In recent commentary, the American-Statesman editorial board wrote about Austin City Council District 1 candidate Lewis Conway Jr., whom the city clerk determined is eligible to appear on the November ballot though he is a convicted felon. The board supported the clerk’s decision, saying it “gives Austin voters the power to pick the candidate they believe is best suited for office.” Conway was convicted in 1992 of manslaughter.
Rene Coronado: Sorry, but felons should not run for office.
Ivan Doyle: If you don’t like it, just don’t vote for him. No reason he shouldn’t be able to campaign, free speech and all, government of, by, and for the people and all that.
Olga Berkovich Lopategui: And what’s wrong with letting the voters decide? As long as the criminal record is disclosed, it should not be an issue.
Wade Bozeman: He did the time he was given. If we are really about rehabilitation, then all should be forgiven — and this man should be able to move on in life. If we’re going to continue to punish him, why didn’t we just give him life in prison? Good luck to this man.
Bryan Register: Criminal records of people running for office should be part of the general application process. Past that, let people decide whether someone’s past actions show that they have such bad character that they shouldn’t be trusted with office. In the case of Mr. Lewis Conway Jr., I agree with him about some issues but not others. But I don’t believe that you can get an understanding of his character from a terrible and immoral decision that he made decades ago. Near as I can tell, he has used his punishment as a means of self-improvement — he actually did what we say the criminal justice system is supposed to get people to do.