Upcoming election could be most important yet

Published 6:33 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

While the race to determine which Republican candidate will challenge President Barack Obama in November is full-steam ahead, the local political scene, despite numerous offices up for grabs, has been relatively quiet.

This year’s election, both nationally and locally, is one of the most important, and pivotal, in decades. With unemployment still too high, the cost of energy skyrocketing, and the unknown of what direction the Supreme Court of the United States will go when ruling on the constitutionality of the Health Care Bill, Obama is vulnerable heading into November.

And, we will also vote on the US District Two representative, a position currently held by Sanford Bishop.

Locally, the ballot will be full in November with many important offices and seats up for grabs. While the presidential election is of utmost importance, the choice and election of these local office holders have a greater effect on our day-to-day lives.

Three of the six seats on the Board of Education will be up for grabs. The terms of Bobby Barber, District 5, Clarissa Kendrick, District 1, and Winston Rollins, District 3, all expire this year. None of the three have publicly made their intentions known and no challengers have surfaced in these races, either.

Likewise, three Decatur County Commission districts will choose the person who will represent them for the next four years. Butch Mosely, District 2, Russell Smith, District 5, and Dr. Charles Stafford, District 3, all have expiring terms. Again, it is not known if these incumbents intend to run again, but, understandably, it is still very early in the process.
In addition to these boards, all the countywide constitutional offices will be on the November ballot.

The offices of Decatur County Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Coroner, Treasurer, Tax Commissioner, Probate Judge, and Chief Magistrate Judge will be up for grabs.

Additionally, the offices of South Georgia District Attorney and State Court Judge will be on the ballot. We will also choose, since Decatur County is now split, two state representatives and a state senator to look after our interests at the capitol in Atlanta.

So, you can see there will be lots of very important decisions made in November — decisions of choosing people that will shape our nation, state, and community for years to come.
My hope is that each of these offices and positions has opposition. That’s not to say that I believe that none of the incumbents are doing a good job and don’t deserve to be re-elected. Some have done a great job and deserve another term, but I also think that a new approach and new breath would be welcome in some of these offices and positions.

One thing is for sure, this slate of offices will not be the same after the elections in November. Some incumbents will lose the election, some will win, and some will choose not to run for re-election. I just hope that we have healthy debate and discussions, the debate and discussion that are vital to our democratic form of government.

The window is short; the filing period for these local elections is May 23-May 25, for anyone interested in running for public office to make their intentions known. For the sake of our community, I hope the county Elections Office is very busy those two days.

Jeff Findley is the publisher of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at jeff.findley@thepostsearchlight.com.