Candidates face questions about goals for office

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 12, 2011

The questions have been sent and candidates have a little lessthan a week to return their answers that will be featured inupcoming issues of The DAILY LEADER.

As part of our coverage of this year’s elections, we chose to focuson certain high-profile contested races and quiz candidates ontheir plans for those offices. The series of question and answersegments will be included in newspaper editions leading up to theAugust 2 party primaries.

Friday is the deadline for questioned candidates to return theiranswers to The DAILY LEADER’s office.

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Leading off later this month will be questions pertaining toLincoln County supervisor, an office that is near and dear to manyresidents’ hearts. It is also an office that impacts many lives,whether it be from a standpoint of road and bridge maintenance,property taxes, economic development or some other importantgovernment function.

The questions that have been put to the candidates for the county’sfive supervisor posts include:

1. Government budgets are tight everywhere. What are you doing inyour district, or what would you do in your district, to easetaxpayer burdens?

2. What is your opinion of the state of Lincoln County’s roads andbridges? Where needed, what can you do as supervisor to improvetheir conditions?

3. Why do you want to be supervisor? And what do you hope toaccomplish?

The supervisor series is scheduled to kick off on June 28 withDistrict One candidates, District Two on July 5, District Three onJuly 12, District Four on July 19 and District Five on July26.

Since crime and its prevention are of paramount importance,candidates for sheriff are being asked about their goals for theoffice. Questions put to those candidates include:

1. What do you see as the top crime-related issues facing LincolnCounty and how do you propose to address them as its top lawenforcement official? If additional funding is needed for yourplans, where will it come from?

2. What programs would you propose to expand, or implement if notalready in existence, to improve safety for Lincoln Countycitizens? How would you fund such programs?

3. Why do you want to be sheriff? And what do you hope toaccomplish?

Responses from sheriff’s office candidates are planned forpublication on Sunday, July 10.

Along with personal safety, education ranks high on the prioritylist for many voters.

As such, candidates for county superintendent of education havebeen sought out to discuss their ideas. Education-orientedquestions include:

1. What do you see as the top three issues facing the LincolnCounty School District and how do you propose to address them asits next leader? If additional funding is needed for your plans,where will it come from?

2. Tighter state funding for education has forced leaders to bringup the idea of school consolidation. How do you feel aboutconsolidation and its potential impact on the Lincoln County SchoolDistrict?

3. Why do you want to be the county’s superintendent of education?And what do you hope to accomplish?

Superintendent candidates’ responses are scheduled for Sunday, July17.

Finally, with incumbent District 39 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith decidingto seek the statewide Commissioner of Agriculture office, her seatin the state Legislature is being vacated.

The candidates looking to fill that seat will be quizzed on theirlegislative ideas for this area. Questions awaiting answers forthat race include:

1. Education continues as a top concern for community and businessleaders as they strive to boost economic development in the state.How do you propose to properly fund education and what results doyou expect to see from those efforts?

2. Aside from education, what are the top two issues facing ourdistrict and how do you propose for address those as a statesenator?

3. Why do you want to be a state senator? And what do you hope toaccomplish?

The Senate question and answer series is planned for Sunday, July24.

As part of our additional election coverage, candidates in allraces have been invited to complete information sheets forinclusion in our Candidate Profile Section. July 1 is the deadlinefor candidates to return their profile forms to the newspaper’soffice.

That profiles section is scheduled for publication on Friday, July29, just in time for voter consideration before heading to pollsthe following Tuesday.

As voters ponder their decisions in this year’s important contests,we would encourage them to study the candidates’ publishedresponses to our questions in the coming weeks. Furthermore, votersmay have their own questions, and those should be asked andanswered when candidates come around soliciting votes.

This year’s elections will set Lincoln County’s path for the nextfour years and possibly beyond. It is vital that voters have asmuch information as possible when they go to make their choicesknown on Election Day.