Local Elections Lack Key Information

The final act of the 2018 election cycle began Monday with Early Voting for the Nov. 6 General Election.

Marion County residents must suffer voter fatigue after months of Primary Elections, General Election, City election and School Board election. They have seen candidates for the US Senate, US Representative, State Representative and even Texas Agriculture Commissioner visit Jefferson and ask for their vote.

Despite all this political attention, voters in local contests may still feel uninformed about the candidates. The current General Election is a good example.

In Marion County the only contested race is for Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace between Republican incumbent JoAnn Nutt and Democrat Tosha Yvette Moore.

Both candidates declined interviews with the Jimplecute that included questions such as when and where they would hold court. Nutt said she did not find the questions relevant and did not want to say anything that would cause a “controversy.” Moore did not respond to the Jimp’s emails.

Voters have a right to know how the person drawing a $19.812 salary plus $18,000 in benefits from the county to  run the small claims court in their precinct, set the fines for speeding tickets and arraign prisoners will approach this office.

Candidates unwilling to participate in forums and unwilling to answer questions from the media form a pattern repeated in city and school elections. Incumbents appeared to be the most reluctant to expose their views. They often find they have a conflict on the night of the forum.

It takes great courage to stand for election, to risk the disappointment of failure. If someone wishes to serve in public office, however, they should also be willing to tell voters where they stand on the issues.

Nutt and Moore are only the two latest examples of candidates unwilling to reveal their positions so voters can make an informed choice. Precinct 2 voters may regret that on the Texas ballot there is not a spot for “None of the Above.”

You might tell candidates in 2019 city and school elections to come out of hiding and let voters know their views. We’re pretty sure there will be a forum where they will get a chance to speak.

Early voting continues through Nov. 2 at the Elections Building on North Alley near Jefferson Junior High.

 

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