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The Down-Ballot Vote: Why It Matters to Our Industry

The Down-Ballot Vote: Why It Matters to Our Industry

More than any election year in modern memory, Americans have been frustrated by the presidential election and the candidates vying for the top office in the land.  Multiple studies this year have shown that well over sixty percent of voters are dissatisfied with the presidential candidates.  It is hard to argue with the fact that this has been one of the most bizarre and exasperating election cycles of our lifetimes, highlighted by two candidates who have done little to inspire the average American about the future.  It has resulted in voter interest in the presidential contest at an all-time low, with many citizens simply choosing to stay home on Election Day.

As tempting as it may be to ignore the upcoming exercise in democracy, we must remember that there is much more at stake this year than the White House.  In states across the country, like here in our home state of North Carolina, there are tightly-contested races for the United States Senate, Governor, House of Representatives, and state legislatures up for grabs that require our attention and our participation.  If you are like most Americans and are fed up with the current race for the White House, that’s all the more reason to vote in races further down the ballot.  And, for those of us in the hardware, home improvement, and building materials industry, there is more at stake on November 8th than meets the eye.

Control of the United States Senate will directly impact Supreme Court nominations and federal policies on regulation, trade, economic development, job growth, healthcare, entitlement reform, access to capital, increases in interest rates, as well as a host of other issues that affect our industry.  The party that controls the United States Senate will set the tone for how successful (or unsuccessful) the President-Elect will be at pushing his or her agenda through Congress.  So, even if you can’t bring yourself to vote for either presidential candidate, you should do your homework and make your voice be heard if your state is hosting an election to the United States Senate.

Many states are also electing governors in 2016.  All of us know the influence our state governments have on our industry.  Governors are uniquely positioned to influence economic ecosystems in their states, which in turn can determine how rapid a state’s homebuilding economy grows or shrinks.  Our industry and the larger economy that powers it are largely on the mend, but progress is slower in some states than in others.  If there is a gubernatorial election in your state, be sure to study the policies of the candidates for governor and consider the impact their agendas would have on our industry and the overall health of the economy.  Then, vote accordingly.

When Abraham Lincoln spoke of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” he neglected to remind us that a democracy built by imperfect human beings is just that:  imperfect.  This year that imperfection is on full display with a presidential contest that leaves much to be desired.  But as citizens of the greatest country on earth, and as members of an industry that relies so heavily on a healthy economy, we must participate in the elections—particularly those that are further down the ballot.  They are just as important, if not more so, than the frustrating race for the White House that is flooding our airwaves.  So, no matter who you vote for, go vote on November 8.  Our industry needs it, our democracy demands it, and the people who have fought to protect our right to do so deserve it.

Schaffer Associates

Schaffer Associates is a national executive search firm specializing in talent acquisition for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As premier executive recruiters with expert focus on your industry, we help you HIRE SMART.

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