Let’s keep campaign on the right track

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2000

Elections are heating up and the list of candidates indicates that for the numerous seats that are up this year, there are some good candidates who plan to run.

Some are incumbents, while others may be new to the world of politics or public service.

Throughout Pike County this year, we will elect city officials in each of our municipal elections; we will vote on our six county commission members and various other county offices.

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What this means is that most of the seats here will be on the ballot and local election years have been known to bring out the worst in some of our candidates.

So far, election waters have been calm and clear. The mud is, for now, settled at the bottom. And that is where we hope it will stay.

We all claim about this time that we want to see an election based on the issues and that people should stay away from personal insults and name-calling. While this is certainly true, it sounds like a cliché. And it’s not a very realistic one at that.

Most of our local races require basic skills and set qualifications for candidates to be able to handle those positions effectively. Unfortunately, the voting public doesn’t know what many of those qualifications are and who has them. That means the race isn’t usually going to be about the issues. It will, rather, more often than not, be about the candidates and their personalities. As frightening as this sounds, it does make sense. After all, how well can an official serve the people he or she represents if the official lacks the ability to relate to the people and deal with them one on one.

While this may not be the most important qualification for, say, a judge’s seat, it is something that will count loads on election day.

This year, The Messenger wants to go into some of the issues, qualifications, and job descriptions for the offices that will be on the election ballot. We will begin printing these in the coming week and will continue to do so until just before election day. We feel that personalities are immensely important to us all – as members of a small community who want access to our representatives. But there’s more to each one of these offices than a pretty face.

In the meantime, we want to encourage you to make sure you’re registered to vote and to see to it that you don’t miss your opportunity to cast your ballot on election day. There will be several of them this year, so Pike Countians will be able to see the results of their expression of their democratic rights.

To the candidates, we wish you all good luck and we hope you are able to work hard, visit with people and get the message out about what you stand for and what you hope to accomplish. And falling back on the old cliché, we hope to see you keep in clean and focused on the issues – and maybe a little on your ability to communicate with people.

April 22, 200 11 PM  

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