Time to vote

Published 7:48 am Saturday, February 13, 2016

By Bobby Tingle


March 1st is the most important election this year for Orange County.

November may be getting all the attention, but the big day, locally, comes much sooner.

If you skip the March 1 Primary then you will miss a local opportunity. That is the day when important county leadership will be determined.

There are several outstanding local residents running for a variety of offices. When I say local residents I mean folks who live, work and shop here. They drive down the same streets, shop at the same grocery stores, attend the same churches, eat at the same restaurants, send their kids to the same schools and are members of the same groups as you.

Maybe you sit by them at church, or stand in the check out line with them at the grocery store or watch the same movie as them at the local movie theatre. They are locals just like you.

I suspect your safety, security and your progress and the development of your community and ultimately your happiness, depend much more on who is elected March 1st.

I know the general election occurs in November. But locally, by then, local county races will be decided. Remember, the Republican Primary is, in a sense, the only game in town with all local candidates running on the Republican ticket. So there won’t be contested local races in November for these positions. The only contested race locally on the Democrat ticket is for the position of County Chair. No matter what you think of that, the die is cast. That is the reality. There will not be a Democrat candidate. So go vote now.

But voting won’t be easy. When you look at the races and the candidates you have some very good choices. Residents in county commissioner precinct one have five excellent candidates to choose from. I would dare to say that all five would be very good choices. Our editorial board will have the opportunity to choose one for recommendation to you the voter. But don’t just take our word for it. Do the research. In fact, in most cases, I bet you can find a phone number or a place of business where you can call or drop by and talk to these individuals.

But that is not the only race that is contested. Voters in precinct two and four will be choosing a constable, voters in precinct three will be choosing a county commissioner. Voters will choose the next county clerk, tax assessor-collector and sheriff for the entire county.

I doubt you will get the chance to see any national or state candidates locally very often. Maybe once in a blue moon when they campaign. Not so with those elected in Orange County on March 1. Their meetings will be called to order locally and their public service will benefit the common good or bad locally.

Vote wisely and by all means vote.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com