Get engaged in local election process

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

An old adage says that all politics is local, and perhaps that’s true. Because this season, politics is all about the local races.

More than two dozen candidates have qualified for the Aug. 23 municipal elections in Brundidge, Troy, Banks and Goshen. And local voters will have some important decisions ahead, as a couple of positions have drawn a deep pool of candidates.

In Brundidge, seven people are running for mayor, all seeking to replace longtime mayor Jimmy Ramage, who decided to step aside and run for a council seat this year. Longtime councilwoman Cynthia Pearson, former council members Isabell Boyd and Lawrence Bowden, current county commissioner Charlie Harris, Johnny Ross, Jamie Powell and Michael Davenport are all seeking the mayoral seat.

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And Ramage’s District 4 is the only one with a contested race, as Byron Gaynor qualified Monday for the seat.

In Troy, incumbent Mayor Jason Reeves faces two challengers – Raymond Sexton and Olanda Harvey. The retirement of longtime councilman Charlie “Sarge” Dunn opened the way for a five-way race in District 1, with candidates Robert Jones, Anthony Jackson, Mary Helen Collins, Matthew Jordan and Jimmy Clarence Scott. Incumbent councilwoman Dejerilyn King Henderson is challenged by former councilwoman Wanda Moultry in District 5. Incumbents are unchallenged in two districts and Stephanie Campbell Baker is the only qualifier in District 4, where longtime councilman Johnny Witherington served.

And in Goshen? Well, with only one qualifier in each position – mayor and council members – the slate is set and former council member Darren Jordan will become mayor in October. Current mayor Jack Waller will serve on the council now.

So why does this matter? Because you need to know who the council and mayoral candidates are; where they stand on issues; what they will bring to the position; and how they will serve their constituents.

With the municipal election set for Aug. 23, voters have a month to learn about these candidates and make informed decisions. Throughout that month, The Messenger will share insights into the candidates through a series of interviews and editorial board meetings. We’ll also publish a comprehensive election tab, with detailed information on each candidate to help you make informed choices at the polls.

Now is the time to make sure you’re registered to vote in your municipality and that you’re engaged in the electoral process. Because, after all, these politics are local.