So what does make a good candidate? Is it humility, critical thinking skills, honesty, empathy, learning ability, integrity, being independent, or communication skills(listening being the most important)?
Or is it a law degree, high IQ, wealth, the ability to speak well, relationships with powerful people, an encyclopedic knowledge of public policy, business experience, a background in government service, or a forceful personalty?
It turns out that maybe it is almost none of the above. I did some asking around of some engaged, local, political, personalities and the most common theme seemed to be "being independent."
It would take some research but, by checking out the 'incumbent' candidates records on how they stood and how they voted on issues, should tell you if they stuck to their positions and were truly 'independent'.
As far as new candidates are concerned, you can really only go by what they say.
Most candidates have websites and those who don't will have a contact e.mail address.