This time last year, the nation was simultaneously enthralled by and disgusted with the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with the election still days away.
For all the talk of people just wanting it to be over, Americans sure did turn out to vote. Despite recording the lowest turnout in 20 years, still more than half of eligible voters turned out to be heard.
Does anyone expect that kind of result in local elections? It’s doubtful we’ll see it in the city races, which is a shame.
Covington, Oxford and Porterdale are picking City Council members this year.
The majority of races are in Covington.
In Post 1, East Ward, Councilman Chris Smith faces a challenge from Susie B. Keck.
Two people — Anthony Henderson and Jeffrey Johnson — are taking on Councilwoman Ocie Franklin in Post 3, West Ward.
Post 2, West Ward, Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams is unopposed.
Oxford has elections in Posts 4, 5 and 6, although only the Post 6 race is contested. Mike Besaw and Jeff Wearing are opposing each other to succeed Dr. Melvin Baker.
Incumbents David Eady (Post 4) and Jim Windham (Post 5) were unopposed.
In Porterdale, there are races in Post 3 with Ryan Barrett challenging incumbent Tim Savage, Post 4 where Mike Harper challenges incumbent Marvin Moore and Post 5 with Rick Vaida taking on incumbent Lowell Chambers.
Races in Mansfield and Newborn were unopposed.
All these races are important. While offices like president, senator and governor get the headlines, the mayor and City Council are where the rubber meet the road on issues like sanitation, streets and parks.
Yet in most cases, only a relative handful of voters decide who’ll be making the big decisions — including the one that hits your pocketbook with millage rates.
Given the stakes, it’s surprising there aren’t more candidates in the running, and more voters lining up at the polls.
Fortunately, we understand interest is unusually high this year in early voting. Still, there is much work to do.
If you’ve studied the candidates and made your picks, there is still one week left to get to the polls for early voting. That continues through Friday at the Newton County Administrative Building for Covington’s election and at the respective City Halls for Oxford and Porterdale elections.
And if you still need some time, polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.
Look back on our website, covnews.com, for a question-and-answer panel to see where the candidates stand on pressing issues in their own words. And since these are local races, call them up yourself if you want.
But most of all, get involved and vote.
Our Thoughts is the view of The Covington News’ editorial board, which includes Publisher David Clemons and Managing Editor Jackie Gutknecht.