In a recent e-mail interview with La Mesa Today, La Mesa city councilmember Ernie Ewin opened up about his Mormon faith, and how important a declaration of faith is to political candidates.
Ewin's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aligns him, religiously at least, with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Ewin was re-elected to a four-year term on the La Mesa City Council in 2010, along with fellow incumbent Mark Arapostathis. He has served as an elected official for 15 years, and is the city's representative to the Metropolitan Transit Board (MTS) and chairs the Metro Waste Water Joint Powers Authority. In addition, Ewin was the chair of the Independent Citizens Board Oversight Committee for the Grossmont Healthcare District Prop G, before his term ended in June.
Below is an excerpt from Ewin's interview with La Mesa Today:
LA MESA TODAY: Sir, you are a Mormon and a politician. Does Gov. Romney's candidacy for president have special meaning to you?
EWIN: Not really if only in the sense that he and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have always appreciated those of faith who were not afraid to consistently - and perhaps quietly - practice what they believe and within the context of the respect for the faith of others. I recall my father discussing John F. Kennedy's presentation on why his Catholic faith was not an issue in how he would carry out his duties as president. I believed President Kennedy.
Aware of how the Church functions, Mr. Romney has had many callings which gives me a recognition or insight others may not care to consider or be aware of. I am sure that in some of those callings he received "3 a.m." calls for critical needs, service or comfort to members. I am sure he acted appropriately on them.
For this election and viewing it from my perspective as an elected official –"politician" – I am concerned about jobs, economic impacts from actions or inactions by our state and federal governments and how that affects La Mesa California and each of its citizens. My background and education is in economics/ finance-the private sector. My passion is community service. Perhaps all these matters define the "Special Meaning" I have with Gov. Romney's candidacy.
LA MESA TODAY: Have you ever felt anti-Mormon sentiment or suspicions while engaging in your own public service?
EWIN: No, not directly to me, but have heard others in my presence express or make comments not knowing I was a member. For the local Mormon Helping Hands Service projects there have been community members participate. So I guess more positives.
Ewin, however, did not outwardly reveal who he is planning on voting for. When asked by LMT, 'Are you voting for Obama or Romney?' Ewin simply responded, "Yes."