Exercise your right and vote wisely

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My column is usually not one to discuss politics, but I am making an exception this week. We have several candidates running for re-election or to be elected to various political positions. I have personally spoken with several candidates as I offer political ad packages for their newspaper advertising. Many have met with me and secured their ad space in the weekly editions they choose to place their ads. Others have messaged, texted or called me to inquire about purchasing ads and also the costs. I have met with a few who were undecided about what they needed or could afford. I am still waiting to hear back from most of those. 

Candidates use many ways to reach voters. As I said, newspaper ads are a way to reach many registered and likely voters, while getting information about themselves and the goals they have for the position they are hoping to win. As many of you have noticed, yard signs are placed on property owners’ yards who have agreed to display it for the candidate/candidates. Many street corners that have high traffic have a slew of political signs posted. I saw one homeowner’s yard with two signs displayed. They were signs of two opponents running for the same position. 

People are getting knocks on their doors as candidates are trying to visit every voter in the area their position will cover. I’ve heard multiple positive comments from voters about learning more about the candidate by conversing one-on-one. 

Cards with the candidate’s photo and stating their credentials are being passed out as quickly as they can get to all their constituents. 

There is one problem I have not personally observed but was informed of this week. Someone or more than one someone is going around and ripping off the yard signs from the wooden stakes they are attached to the ground with. They leave the stakes and take the signs. As far as I know, this is only happening to one candidate. I find this destruction a type of jealousy or “cheating” to block an opponent in their race to win. It is also illegal. Every one of the candidates are adults. I certainly do not want to vote for anyone who does this type of unfair political practices. It may not be the candidate themselves removing the signs but is most likely a devout supporter of theirs and the candidate most likely knows of the devious behavior. 

The candidates who are working to be re-elected have spent time in their position. They understand city protocols, laws and have the knowledge and experience that long-term politicians can bring. On the other hand, it’s good to have new voices and new ways of thinking to be elected in political positions. 

In my opinion, it is good to have a balance in any small-town government. We need experienced leaders who will continue to boost our economy, improve our community and lead in a fair and honest way. Newcomers to political positions can also work with seasoned officials to make improvements in many areas. With that being said, I believe the candidates running for positions should have put in the time to attend monthly town meetings, researched the qualifications needed and talked with city leaders and business owners months and even years before running for a position. If they have not done those things, they will have to rely on learning and training to know the laws, procedures and duties they are required to do in their position after they are elected. To me, that is time wasted. If they regularly attended town meetings, they would have learned a tremendous amount of what city officials deal with. 

I hope this election will go smoothly. There will probably be a few run-offs. When you cast your vote, consider if the candidate has the experience, qualifications and perseverance to keep Baldwyn growing in ways which will help the community. Honesty, integrity and being willing to listen are important points to ponder when voting for a specific candidate. 

When the election is all said and done, I expect all the winners to work together for the good of Baldwyn and its citizens. 

Do your part, get out and vote!