After several weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he-tinged press releases, Ronald R. Beaty Jr. of West Barnstable announced this week he will – run for the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners, that is.
In a press release Mr. Beaty said he has pulled nomination papers and is now out and about collecting signatures. The self-described “fiscal conservative/social progressive” is running as a non-party candidate, meaning he skips over the primary race phase and, assuming he collects enough signatures, will be on the November general election ballot.
The two seats currently held by Mary L. (Pat) Flynn of Falmouth and Sheila R. Lyons of Wellfleet are up for grabs this year. There have been no official announcements from either commissioner whether they will run for re-election.
Mr. Beaty in his announcement made much ado about the fact he had signed a Citizens for Limited Taxation “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” but those things are worthless as far as I’m concerned. Pledges, like campaign promises, have a habit of falling by the wayside when certain cold realities hit a lawmaker square in the face.
The real key here will be if Mr. Beaty, who has turned himself into something of a scholar of county government, can parlay that knowledge into a viable campaign platform that overcomes his lack of political experience. According to the man himself, his only forays into the world of elected office are two unsuccessful runs for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.
The other issue for Mr. Beaty – and I’ve broached this topic before – is his criminal background. In 1991, Mr. Beaty spent time in prison after he was convicted of sending threatening letters to President George H.W. Bush, US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and then-State Senator Lois Pines.
Mr. Beaty, who is seeking a presidential pardon for those offenses, called that episode in his life “mainly a terrible lapse in judgment” brought about by an alcohol problem he has since overcome.
Whether this truly matters will be, and should be, up to the voters, but I’ll give credit where it’s due: the man has been very open and forthright about this skeleton in his closet, which is a whole hell of a lot more than what we’ve seen from some of our politicians.
Anyone who would like to read up on Mr. Beaty and his background, head on over to my blog and look up the Week in Politics columns for December 16 and 23, 2011.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.