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Campaign season now kicking into full swing

With the passing of Thursday’s qualifying deadline, the longcampaign between now and the Aug. 7 party primaries begins inearnest as candidates look to win favor with voters.

Since there are relatively few Republicans among this year’scandidate field, many county races will be decided either in thefirst Democratic primary on Aug. 7 or, where needed, in runoffsthree weeks later on Aug. 28. In some races, the Democratic primarywinners will have to continue their campaigns until the Nov. 6general election against their Republican opponents.

This year four elected officials, in effect, received passes tore-election as no challengers qualified to oppose them.

Superintendent of Education Terry Brister, Coroner Clay McMorrisand District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson are all inline to return for second terms in office. County Surveyor JoeByrd, in an unpaid county office, will be up for his thirdterm.

The lack of challengers for those offices suggests voters aresatisfied with the representation they are receiving and the workthe officials are doing.

Candidates in other races, though, will be asking for votes inthe days, weeks and months ahead.

A decision to seek elected office is an important one and weappreciate this year’s candidates for their willingness to serve ifelected. With that decision comes an obligation to tell voters whyone feels best suited to hold a particular office.

That doesn’t have to include telling voters why an opponent isnot qualified. We are hopeful and confident local candidates willrefrain from any distasteful mud-slinging.

To voters who are approached by candidates seeking theirsupport, we encourage you to find out as much as you can about theoffice-seekers and do not hesitate to ask important questions thatmatter to you. Armed with that knowledge, you will be in a betterposition to elect the best candidate.