perhaps he will read my column in jail and smile.

Ken Hedler is the county government and politics reporter for the Miner