Published 12:59 pm Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It’s usually a very telling thing to see how candidates deal with the media. Tuesday night, when Calvin Martin was busy winning a landslide election to county seat District 4, he failed to return at least three phone calls from The Times for comment. That’s not really unusual. Especially in local politics, a candidate (or already-elected official) never really wants to deal with the press until he or she really needs them.

I’m generally neutral about candidates — I try not to take one side over another. That’s difficult sometimes. But usually my favorite elected official or candidate is the one who calls me back quickly and answers my questions as honestly as possible.

District 3 Councilman Melvin Yelverton is probably the best out there at returning my calls, followed by District 1’s Thomas Moore and District 4’s Woody Collins.

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Pointedly, District 2 candidate Charles Jones Jr. seems not to want to deal with the media at all. I’ve called him at least twice for comments on a couple of stories — including one announcing his candidacy. His father, Charles Sr., is retiring from the same city council position his son is seeking. Charles Sr. is a quiet man, but in my experience he’s been extremely knowledgeable and helpful — even if he’s disagreed with some things I’ve written. Hopefully, his son will learn to deal well with area media. He’s not off to a good start so far.