In order to craft and, thereafter, promulgate new or modified state and national legislation, step one in the Republican Party Playbook stipulates what the initial course of action must be, i.e., begin the process at the local city/county level. John Balentine’s opinion piece (“What constitutes an ideal candidate for local office?” June 4), clearly highlights this playbook connection: “small-time, small-town leadership positions … had as much … impact …”  as their state and national counterparts.

Mr. Balentine cites several characteristics possessed by his “ideal” local candidate, e.g., “fiscally responsible,” “wouldn’t talk a lot” and “come to their own conclusions.”

However, he utterly fails to mention the two most important personal qualifications possessed by any candidate seeking a local/state/national office: their beliefs and their political affiliation, not how they earn a living! Why is this important to know? Because a majority of members affiliated with the Republican Party “believe” in the “Big Lie”: The election was stolen from Trump; COVID-19 is a hoax; the 2020 election was “rigged”; the Jan. 6 insurrection was committed by Democrats in MAGA hats; laws and regulations to limit voting rights; draconian rules to restrict (or eliminate) abortions; conspiracy theories (e.g., QAnon); vaccines are dangerous; Joe Biden is not the rightful U.S. president, etc.

The Republican Party Playbook is contingent upon utilizing the long game principle: Exercise the management process slowly at the local level, then later move upward toward state and national elections. Therefore, when voting, consider a local candidate’s personal convictions and moral compass; these will influence their subsequent actions. In addition, their beliefs also run parallel with party affiliation. Indeed, a simple “letter” (R, D, I, GP, etc.) in front or behind a candidate’s name will strongly indicate how they will best serve your/country’s future.

John M. Mishler