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If there is one thing that irks me more than a candidate telling you what you want to hear, it’s a candidate that ignores simple questions. Here in District 3 of Fort Worth, we have a candidate taking on our incumbent city councilman, Brian Byrd.

His name is Tanner Smith, and I have reached out to him numerous occasions. He responded at first to my inquiries, but then things took a turn.

When I first saw that Mr. Smith was running against Brian Byrd, my councilman, I was intrigued. I have highlighted my issues with Dr. Byrd in the past, so I won’t go into those details here. I asked Mr. Smith a very simple question: “I am a resident of District 3. Would love to know your positions in the issues you think are critical.” His response was one that was trying to pacify a voter by using what they want to hear in order to gain their vote.

“I’m running to give people an alternative to the incumbent, Brian Byrd,” Tanner replied. “Some people (including myself) have felt that District 3 could be represented better. Regarding particular policy positions, I believe it would be my job as Councilman to represent the views of my constituents rather than my own personal views.”

“That said, I would love to hear your thoughts on what issues are important to you and your perspective on those issues. I would also like to know what I could do to gain your confidence that I would represent your views well in the city council.”

Anyone with a brain can tell what Mr. Smith is doing, and it’s something I find despicable. I continued to press him for an answer with my reply. “What would you like to see in regards to property taxes, the services the city provides, as well as the proposed SB 2 bill in the Senate right now?”

All I got from that point on was silence, and I know he read the messages because Facebook Messenger shows it. I asked two more times for him to respond and got nothing.

Candidates, if you want to gain votes do not do what Mr. Smith is doing. He first tried to get me to tell him what I wanted to hear. Then when I wouldn’t do that, he ignored the “hard” questions. I would rather have you tell me something we don’t agree on than either pacify me or flat out ignore me—I got both from Mr. Smith.

I am now left with a choice in District 3 of Fort Worth: Do I vote for the incumbent who I don’t agree with on a few issues, or do I support someone who doesn’t have the decency to answer questions or uses my own words as his campaign slogan?

The choice for me is clear. I will vote for Dr. Byrd every time, and twice if I was a Democrat, over Mr. Smith. Let this be a warning to the other candidates out there: Do not do what Mr. Smith did—unless you want to lose in drastic fashion.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].

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