Lack of local candidates file for election
Two years ago we lamented the fewer and fewer number of people who are filing for local office.
Although Churchill County had several spirited races, many of the most interesting races came at the state level when the Republicans swept the state’s constitutional offices.
In Churchill County, five candidates ran for four seats in 2014. This year is a worse, however. Three candidates are running for three open seats. Incumbent Greg Koenig is termed out, and former board president Ron Evans did not run.
So, it’s three for three and no primary.
We can remember as far back as eight years ago when candidates lined the full length of a long table during the LVN Candidates Night. This year, three candidates will fit nicely around a coffee table.
Likewise, the Mosquito, Vector Control and Weed Abatement Board had four individuals running for three seats two years ago.
Today? Two candidates for two open seats.
Two candidates filed for County Commission, District 3, while the incumbent in District 1 escapes unscathed.
The county isn’t totally alone. City elections also experience the same fate with the incumbent and perhaps a challenger facing each other.
Compare our local races to that of U.S. Senate. The voter needs a scorecard for the number of candidates who filed to succeed the retiring Harry Reid.
As we wrote in 2014, it’s sad that the number of people running for office has declined. We offered a few reasons then, and they may be relevant again today. Social media may be the big culprit since computer whizzes can scrutinize candidates, spit out the harsh vitriol and chew them out on various positions with numerous posts, emails and Tweets.
Yet, those same social media users who hide behind the keyboard — many with pseudonyms — are the first to whine about policies, procedures or leadership. It’s not strange, either, to see not one keyboard rider who blasted the school district over a busing problem in August file for one of the vacant seats on the school board.
The apathy, though, carriers over in other areas such as community involvement. The number of members in community and service organizations, we have been told, has dwindled over the years.
This year will go down as another lackluster filing season because the number of candidates filing for Churchill County seats can be counted on two hands. Nevertheless, we cannot stress the importance to vote in the primary and general elections.
Editorials written by the editorial board appear on Wednesdays.