Having announced my candidacy for Augusta County Clerk of Courts, a family member offered: “I don’t see you winning."

Fair enough.

But in America anything is possible. Right?

Why such a dismal consideration?

Well first, I am not a Republican. Augusta County, by the numbers, is as politically in the red as the hue oozing from our National Debt. While $22 trillion of debt kind of rolls off the tongue, it still sticks in my throat. With our local Republican officeholders becoming as fiscally unmoored, as their Washington namesakes, will those longing for a saner way buck the party? Unlikely.

Second I am not a potted plant, watered with free flowing corporate funds. One opponent has a $55,000 surplus available from over $1 million of opportunistic fund raising. I received relatively few dollars in my multiple campaigns. I never wanted to feel obligated to someday return the favor. There is always a catch and it never favors the people. And yet money is often the decider in elections.

Third the system is rigged. As a CNN special recently noted, “politicians don’t get fired for doing nothing" (obviously). Elections now are between “brands,” not options from a vibrant marketplace of ideas and good works. Our country was founded on “point and counterpoint” between intellectual giants. Not phony ads and glossy, inane, mailers. I am brown shoes in a tuxedo world.

So is there anything that might work for me?

Well, I am not a Democrat either. Running a government is not either/or. It is not Republican or Democrat, not black or white. Every expenditure is meant to have a value but at a cost. The resolutions will necessarily come from individual considerations. The generalities of party philosophies may serve a candidate, but are of little help when facing real choices with many variables and competing perspectives.

If interested in what a carefully crafted plan to lower costs and improve services in the Courthouse looks like; I offer the website pylesforaugusta.

And if that isn’t enough on Sept.19 at 7 p.m., you are invited to join me at Verona’s Government Center. I will be holding a Townhall meeting meant to illustrate how a flawed, secret, process allowed a $70,000,000 mistake to have the Board’s blessing.

I promise an informative and perhaps entertaining evening. Hoping, as well, to provide a memorable time for all, even if in a losing cause.

Tracy Pyles


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