County primary is important election

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring is here, Easter is just around the corner, and so is the May Primary Election in Carter County and the rest of Tennessee.

Thusfar, it has been a spirited campaign season locally, which is good. It shows there is interest in what is going on in our county. A number of persons have offered themselves as candidates in the primary. The people elected will be in charge of hometown issues such as law enforcement, setting property taxes, fixing potholes, and running our county government.
While state and federal races in November get more attention, the elections for county mayor and county commission have the most impact on our community.
County leaders are the folks who control when the potholes will be filled, issue car tags, business licenses, and decide how high the city property tax rate will be.
These are the folks who set the budgets for local law enforcement, education, and have an impact on the permitting process for controversial development projects.
These are the folks we entrust with holding the line on local government spending.
These are the folks who need to work together with neighboring counties and cities to bring new businesses and jobs to our area, new roads, and new government services.
These are the folks you’ll likely meet at the grocery store, neighborhood events or government meetings. And if you’re lucky, you can call and get a call back.
While it takes millions of like-minded voters to sway a presidential election, county elections can be swayed by a single neighborhood or group.
This year’s primary election has drawn a good group of candidates for county office. There are contested races for county mayor, sheriff, register of deeds, county court clerk, and in many of the county commission races. Numerous candidates have stepped up and offered to lead. All are owed a debt of gratitude.
New energy, engagement, and passion are stirring the electorate.
We as citizens need to thoroughly vet candidates in terms of the ideas, issues, and character traits we believe will be indispensable to interrupting the status quo and forcing needed change. Most of the candidates have proven themselves to be thoughtful, proactive, passionate, and informed. Thusfar, they have run positive campaigns.
Elections are about candidates, ideas, and visions for our future. We aren’t all the same. We aren’t all locked into principles from the past. That is why we need more than one candidate for all offices, which gives us a choice.
Candidates still have a month to campaign before the May 1 Primary. In the meantime, the last day to register to vote for the May 1 election is April 2. Early voting begins April 11.

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