The coffee shops are beginning to talk politics and this time around it's not about John Kerry and George W. Bush. With springtime just around the corner, that means the political season is about to get under way. And this year, Sikeston and Scott County should provide ample ammunition for political junkies.
A hotly-contested school board race in Sikeston is effectively shaping-up and a city council race in two Sikeston wards is drawing ample discussion as well. But much of the focus as the summer rolls around will be on a handful of county races in Scott County. These races at this early point are sure to offer a host of choices. In fact, we may see more candidates filing this year in Scott County than ever before.
Here's another facet that should offer some interest. There will be several Republican candidates on the Scott County election ballot come November. That is a landmark change from the past and obviously reflects the changing attitudes in our county. Rumor has it that four or more candidates will file for office under the Republican banner in November. That means that for once in a long while, elections will not be decided here following the August primary election.
Try as we may, we cannot escape politics in our lives. And though the process is often messy, the importance is well worth the effort. Until you understand how government works on all levels, you can't begin to appreciate the importance of the election process.
Scott County is clearly a divided area with a major political split geographically between the north and south end of the county. It has always been that way; or at least in modern political trends it has. And early discussions this year indicate that the split will be more than evident come August and November. Believe me, that split is on the minds of every potential candidate for county office.
With this much at stake, our hope is that the political season will be positive and that the turnout will be well above normal. And as simple as it sounds, we hope that county residents look at the qualifications and caliber of the candidates more than their geographic residence. But that may be hoping for too much. We'll see.