The Race Is About To Begin

editorial-logo3We are fast approaching that time of year when candidates will begin to commit to the election process or announce their decision to leave the political arena. Though we are still a couple of months from picking up petitions, most candidates for the May election are already in the process of weighing their options. The County Commission, all 21 seats, will run next fall but the County primary for County offices as well as State representatives positions will have to turn in their petition in the early winter months. So, the stir has begun and the pot is boiling with rumors regarding who will and will not run for election. In the Sheriff’s race, present Sheriff McCoig has confirmed that he will be seeking re election. Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri has not yet declared his intent and others are still on the fence about seeking another go round in the political machine. Jefferson County finds itself in an interesting position. Many of the elected officials that currently hold public office are at or nearing retirement age. Unlike the County Commission or School Board, it is not as easy to replace an elected official that heads a department or office in the County. Those officials must be committed to another four years of work and four years is a long time for a person looking forward to retirement. It is possible that Jefferson County could be looking at an election with few incumbents seeking office. Of course, there is always the possibility that they could all decide to run for another term. After speaking with a few, I think that they are crunching numbers and looking at health insurance options and that may be the deciding factor for several. Most County elected officials, beyond the School Board and County Commission, have years of politics under their belts and know the drill. They are prepared for the offices that they hold and understand the obligations of the job. Does that mean that there isn’t someone else that could unseat them and perform their duties? Absolutely not. It just means that there are generally qualified choices for the positions in question.

Other elected positions, such as County Commission and School Board, often come with a steep learning curve. Of the 21 Commissioners running for re election, many are unwilling to announce their intent in regards to the election. Frankly, if you have served almost 4 years on the County Commission you should know if it is your cup of tea or not. If the Commissioners are testing the local waters before committing, some could be facing a hard sell in their district. If after four years, you just don’t know if you should run for re reelection or not…the answer is most likely no.

It should be an interesting few months and I am sure that there will be much stirring of the brew in the build up to the elections. A few politicians and some eye of newt can really get things steaming. Election season approaches and with it the good, the bad and the downright scary. Let the games begin.

Source: K. Depew, News Director