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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Jim O'Donnell
Orchard Park Democrat Jim O'Donnell, who ran against Chris Collins for the 27th Congressional District seat in 2014, has opted against a second run, he announced on his Facebook page today.

O'Donnell said he is suffering from work-related injuries and therefore unable to manage a campaign at the time. He did, however, implore someone else to take up the cause and offered his assistance.

"If you have ever considered running for office, please reach out to me," he said. "We need you to run. I will put you into contact with everyone you need to talk to in order to get on the ballot."

He also bemoaned low voter turnout in his race in 2014, and across the country, calling it "disheartening, bordering on vulgar."

O'Donnell's Facebook post follows in its entirety:
After a full year of considering the idea, I've decided not to attempt another run against Mr. Collins this year. Due to work-related injuries, I am not near 100 percent, and believe it would be both foolish and irresponsible to manage a campaign under these circumstances. And if I were to win and not be able to give my complete devotion and attention to the job, it would be a dishonor to my country and the people of my district - something I simply refuse to partake in.

Speaking of refusing to dishonor my country, I'd like to take this moment to climb on a soap box. The amount of detachment that the people of this country, our district included, have when it comes to our government is disheartening, bordering on vulgar. The voter turnout rate for the election I ran and lost was less than 30 percent for New York. What that means is that 15 percent of the population was all that it took to elect your representatives. With the amount of division currently tearing apart our country, I would call anything below 80 percent sad. Our numbers are nothing more than pathetic.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here - if you're bothering to read the Facebook rants of a nobody from outside of Buffalo, odds are you're probably pretty involved. That being said, please try to do more. Get on your friends and family. Be annoying. This matters. If we don't push people to the polls and make sure they are informed, the results could be disastrous for our country. This time next year, we could be swearing a Plutocrat into the president's office. Don't let that happen.

As for this district, if you have ever considered running for office, please reach out to me. We need you to run. I will put you into contact with everyone you need to talk to in order to get on the ballot. Before you say that you are not qualified to run, please remember that our first president left formal education when he was 16. If you are motivated, passionate, intelligent, capable, and have the best interest of our country and our district in your heart, then you are qualified.

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