Judge candidates on merit, not party

To the Editor:
As an independent voter who tries to judge candidates by their own merits rather than their party affiliations, I am particularly troubled by Christine Napierski’s Election Night statement to The Enterprise that she is “just happy that in Guilderland people rejected the anti-science, anti-climate change, authoritarian Republican view” (“Democrats sweep clean in Guilderland,” Nov. 2, 2021).

I am wondering how the results of the town board election represent a rejection of these beliefs. I have seen no evidence that either Dr. Brian Sheridan or Amanda Knasel hold such views.

Is Mrs. Napierski accusing Dr. Sheridan, a pediatrician, of being against science? It certainly is possible for a medical doctor to reject the scientific method or the scientific consensus on an issue without solid evidence but, in my research on the candidates, I have not seen this to be true about Dr. Sheridan. Is she accusing Mrs. Knasel, who according to a campaign ad has “worked in sonography and vascular sonography,” of being anti-science?

I also have seen no evidence that Dr. Sheridan or Mrs. Knasel rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. Reading about the candidates’ views on the issues, I see that “Sheridan’s office at Schoolhouse Road Pediatrics put in solar panels and charging stations when the office was expanded” (The Altamont Enterprise “Barber unchallenged for supervisor as five vie for a pair of board seats: 2 Dems, 2 from GOP, and 1 from WFP,” Oct. 4, 2021).

Additionally, in the same article, I see that Mrs. Knasel “supports efficient use of energy” and that she “would like to see tree-planting become ‘a community engagement project.’” While not proof of their views on climate change, this provides me with a bit of evidence that they may see fighting it as a challenge worthy of our efforts.

We should not judge someone based solely on party affiliation. If I have to judge candidates based off of their party’s flaws rather than their own merits, I could not vote for Mrs. Napierski, Mrs. [Amanda] Beedle, Dr. Sheridan, Mrs. Knasel, and probably not even Mr. [Kevin] McDonald on the Working Families line. I believe our democracy will work best for the people when we judge candidates based on who they are rather than their line on the ballot.

False accusations and unfounded partisan attacks are rampant in today’s politics, and I found it hard to remain silent when I felt that these probably decent people were being unfairly attacked.

Justin Gartenberg



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