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Political traditions
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The world is becoming a more complex and competitive place and that's affecting many of the longtime traditions we've held in this country for decades.

Americans today are preparing for Halloween in July and Christmas in August, while Valentine's Day is beginning to creep ever closer to New Year's Day. (St. Patrick's Day, thankfully, is still firmly celebrated on March 17. It's an appropriately spontaneous holiday.)

The political season is far from immune, as it used to kick off in full force after Memorial Day, but this year, especially on the national scene, campaigning and politicking has been in full force for the past six months.

Friday was the local qualifying deadline and a few, now considered late-entering, candidates hopped into our local races last week, joining dozens of previously announced candidates.

America's forefathers designed the government to be run by part-time elected citizens. In order to enter a race today, candidates must pay 3 percent of the salary for the seat they're seeking. That's a pretty penny even for part-time seats, especially for the candidates who lose.

Inevitably, at least some prospective candidates have been warded off by the prospect of high entry fees.

Although we sometimes disagree with our local politicians, we respect the fact that the position they occupy or are running for is often a full-time commitment for part-time pay. The most involved elected officials, similar to the hardest-working salaried employees, often make very little when broken down on an hourly basis.

Good luck to all of our candidates here in Newton County. We hope that when the dust settles the people will have made the best choice.