Editorial: Campaign season heating up

Sep. 02, 2014 @ 11:44 PM

Should there be any doubt, tonight’s television viewing should erase it: We’re in the heart of election season.

U.S. Senate candidates Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent, and Thom Tillis, the Republican N.C. House speaker, hook up in the first of two debates. Local stations WRAL-Ch. 5, WTVD-Ch. 11 and WNCN-Ch. 17 will join C-SPAN and UNC Public Television in televising live at 7 p.m. Norah O’Donnell of CBS News moderates tonight, and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos moderates the Oct. 7 rematch.

But that’s merely the glitzy race. There’s much more.

Groups are already out encouraging voter registration. Their move is primarily a backlash to the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s new voter laws. And that’s too bad in a sense; voter registration should have been emphasized before that happened.

In a day and age when it seems every move by lawmaking bodies is challenged for its constitutionality, simply going to vote should be a no-brainer.

Friday is the first day of absentee voting by mail. Oct. 10 is the voter registration deadline, and one-stop voting begins Oct. 23. That’s roughly seven weeks until the first vote is cast.

Hagan and Tillis are capturing plenty of attention, inside and outside of our state lines. Republicans own a 9-4 edge in Beltway seats and could gain more where Reps. Mike McIntyre and Howard Coble have resided.

The $17 million already spent from outside groups on the Hagan-Tillis duel, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, will be a small number compared to the final total.

We’re also picking our House representative in Washington and choices to represent us in Raleigh. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and state Sen. Angela Bryant face a challenger; state Rep. Nathan Baskerville is running unopposed.

Not to mention we’ll pick a sheriff for Vance County.

The issues and policies shaping our lives daily are on the table with our choices. We can take what is given, or be involved in the process.

As always, this corner encourages participation. It is time to pay attention to the candidates.