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Race to the finish
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The presidential debates are now in the bag and the candidates are making a mad dash to capture votes in swing states leading up to Nov. 6.

Every presidential election is important, but in times of economic distress or global conflict, both of which seem to be always in play these days, the stakes feel higher. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have made their views known, and citizens have heard plenty of differences upon which to base their vote.

But we're always cautioning Newton County residents not to lose track of the local elections and not to vote based on simple party lines, which are often meaningless in local races.

If you've yet to cast an early vote, we'll have some more coverage leading up to Nov. 6, including posting our in-depth, nearly hour-long videos with the sheriff's candidates, incumbent Ezell Brown and challenger Philip Bradford, and chairman candidate Keith Ellis. (Chairman candidate Marcus Jordan declined to participate in the in-depth interviews.)

We've been working with the Newton College and Career Academy broadcast video students and faculty to produce the videos and we're hoping to finally have them online tomorrow. We want to thank the school for partnering with us.
In addition, we're currently working to fact check some of the statements made by sheriff's candidates at our recent forum.

By this point you likely have an idea of who you want to vote for, but if you don't, visit and research the candidates. You can also glean information from the candidates' websites.

If candidates have taken the time to try to earn your vote, we'd ask that you honor their efforts, but please look at the candidate's entire record and see how transparent and accountable they've been during the campaign season. We're all depending on you to do your homework.