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Senate runoff election could serve as example to D.C.

According to Google Maps, the distance between Brookhaven and Washington, D.C., is a little over 1,000 miles. Some days, as we watch the squabbles of politics being played out on our television screens, smartphones and newspapers, the distance seems to be more like light-years away.

This country is perhaps more divided than any other time in her history. Everyone has an opinion, if not a solution, to the ills of our society. As a pastor, I have been given a pulpit — literally and figuratively. How I choose to use that pulpit reflects what I deem most important and/or needed. Of course, in my profession, I depend on inspiration from above to occupy the expressions and words I use. One thing I choose not to do is publicly endorse candidates. While I enjoy the political process as much as anyone, and I never miss the opportunity to vote, I feel I am best in my service to others if I refrain from bringing politics into the pulpit I am honored to fill.

The recent special election for Senate District 39 representing Lincoln and parts of three other counties was up for grabs and many were on the ballot for the special election a few weeks ago. The two left standing in the runoff, Bill Sones and Jason Barrett, are both well-known in this community. Since moving to Brookhaven a little over two years ago, many things have impressed me about our wonderful town. One is the level of pride each person has in this area. The citizens here are deeply invested in the local economy, schools, neighborhoods and overall well-being for the place they call home. This most recent election is a fitting example of the decency and integrity that seems to permeate the good folks of Lincoln County. I deeply appreciate the fact there is a standard of quality seen in every facet of life here.

Much to my pleasure, the runoff between Barrett and Sones was the template of how to run a clean, positive, trash-free, non-mudslinging campaign. This speaks to the quality and character of both men seeking the office. Views and politics aside for a moment, it was a breath of fresh air. Even before the results were tallied Tuesday night, both men had already represented us well. The lessons they exhibited should not be lost or forgotten by any of us anytime soon. You had two men, both desiring the same thing, demonstrating decency and the traits of gentlemen. It will be a sad day if we ever lose those characteristics in our world. However, something tells me those traits will not be lost anytime soon in Lincoln County. The place we call “Home Seekers Paradise” could teach the folks 1,000 miles away a thing or two about civility and manners. Our country needs prayer, healing and grace. I am thankful to have seen each of these three in action in the last election, and I am thankful to live in a place where those things still matter.

Rev. Bobby McKay is pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Brookhaven.