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Choosy Voters Need Candidates
February 7, 2010 - Joselyn King
Perhaps the greatest thing about being American is that we have choices. We choose where to live, where or whether not to worship, and what to eat or drink -- whether it's healthy for us or not.
Oddly enough, we don't always have choices in our elections. All too often, incumbents run unopposed.
Maybe the incumbent has done a great job and no one wants he or she to leave their job. That's a great thing for them and their constituents.
But the bottom line is that elected jobs really aren't lifetime positions. Their term is for two, four, six or maybe even 12 years. After that time, there is nothing wrong with a performance review.
The problem is that their employer -- the voters who elected/hired them -- don't get the opportunity to do that performance review unless there is another job applicant, or when another candidate files for the office.
Uncontested elections take away democratic rights.
Now there's something happening in 2010 that needs to be celebrated. Many local residents who have never sought office before are looking at the current state of government, and believing there is opportunity for them to step up and apply for the jobs themselves.
While not all the candidates this year are new to elected office, the large number of them in major races is noteworthy.
There are eight candidates seeking the West Virginia's 1st District Congressional seat, and five To seeking the 1st district state senate seat.
Among the local races for the House of Delegates, there are five candidates in the 1st District; four in the 2nd District; eight in the 3rd district; and three in the 4th District.
New faces also have come out for county races, seeking election to school boards and county clerks. In Brooke County, there will even be a hotly contested race for an unexpired magistrate's term.
And on the Ohio side, there also are indications there will be many new faces and contested races this year.
It's not easy these days being a candidate. Not everyone is cut out for the scrutiny and intensity of running for office, and there's also the need for money for the bigger races.
Then, as most political veterans will attest, if you are elected, "you get sworn in, and then get sworn at."
Here's to celebrating those with the courage to try and affect the change they think is needed in their world.
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