Election season is upon us. Here’s hoping Bryan County is treated to some good, clean races. Too often, name-calling and mudslinging overshadow the importance of political contests, and candidates who hope to head up states, counties, cities and communities may exhibit qualities that aren’t often associated with leaders.
In Bryan County, qualifying for the Nov. 8 municipal elections recently ended for Richmond Hill and Pembroke, and several area residents have thrown their hats into the ring. In the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, we’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about the people who are vying to represent us with the help of candidate forums, campaign parties, fundraisers and speeches.
Residents should take advantage of the stumping period to familiarize themselves with their choices. After all, casting a ballot on Nov. 8 is a big responsibility, and those who head to the polls will choose our leaders – a task that should not be taken lightly.
And while voters learn about the candidates and their platforms, those seeking office must remember to treat each other with the same courtesy and respect they extend to potential constituents. This means focusing on the issues at hand and steering clear of attacks on candidates’ personal lives.
Obviously, those who have qualified to run have different opinions on the challenges facing our communities. Their values differ, as do their long-term visions for the communities they hope to serve.
That’s fine – as long as those differences are expressed with civility and consideration. Certainly no one expects any two candidates to present identical platforms, and choice is a fundamental component of democracy.
Bryan County residents deserve upstanding leaders who will run ethical campaigns. This is a big election and missteps will be costly, so mudslinging must be kept to a minimum and all fights must be fair.