Good candidates are needed for public office

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Carter County Democrats and Republicans have made an official request to the Carter County Election Commission for primary elections next year to officially nominate party candidates for state and local offices.
The primaries will be held Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Among the offices which will be on the primary ballot are Carter County Mayor, Carter County Sheriff, Register of Deeds, Road Superintendent, County Court Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Trustee, and all 24 commissioners — three from each district — as well as constables from each of the county’s eight districts.
Some offices that will be on the ballot have already declared candidates.
Both the Republican and Democrat Primaries in Carter County are open primaries, meaning voters can cross party lines to vote. The primaries set the stage for the August General Election, in which a county mayor and the full commission will be elected for the county. They will be our leaders for the next four years, so it is an important election, simply for the reason our commission decides many important issues — funding for schools, roads and infrastructure needs, economic development, etc.
On the local, state, and federal levels it is important to elect well qualified people to represent us.
But to elect them, we have to have the qualified candidates to step forward and seek office. We need people who will represent the public, no matter the office elected to.
We would encourage citizens to offer themselves for candidates, especially women and young adults, who can offer new ideas and positive leadership. Being a public service is not an easy job. At the local level, it’s difficult work that can expose one to criticism. It does have it demands. However, good candidates and office holders can change things.
Sometimes saying “yes” to running for public office simply takes encouragement. Sometimes it means a nearly impossible rearrangement of the responsibilities of being a parent and a bread winner.
It takes courage and commitment to throw your name into the public forum to be scrutinized by opponents and the general public. But we need people who have that type of courage and leadership to seek office and be elected and to serve their constituents.
If you are considering seeking your party’s nomination in the May 1, 2018 primary, we suggest you take a few first steps to prepare yourself for public office.
Research the office and its duties that you are seeking. Understand what will be required of you if elected.
To be an effective public servant you can’t hide from the people who elected you. You have to be willing to talk to the public, understand what is needed and be willing to work to help your constituents.
Make sure you have the support of your family because you will need that support during the campaign as well as after you are elected.
If you have been approached by a special interest group to seek office, make sure you understand their motives and you agree with them. It is hard to sell a vision if you don’t understand it or don’t agree with it.
Before you complete the filing paperwork, make sure you have your campaign treasurer and other organizers in place. But most importantly, have your campaign vision well thought out and be ready to talk about it. Being prepared is crucial when talking to the public.
When you decide to file for office, be prepared to complete paperwork and be prepared to talk to the media about your intentions and campaign.
We salute the candidates who are willing to step up and seek public office, and we wish each of them the best of luck.

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