OUR VIEW: These elections are really important, so vote

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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In one week, we’ll have just elected brand new leaders (or sent some into a run-off). Unfortunately, voter turnout remains low countywide, and although it was expected, we admit we’re concerned. Very few people have taken advantage of early voting, and we’re honestly not sure how many are pumped about Election Day either.

We’ve written it before — several times — but we’re going to say it again: These elections are really important.

The city of LaGrange has only one contested council race (Mayor Jim Thornton is unopposed), but that one obviously matters a lot. Nathan Gaskin is finishing up his first term on the council and Israel Barsh is hoping to be elected to the seat for the first time.

While that one is important, we’ll admit that the races around the county are probably the most intriguing, starting with the five-person scramble for the Troup County Commission District 5 seat. The cast of personalities in that race alone makes it very compelling, considering most of the candidates are people who are known by the general public.

From Kendall Butler to Ernest Ward to Norma Tucker to Travis Hart to Jimmy McCamey, these are individuals who are all recognizable in Troup County. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many will want to see what happens with that race, especially considering that the winner will take over the seat left behind by Richard English. He held that position for more than 40 years, so we’re sure it’ll still be a little warm for whoever sits there next, and plenty of people will be watching to see what the new commissioner does to move Troup County forward.

And yet, the entity that could see the most change Tuesday is actually Hogansville.

Two years ago, it was Hogansville that saw three council positions change hands. Could we see more change?

There are four candidates for mayor, as well as two contested council seats. The family element adds intrigue there as well. We could end up with brothers as mayor and council members or a husband and wife as mayor and council member.   

In West Point, four candidates are vying for three positions.

We know that these elections aren’t prompting office-wide debates. There’s not a highlight reel from a debate flashing on your TV nonstop, or a Twitter feed full of interesting thoughts to discuss.

But unlike other elections, the people we elect to these positions are our neighbors. They live in this community and want the best for it, just as we do. They will be the people we go to when we have problems and ultimately, they’ll have a vote on how to make Troup County a better place to live and work.

It’d be a shame if someone got elected with a very low percentage of the community taking part. We all live here. We all have a stake in the future of this county. And that starts by voting.

Do your part. Take five minutes and cast your ballot.