Political signs not enough for casting informed vote

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring has arrived, and they’re sprouting up everywhere – political signs, that is.

Pass down any city street these days, and you see that candidates in the upcoming city election are working on name recognition through the time-honored means of placards in yards.

But picking out the name or political slogan you like is not the best way to narrow down your voting choices. Nor is making selections based on connections of family or friendship.

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Becoming an educated voter is the only way to make the best choices for our city’s future. To learn where the candidates stand on the issues important to you, ask them yourself if you have the opportunity, and if a one-on-one session is not possible, then we recommend you keep an eye on the upcoming editions of The Daily Leader.

Toward the end of next month, we’ll be running a political profile section with detailed information about each of the candidates. In addition, we will be printing front-page stories with the candidates’ answers to some of the pressing questions facing the city.

Another way you can become an educated voter is by attending political forums as they are held around the city. Recently, an event at the Alexander Teen Center featured speeches by a number of the local candidates. Coverage of that forum was included in The Daily Leader and is also still available for reading on our web site, dailyleader.com.

The party primaries are only five weeks away, on May 7, with runoffs, if necessary, on May 21. The city’s general election is set for June 4.

Take time now to educate yourself about those running for office so you can cast an informed vote. Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary May 7. The winners of the party races will face off against the independent candidates June 4.

The candidates in this year’s city election are:

Mayor: Joe Cox, Republican; D.W. Maxwell, independent; Joe Poole, Democrat; Rose “Polly” Powell, independent; David Douglas Smith, Democrat.

Police Chief: Bobby Bell, Democrat; Ted Goleman, Republican; Larry Warren, Democrat.

City Clerk: Mike Jinks (incumbent), Republican; Maxine McCoy Jones, Democrat.

Alderman at Large: Carl Aycock, Republican; Andre’ Spiller, Democrat; Karen Sullivan (incumbent), Republican; Ed Thompson, independent.

Ward One: Randy Belcher, Democrat; Robert Berry, Democrat; Dorsey Cameron (incumbent), Democrat; Christopher Harris, Democrat; Kermit Sartin, Democrat.

Ward Two : Terry Bates (incumbent), Democrat.

Ward Three: Ramon Johnson, Democrat; Lennie Lewis-Bracey, Democrat; Mary Wilson (incumbent), Democrat.

Ward Four: Shirley Estes, (incumbent), Republican; Danny Keene, Republican.

Ward Five: Martha Arrington, Republican; Fletcher Grice, Republican.

Ward Six: Mackie Gipson, Democrat; David McCoy, Democrat; David Phillips (incumbent), independent.