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Election talk already circulating

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By Calen McKinney

 

There won't be one this year, and the next one is still a ways away, but I am already hearing some buzz around town about next year's elections.

"Who do you think will run for this office?" has been asked, and "Do you think he will run again?" has also been a popular question.

Elections bring a lot of excitement and apprehension — excitement for those hoping for change and apprehension for those in office who worry they won't win their seat again.

The excitement at the Taylor County Courthouse on election night is palpable. You can see people talking on their cell phones, excitedly or fearfully updating the person on the other end of the phone as to the latest totals. The nervous energy is unlike anything else.

The window to begin completing the necessary paperwork to become a candidate opens Wednesday, Nov. 6, and I already know some challengers are itching for that date to get here.

Just about every local office will be on the ballot next November, after May's primary narrows the field down a bit.

Next November, we will elect our mayor, judge/executive, magistrates, city council members, state representative and state senator, jailer, county attorney, county clerk, district and circuit judges and several others.

When I was a teenager, I didn't really grasp the importance of elections. As I'm sure it does for several teens, elections used to only mean a day out of school and an opportunity to sleep late during the week.

But now, I see that elections are the day that can determine how a community will develop and grow for the next four years. Bottom line, it's important stuff.

And I encourage others to become interested in the election process and find out what it takes to be a candidate.

If you don't like how are community is progressing, then do something about it. Throw your name in the election ring. Support another candidate. Talk to people about how you believe this community should move forward.

Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney can give you all the details about how to be a candidate. There are various age and residency requirements as well as different filing fees for specific offices.

It's been said that residents can't complain about what happens in their community if they don't vote. There really couldn't be a more true statement.

In addition to voting, I believe residents should also take ownership of their community and step up to be its leaders.

Again, if you don't like what's happening, do your best to change it.

We have a great group of elected officials. They have helped this community grow and succeed. And I'm sure the next set of leaders - whoever they might be - will do the same.

Carney told me recently that he believes there will be a high voter turnout next May and November, albeit not quite as high as when the presidential race is on the ballot, which will be in 2016.

I challenge Taylor County's voters to come to the polls on May 20, and again next Nov. 4, and show just how important this community is to them.

For more information about how to be a candidate, call Carney at 465-6677.