Election season is upon us. Here’s hoping Liberty County is treated to some good, clean races. Too often, name-calling and mudslinging overshadow the importance of political contests, and candidates who hope to head up states, counties, cities and communities may exhibit qualities that aren’t often associated with leaders.
In Liberty County, qualifying for the Nov. 8 municipal elections recently ended for Hinesville, Riceboro, Walthourville, Allenhurst and Gum Branch. Many area residents have thrown their hats into the ring. In the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, we’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about the people who are vying to represent us. There will be candidate forums, rallies, campaign parties, fundraisers and speeches. Residents should take advantage of the stumping period to familiarize themselves with their choices. After all, casting a ballot on Nov. 8 is a big responsibility. Those who head to the polls will choose our leaders, and that task is not to be taken lightly.
And as voters learn about the candidates and their platforms, those seeking office must remember to treat each other with the same courtesy and respect they extend to potential constituents. This means focusing on the issues at hand and steering clear of attacks on candidates’ personal lives.
Obviously, those who have qualified to run have different opinions on the challenges facing our communities. Their values differ, as do their long-term visions for the areas they hope to serve. That’s fine — as long as those differences are expressed with civility and consideration. Certainly no one expects any two candidates to present identical platforms, and choice is a fundamental component of democracy.
Liberty County residents deserve upstanding leaders who will run ethical campaigns. This is a big election and missteps will be costly, so mudslinging must be kept to a minimum and all fights must be fair.