Ten Things I Learned During This Municipal Election Season


Legos made of Jello. This is important.

It’s 12:19 a.m. on what is now Sunday, and I just filed my election story. I’m saying this because it’s cause for celebration — I believe it was almost 2 a.m. last time. But I also realized that because I have a surplus of awake time now, as well as a surplus of snark, it’s a great time to review what I’ve learned in my time covering elections, and in my time covering this particular election.


  1. Always pause to make Legos from Jello. There’s not enough good in anyone’s life to be able to say you can’t make time to make Lego Jello. Making Lego Jello, true story, kept me from becoming No Filter Bethany one day this week during election coverage.
  2. Nobody wants No Filter Bethany. She doesn’t even backspace. She thinks “Pass the Courvoisier” and “Party in the USA” are good writing music. Don’t provoke No Filter Bethany.
  3. Disco naps are important on Election Day. Self-care, y’all. I even cleared this with a neurologist that specializes in sleep. Down some caffeine, lay down, sleep for about an hour. When you wake up, it’ll feel like you slept four. You’re welcome. I do this all the time, because sometimes I start out all gung-ho on something and then I get tired and I’m significantly less ho.
  4. Endorsements are apparently bad and the institutions who dispense them are suspect, unless that institution endorses your candidate, then their logic is unassailable. If you doubt people actually think this way, I have a whole Facebook and a whole Internet to give you.
  5. More people would vote and take interest (in my humble opinion) in politics if half the debates and forums were dance-offs. Admit it. You’d have gone to watch Breakin’ 2: Blewett-Kingston Boogaloo. You would’ve. Don’t even bother denying it. We all would’ve.
  6. You’ll never answer a robocall if you never use your phone for talking, and if you teach your children that phones aren’t for that either.
  7. Griggs might have won if he had been at least part robot. At least, if second-grade boys have any kind of sway over their parents.
  8. If you’re an elected official, don’t block publications on Twitter unless they’re like, the KKK Gazette or something. It’s poor form, and then I have to have the monumental headache of reaching out to your office to ask why because that’s part of my job.  I’m too almost nice to have this kind of headache.
  9. If you’re wondering if reporters have agendas about politicians I can assure you we barely have it together enough to have agendas about lunch, and we’ll die if we forget that one enough. We want the same things you do, because we live in the same places you do. And we’re also poor. Fun fact: Many of us make less than teachers, and you know we don’t pay them what they’re worth.*
  10. If I ever file to run for anything it’s a cry for help and you should definitely have an intervention and an exorcism because I’m either high outside my mind or possessed. Write this down. Screengrab it and make it my opposition’s campaign poster. Donate all your money to whoever is running against me and if nobody is, write in literally almost anybody else.

So there you have it. Ten unassailable truths I have learned while writing about politics. What did you learn this election season?

*Real talkI see this a lot, so as someone who once worked at a major metro daily, I just want to address all these people that insist a publication has it out for a particular candidate: We do. At the end of the candidate interviews, we stand around a cauldron heated by fire forged by old cubicles left behind after 500 layoffs, and chant, in Latin: “So Murrow Speaks, So Murrow Deigns. Long May The Pen Reign.”
Then we split some nachos.
The person who gets the last jalapeño picks the candidates that year – even if it’s just based on how good their hair is or whether they hate bacon or not. It’s in the bylaws of the Liberal Illuminati Establishment Media Book of Life. 
‪There’s a secret handshake too, but I can’t tell you what it is, because it’s like you want me to get kicked out or something, and I’m too entrenched in this high-dollar, $1-per-cup-ramen-not-cheap-4-for-$1-ramen life to stop now.‬

Bethany Erickson is the education and public policy writer for CandysDirt.com. She is also the Director of Audience Engagement for Candy’s Media. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, and the Society of Professional Journalists, and is the 2018 NAREE Gold winner for best series and a 2018 Dallas Press Club Hugh Aynsworth Award winner. Contact her at bethany@candysdirt.com.