The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 28, 2014

Party politics not needed in local elections

“I always vote for the best candidate (as long as he or she is a Republican/Democrat).”


For years, this refrain has been repeated at election time. However, straight-party voting isn’t the best way to elect officials — especially at the local level.

While local candidates can be the benefactors of straight-ticket voting, they can also be the victims when they aren’t in the “correct” party.

Local elections don’t need to be party-oriented.

Around the country — and here in Limestone County — Democrats or Republicans fill local offices — from county commission to sheriff to judge.  Even voting for the county coroner is on a party basis.

These offices should be filled by the best candidates.

While some candidates have switched parties because they believe the national organization no longer reflects their beliefs, others have switched to enhance their chances of winning.

That’s where we need to draw the line.

Wanting to get a job or keep a job is not the reason to run for office.

Wanting to serve the people — and not a party — is the reason to run for office.