Not everything Carl Erikson has said or done since joining the Schenectady City Council three years ago has thrilled us, but we’ll take the good with the bad with almost any politician who’s willing to think, speak and act independently of his party’s bosses. More politicians like that are needed at all levels of government.
It will be interesting to see what happens to Erikson, who, like many of the council’s other Democrats was initially appointed to his seat and now faces his first election with the considerable advantages of incumbency — in Erikson’s case, three years’ worth.
A story in Wednesday’s Gazette indicated that some party regulars have been displeased with Erikson’s penchant for speaking his mind, especially when it’s been to criticize the ideas offered by his Democratic council colleagues. (Never mind that he ultimately came around and voted with them in most of those cases.)
Then he had the audacity to support a different Democrat (John Mootooveren) than the one party officials wanted to fill the vacancy created when Gary McCarthy became mayor. (The seat was ultimately filled by the party’s choice, Marion Porterfield.) The nerve of this guy!
If the politicians themselves are bothered by the occasional differences they’ve had with Erikson, they won’t say as much publicly. But it’s the committee members’ call on whether to endorse his candidacy in November — he’d have to run in a primary if not — and some apparently have reservations.
The decision is expected next week. Politics being what they are, we’d hardly be surprised if party leaders make Erikson pay for his independent streak and cut him loose. Like-minded voters may have different ideas of their own come November, and we wouldn’t blame them if they did.