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Run for office: make a difference

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — The deadline to run for some elective offices may be extended an extra five days until tomorrow, Wednesday March 12 because some of the incumbents apparently are not going to seek re-election in the county and city races during this June’s Primary Election.

At the county level, assessor Kenneth Bunch and district attorney Robert Burns have announced they will not seek re-election. Auditor Karen Fouch and district 3 supervisor Larry Wosick are not expected to seek re-election this June. City councilmember Cheryl McDonald is not expected to seek re-election either.

So for those local folks who have the gumption and desire to throw their hats in the ring, it’s not too late. You still have an opportunity to answer that calling and scratch that irresistible itch for public office.

The true, personal and private motivation that drives some of us to run for public office is probably as varied and unique as the candidates themselves, but here in Lassen County the oomph behind the urge is more transparent.

One city leader said he was excited about the upcoming election and all the new ideas that may come forward from the candidates running for city offices. He said most of the candidates running for city office are happy with the way the city is run, and they’re not seeking to upset the apple cart.

The county campaigns seem to be horses of a different color as there are many in the community calling for change and there is a bitter dissatisfaction among some county residents with the way county government conducts its business. This city leader said it was good those running for city office seek to build the city up while it seems those who criticize the county seek to tear it down. Perhaps that is simply a matter of perception, for good or ill. In any case, everyone has a right to their opinion of our political system and our elected officials, and the newspaper whole-heartedly supports that right, even if we do not share those opinions. That’s what the freedom of speech is all about, and we must defend a person’s right to speak even when we don’t agree with what they have to say.

So for those who like the way thing are and for those who do not, from the founding of our great land nearly 250 years ago, elections provide we the people an opportunity to decide exactly who will represent us in their elected offices. That’s what our republic is all about.

If those who like the status quo prevail at the polls, things will remain as they are. If those who hunger for change prevail at the polls, things could be much different. Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom and through their foresight, gave the people of our country both the opportunity and the process to elect their government officials every few years for just that reason — so the people may hold the wheel and steer the ship of state.

As a general policy, the newspaper does not endorse individual candidates or a slate of candidates for elective office. We leave that decision to the wisdom of the voters. Come Election Day, their voices will be heard loud and clear. That is as it should be.

The pendulum shifts and sways and changes direction with the people’s will. If you have a contribution to make to our local government and you would like to seek elected office, time is nearly up.


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