OPINION COLUMNS

Deck the halls for election season

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, November 4, 2017
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“It’s the most wonderful time … of the year …” (Everyone, sing!)

“It’s the hap-happiest season of all …”

Oh, wait. You thought this was about Christmas?

Not. At. All.

I’m talking about election season. The races leading to the March 6 primary elections officially kick off next weekend when the filing period opens. (Oh, happy day.)

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe

The filing period runs Nov. 11 through 6 p.m. Dec. 11. Although local candidates have been “announcing” they plan to run for county office, they must officially file with their respective parties in this 31-day window. Whoever files during this time will be on the March 6 primary ballot.

You’re probably getting ready to issue me a nerd card, but hold that thought. This is exciting, folks. Why, you ask? These are the people who spend your tax dollars.

These are the people who provide county services, and they can decide to what level they are willing and able to provide them. They represent our communities on the state and national level and regularly make decisions that will affect life in Wise County for years to come, whether it’s a transportation plan, broadband infrastructure or simple road repairs.

As you can see, it’s important to know who’s running, why they’re running and what they plan to do if elected.

In case you’ve lost track, here’s who’s announced so far:

  • County Judge – J.D. Clark
  • Precinct 4 Commissioner – Gaylord Kennedy
  • County Clerk – Sherry Lemon, Julie Schooling
  • District Clerk – Brenda Rowe
  • County Court-at-Law No. 1 Judge – Melton Cude
  • 271st District Judge – Brock Smith
  • Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace – Ashly DoByns, Callie Manning, Kim Redman, Tammy Sosa
  • Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace – Todd Bailey, Bucky Manoushagian
  • Precinct 3 Constable (unexpired term) – Cary Mellema

Also important to note: These are all Republican candidates. No Democrats have made a move yet. This is another reason the filing period is exciting; you never know what will happen or who will make a last-minute decision to join a race.

Other offices on the ballot and those currently holding those seats are:

  • Precinct 2 Commissioner – Kevin Burns
  • County Treasurer – Katherine Hudson
  • Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace – Jan Morrow
  • Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace – Mandy Hays

It should be a fun season, so grab some popcorn, sit back and watch.

But more importantly, be informed. Get to know the candidates in your precinct and the countywide races and make educated votes.

Here, on the local level, it actually makes a difference.

Kristen Tribe is assistant publisher and editor of the Wise County Messenger.

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