"Every election is determined by the people who show up."
Larry J. Sabato, "Pendulum Swing"
In two weeks, Newton County's registered voters will have their last chance to cast their ballot in this year's primary election.
If able, we suggest you do so, because Newton County appears to be on the verge of its own major economic boom, and we'll need leaders who can work together to foster that growth, not splinter the county into feuding factions that create political gridlock.
Some of our elected officials have big plans for the future of the county, including more industries following in Baxter International's footsteps, more jobs and higher income for residents and increased shopping and amenities that are sure to follow.
The plans are grandiose, but the economic development team of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce has seen significantly increased interest in the county in the past few months and that could signal a business renaissance for Newton County even as the rest of the country continues to make only small gains.
Officials are working to recruit Baxter International executives to live here and become involved in our civic groups and schools, as they have done in other communities.
Given all of that, now is the team when we need leaders who will truly do what's best for all of Newton County, not just a select few. We need people in our school system and county government who will represent us with intelligence, common sense and openness.
Don't go to the polls uninformed. Take the time to read about each candidate and listen to what they have to say. We've focused to date on the races where candidates are facing opposition in the primary, and we'll have more coverage in Friday's paper.
We have a beautiful county, but it's at a crossroad and could either turn into a shining example of progress or a glaring warning of what not to do. We hope you'll vote for the people who you truly think can lead the county to its brightest future.