Editorial: Our voters deserve competition

Jul. 02, 2013 @ 08:37 PM

Of all our elected officials, a segment of the most trusted begin filing Friday for the fall elections in the Tri-County.

That’s not an endorsement. In fact, far from it. We promise today that if incumbents are the only filers over the two-week period, citizens should expect nothing new.

Come July 19 at high noon, we should see a number of contested races. Our communities deserve the competition. We deserve the very best that is within our communities, and there’s more than one capable for every elected seat.

Many don’t run for various reasons, including trepidation toward things with which they are not familiar. We’ve observed, and rest assured, the people serving are not experts nor do they claim to be on a vast number of issues that come before them.

They are, however, learners. Part of their process is to become educated as best they can in order to vote their conscience for the good of the people they serve.

For those feeling they were hurt, or who cry foul, time passes until days like this Friday. It’s the first filing day, and those who wanted change have the opportunity to make it happen, either by tossing in their hat or backing someone else’s in the ring.

Of late, the hats are scarce. Last fall, we cried as our democratic system so many had fought and died for was made mockery of by the Tri-County citizens. Among the offices of state senator and representative, district judges, county commissioners, school boards, deeds and even soil and water seats, we had seven contested races and 19 uncontested.

The least trusted of elected officials are in Washington. The next least trusted are in Raleigh. And the most trusted are local, in municipalities and counties.

The turnout will be enhanced by a competitive election. And a competitive election will yield fuller and richer debate on the issues affecting us.

Candidates will have to respond from their corner, not hide in uncontested open spaces. They’ll have to take a stand, and we’ll be able to hold them accountable.

If there is no competition, there is no exchange of ideas, especially new ideas. And we deserve fresh ideas.

We deserve a competition.