If we have a Caucus, why do we still have contested elections and is that bad?

No it’s not bad! Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our constitutional democracy. As noted above, the Caucus Committee serves in an advisory capacity to recommend candidates for elected positions (Mayor, City Council, and School Board), but there is nothing to prevent any registered Lake Forest voter from running for election. We see other candidates run for various personal, special interest, or politically driven reasons. Our country’s electoral process supports the opportunity for candidates to run for any reason. Our City does too.

The point of the Caucus is to offer the community a process to ensure some due diligence has been overseen in the candidate selection process before nominee’s are presented for the election. The Caucus search, vetting and nominating process is run by peers in the community (Caucus Committee), who are elected by the community to serve on their behalf. A vetting process vs self-selected individuals provides a level of assurance and confidence for the community. Ultimately, each member of the community casts their own vote and they should do their own research of all candidates up for election.