EDITORIAL: Let’s keep the campaign clean

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

It seems as if it were just a week or two ago that municipal elections were being contested in Sanford and Broadway, but in this era of long campaigns, it seems like it’s never too early to talk about the next race.

The filing period is just around the corner for the next set of elections that will involve four seats on the Lee County Board of Commissioners. Those seats to be contested include the District 1 seat now held by Robert Reives, the District 2 seat now held by Charlie Parks, the District 3 seat now held by Dr. Andre Knecht and the District 4 seat now held by Jim Womack.

Reives says that he intends to seek another term. Parks says that he’s still contemplating whether he’ll seek re-election, and Womack says he’s made his decision but has not made an announcement yet.

Knecht, who was appointed to his seat upon the resignation of Linda Shook, who has moved to Nevada, also has not made an announcement.

One person who had considered seeking a seat on the commission board has decided not to do so. Broadway Mayor Donald Andrews announced this week he wouldn’t run for the seat held by Parks.

“I have prayed for guidance in making the right choice that is best for me and my family,” Andrews said in a message he emailed to The Herald and to others. “At the end of the day, I do not feel the time is right for me or my family to seek the office of Lee County Commissioner.”

It will be intriguing to see who — whether incumbents or challengers — will step up to the plate and file between noon Feb. 10 and noon Feb. 28. The primary will be held May 6 with the election on Nov. 4.

Whoever chooses to run should do so with a sense of wanting to serve in our county’s best interests. It is an often thankless job requiring many difficult decisions, so those who run should be thanked for their willingness to take on such a tremendous responsibility in representing our citizens.

And as we’ve said before: we are highly hopeful that all candidates, and their respective political parties, will keep the campaign focused on the issues that face our county rather than on personal attacks.

On all levels of political service, most voters are sick and tired of the kind of sniping and politicking we’ve witnessed locally and nationally and the unwillingness to work together with those of opposing viewpoints once the votes are counted. It’s one thing to disagree in philosophy, it’s another to be uncivil.

To all who may seek to serve, thank you and best wishes on your campaigns. And, remember, please keep the campaigns clean.