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Our Thoughts: Invisible candidates
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We're sad to see that our recent election history has a chance to repeat itself, but we're hopeful voters have learned a few lessons during the past four years.

In 2008, there was a man who took the time to qualify to run for public office, yet failed to attend any of the public events that come along with such an endeavor. He declined to attend forums or answers questions important to voters.

Such antics caused us to give him the moniker "No Show," a label that became increasingly appropriate after state representative Toney Collins was elected as he remained absent at nearly every public function to which he was invited.

Normally, such a campaign wouldn't work, but Collins banked on being able to waltz into office because he was a Democrat in a year when Barack Obama, who had reached immense popularity, was capturing the hopes of a nation.

After an uninspiring two-year term, the voters wisely choose a new representative.

We had hoped old "No Show" was an anomaly. We're beginning to lose hope.

We believe there are two Newton County candidates who are trying to play the same game.

Ricky Corley is a Republican running for Newton County Board of Education, while Marcus Jordan is a Democrat seeking the county's highest elected position of chairman.

Neither gentleman attended our recent forum which was co-sponsored by the chamber. In addition, Corley has yet to answer our basic candidate questions and Jordan declined to sit down for an in-depth interview on video. Jordan's opponent, along with both candidates for sheriff, managed to find time to meet with us for an important discussion hitting on the full spectrum of topics.

From everything we've seen and heard, Jordan and Corley are really nice guys. Collins was a really nice guy too.

Responsiveness and responsibility have nothing to do with personality, party or race.

Even if you don't believe forums make a difference, you have a responsibility to attend such events and to answer the questions, tough and easy.

If you don't take time to attend a forum or sit down and talk to the paper, why should the public believe that you'll answer the tough questions when situations arrive in office? Why should the public believe you can lead or represent them?
The paper's not perfect, but it's one of the most important vehicles for spreading information in Newton County.

We're at a crossroads in Newton County. The worst of the economic collapse appears to be over, but tough times remain. The county needs to continue its stabilization while aggressively positioning itself to take advantage of business and housing growth as soon as the markets begin their ascent.

County government and the performance and leadership of the school system will be squarely in the spotlight. This county doesn't need people who hide from the bright lights or can't be bothered to show up.
We don't make it a policy to tell you who to vote for, but we do consider it our responsibility to point out major concerns.

If you don't know a candidate, what he stands for and whether he's truly committed, we ask that you vote for the one who's at least shown up, regardless of political party.