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Candidate stands up teen
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

A certain local mayoral candidate was slated to dance with my daughter in a local event this past weekend called Dancing with the Manteca Stars.

Similar in some ways to Dancing with the Stars, local business leaders and politicians were paired with local dancers and dance instructors to learn a dance routine that was to be performed on the main stage at the annual Manteca Pumpkin Fair.

It’s a big deal here in these parts.

Seriously, it is a fun and friendly little competition that showcases the, um, hidden talents of movers and shakers in our community as well as the talents of some amazing individuals whose passion is dance. This year promised to be no exception with returning dance champion, Jodie’s coach, as well as some new dance instructors including Jodie.

Jodie continues to pursue her passion dancing as well as now teaching two beginning tap, jazz and ballet classes at the studio where she dances her heart out four days a week. It was pretty exciting to see her name in the local paper (even if the Manteca Bulletin didn’t spell it correctly) announcing that she would be paired with mayoral candidate Debby Moorhead. The excitement soon diminished as Jodie’s dance partner only managed to show up to two of the four agreed upon practices that Jodie had scheduled with her. Okay, Moorhead is a busy lady what with being a city council member and running for mayor. I get that. I even told Jodie that when she vented her frustration over the responsibility to make this woman look good on a stage in front of the whole city when she doesn’t even call or show up to the practices. But at the same time, Jodie is very busy too: a freshman maintaining honor roll grades in high school, a class officer, a member of assorted clubs at school as well as her usual dancing four days a week and teaching two classes. The time Jodie set aside for her partner was her free time…limited time…valuable time.

Then came the big day. Jodie waited by the main stage for her partner to show up. With just minutes to show time, Jodie found herself still waiting. Her coach’s husband called Ms. Moorhead to find out if she was running late. It was then that Ms Moorhead announced that she would not be dancing after all because she just did not have the time.

Yeah, I know. Nice!

The organizers and judges of the event gave Jodie three options: she could dance alone, she could forfeit or she could pull someone from the audience and dance with them. Jodie chose to pull in her friend and fellow competitive dance team mate and teach her the routine with less than five minutes to show time. Jodie chose option number three and she and her friend went on to take second place. I’m sure there was some sympathy voting but still the girls are talented, trained dancers and it showed on the stage.

So all’s well that ends well, I guess.

Still, I can’t help but be bothered by Ms Moorhead’s behavior. Is this the kind of leader I should vote for? Granted her dancing skills, or reported lack thereof, have nothing to do with whether she can run the city that I live in. But she made a commitment and she did not follow through. She didn’t communicate that she could not follow through on her commitment. As well respected as she is as a leader in our community, it’s hard to respect her disregard for one of the hard-working citizens of the city she represents especially since she has made no attempt to apologize to fourteen year old Jodie. True, this individual is too young to vote, but her parents, her two older sisters and her brother in law are voters.

…and guess who won’t be getting our vote?

In all honesty, I never intended to vote for her in the first place. While I do respect her accomplishments, I don’t necessarily agree with her plans for the city or how she could possibly accomplish them.

Laura Scarborough