Local would-be candidates need words of encouragement

Hamilton County needs a few good men, and women, to step up to the plate.
The filing deadline for numerous election positions is fast approaching, though the time is now for folks who care about their communities to seriously consider the call to serve. Running for public office is not only a noble calling, it is also a vital component of the democratic process.
A number of positions are up for election this year in various jurisdictions. That includes Hamilton County, the City of Aurora, 4R Public Schools, and all of the villages and area school boards. You can also add to that list the District 34 legislative seat now held by Sen. Curt Friesen, who has filed as an incumbent.
The decision to throw your hat in the ring and run for public office isn’t a simple one, nor is it usually a priority career goal. More often, we suspect, good, honest, hard-working local citizens are approached and encouraged by their friends and neighbors to consider giving of their time and talent to give back to their community.
It means a lot of hear that your views and opinions are respected, and even more to know that you have a support base to put your name out there as a candidate. Lots of folks can and should be part of that process, which confirms, by the way, that individuals can in fact make a difference far beyond the one vote they cast on election day.
The work done in the county courthouse, city hall, school board rooms and village offices is so important to our area. Quality of life and pride is strong here in our neck of the woods and that’s due in part to the small and large decisions made month after month, year after year on our behalf.
There are challenges, to be sure. Keeping taxes low and budgets sustainable is a monumental challenge, which is all the more reason we need capable candidates in the mix.
The filing deadlines are Feb. 15 for incumbents and March 1 for everyone else. We hope to see several contested races this year, since having a choice on election day tends to increase interest in the campaign and is also a healthy sign that people care.
A government of the people, for the people, by the people starts with good people running for office, especially at the local level.
Kurt Johnson

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