Editorial: Elections are a chance to get involved

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Primary elections are more than two months away and the general isn’t until November, but Albert Lea and Freeborn County already have many declared candidates for office, with the promise of many spirited campaigns. But today is when the political season officially opens: It’s the first day candidates can officially register to have their names on the ballot.

Making a run for mayor, city council, county commissioner, school board or other offices is no small decision to make. Anybody who takes the process seriously is committing to a lot of time and effort by filing for an election. So it’s encouraging that many people have already announced their intent to file, and that many more will surely register now that filing is open. The people who wind up on the ballot all presumably have at least one thing in common: They are interested in their community and they want to have a positive effect on the local scene.

Those planning to take the plunge and file for an office should be applauded; while only one person can win in the end, having many candidates is a great way to focus the debate on what matters to people and bring up new ideas for discussion.

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For anybody else who would be interested in rising to the challenge of public service &045; or at least in getting their two cents during the campaign &045; a run for a local office is something to consider. There are few better ways to be involved and to serve your community than to participate in its elections. At the local level, especially, where partisanship and politics aren’t as prominent, the process is more pure and idea-based than at other levels.