I won't say I'm tired of the political process, the endless campaigning and the nonstop coffee shop conversation about the upcoming elections. But let's face it - it's time on the county and state level to hold this election and move on to bigger and better things. The rhetoric won't subside any time soon with the November general elections right around the corner. But if this is the small price we pay for democracy, it's well worth it by any measure.
I'm equally tired of saying this election or that election is the most important in recent memory. Granted, the presidential election in November creates an atmosphere of supreme importance on the voting process every four years. And sure, it's darned important.
I'm fascinated with the race for governor in Missouri this year. The negatives on incumbent Gov. Bob Holden are as high as any time in our state's history. His term in Jefferson City has been marked by one blunder after another and yet the most recent polls show the race a toss-up between Holden and challenger Claire McCaskill. That either shows the power of the incumbency or the lack of attention on the part of most voters. It also illustrates that straight party line voters will cast their ballot for the party over the individual. That I shall never understand.
On the county level, Scott County particularly is generating ample attention. Heated races line the ballot especially with the retirement of so many incumbents from office. Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday, the courthouse in Benton will have a host of new faces real soon.
North Scott County candidates always seem to fare better in countywide elections than those candidates coming from Sikeston. I suspect the reason is two-fold. Either the candidate pool from the northern part of the county is better (which I doubt) or the voters in the north are more organized and tend to vote as a bloc. Whether that support generates around the church or around family alliances, the outcome in often tilted toward northern candidates. We'll see if that trend continues Tuesday.
Secretary of State Matt Blunt says we'll see a record or near-record turnout on Tuesday. Given the heated gubernatorial race especially, Blunt may be right. But the turnout here will hinge around the weather and the push by the county office candidates, not the top of the state ticket. Or at least that's the way I see it.
I know you get told this numerous times but the fact is it truly is important that you vote come Tuesday. Regardless of your position or who you might support, it's critical that you take part in the process. Only through this involvement do we get the caliber of government that we want and need. And in that process, take time to carefully consider each candidate not for their party label but for their positions, their character and their level of involvement.
The choice truly is ours. And how refreshing that is.