Election cycle 2019 is underway

Published 12:01 am Friday, January 4, 2019

And, they’re off! Wednesday marked the first official day of qualifying for county and statewide elected offices and would-be candidates wasted no time in signing on the dotted line.

Having an abundance of candidates in any political race is refreshing — unless you’re an incumbent — as it signals a healthy democracy.

Our nation’s system depends upon citizens stepping up, raising their hands and suggesting to voters, “I can do the job (and better than the other people running.”

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That system has served our country well for nearly 250 years.

But for that system to truly work well, it requires two things — willing and able candidates and an informed audience of voters.

Clearly, based on the early interest in both statewide and county elections, the candidates are willing and able.

But the challenge will be for the voters to get informed and make good choices as they head to the polls later this year.

We hope and encourage all to get involved in the process.

We encourage candidates to focus on themselves and the issues rather than on attacking their opponents. Practically any fool can sling political mud, but truly great leaders can separate themselves from the pack by simply focusing on the issues — and their plans for improving the community.

Good luck to all the candidates in the days, weeks and months ahead.