Tuesday ended qualifying for those planning to run in a city or town election throughout the county.

I applaud each person, in each city or town, who had the courage to put their name on a voting ballot and hopefully the heart and desire to better his or her city or town.

It take a lot of guts to run for an elected office, or literally no fear. Politics, sadly, can be an ugly game.

In this day and time, and probably all time, many times the most qualified doesn’t always win. Thankfully, in municipal elections, a person doesn’t have to declare a political party, ultimately placing that person in an automatic advantage or disadvantage before the first sign is posted in a yard, the first advertisement in the newspaper is printed or even the first vote cast.

In municipal elections, we get to vote for the person, not the party. So, that makes it even more important. This year will be like any year before. Door-to-door campaigning will be a lot tougher.

Social media has changed the political game, no doubt. I am not sure if that’s good or bad. Meeting and greeting people seems, at times, to be a thing of the past.  Social media can also give a candidate a sense of unrealism. Just because you have 5,000 likes on your Facebook page doesn’t mean you are guaranteed 5,000 votes.

Regardless of how they campaign, these candidates deserve a little respect. Again, it takes a lot to put your name out there and risk every bad thing that has ever happened, and sometimes things that haven’t happened, becoming public.

There are no guarantees when you run in a municipal election. Good luck to those running this year, throughout Jackson County. Remember when you see them out in the hot sun, whether you plan to vote for them or not, show respect.

They deserve that much, if nothing else.

DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to dewayne.patterson@jcsentinel.com. 

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