Citizens deserve the right to vote on all candidates

Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 2/18/18

Republican leaders in Walker County recently chose to deny two area candidates the ability to be on the June 5 Primary Election ballot as a member of their party.Mike Cole, a candidate for sheriff, and Tanya Guin, a candidate for school board superintendent, were the only two people attempting to qualify for the election who were denied.

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Citizens deserve the right to vote on all candidates

Posted

Republican leaders in Walker County recently chose to deny two area candidates the ability to be on the June 5 Primary Election ballot as a member of their party.Mike Cole, a candidate for sheriff, and Tanya Guin, a candidate for school board superintendent, were the only two people attempting to qualify for the election who were denied.

Candidates wanting to run on the GOP ticket in Walker County have had to go before the Walker County Republican Party Screening Committee. In January, candidates received word from the Walker County Republican Party Executive Committee if they had been accepted or not.

Cole has announced on Facebook recently he has decided to run as an independent candidate for sheriff (which he says will require approximately 800 signatures), while Guin is appealing her denial to the state GOP.

The Daily Mountain Eagle takes issue with the process. A group of less than 20 people should not determine if a person is fit to be on the ballot – that should be up to the voters to decide. Committees and groups picking candidates is one reason why so many people are tired of politics. The voters of Walker County should settle the issue of who should be the next sheriff or school board superintendent.

While no official comment has been given from the Walker County Republican Party, the candidates who were rejected have suggested they were denied for not being Republican enough in the eyes of the secret committee. Many of the elected officials in Walker County are former Democrats. That reasoning doesn’t hold water.

It was only a short time ago that all our elected officials were Democrats. A change in the political tides in the last 20 years have made it to where it’s much easier locally to win an election as a Republican. Party politics ruined Washington and Montgomery years ago, and it is slowly ruining smaller forms of government.

Our community is small and tight-knit. If someone is unfit for office, the voters will know that. Of course, that might not stop the citizenry from voting for that person. The point is that local folks know each other, and it is our opinion that it should be left up to the citizens who go to the polls to decide who should and should not be in office.

— Daily Mountain Eagle