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Monday, Nov 11th

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Voting is for everyone – stakes are high this election season

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Roll Call

It’s impossible to understate the importance of this year’s statewide and area elections. Now that the filing period is over, the winners of this year’s races will be tasked with improving things like public safety and working to make better education and finding remedies to McKinley County’s crime problems and the financial woes at NCI.

The things that need attention aren’t for the faint of heart, or for elected officials backed by a faint-hearted electorate. The fate of Gallup and McKinley County must be determined by those who live and pay taxes, expressed through their elected representatives.

For the most part, everyone knows who’s running. The four candidates aiming for the District 3 McKinley County Board of Commissioners seat currently held by Tony Tanner are well-known to the local populace. Ditto for the jobs of county treasurer and clerk as well as judgeships and district attorney positions and state legislative and congressional seats, too.

It is our hope that voters will stay tuned in to the myriad of messages of those running - all the way up to the June 7 primary and the Nov. 8 general election. Like the old political adage goes, a democracy works to its fullest when people exercise their right to vote. The consent of a plurality of the governed is critical to effective decision-making. It’s important that voters do their homework on the candidates and issues. Every vote does make a difference.

That’s why we laud McKinley County Manager Bill Lee for being forthright and saying that he’d resign the county manager job should he be elected to Tanner’s District 3 seat that he filed for. Can you imagine what it’d look like to folks in Santa Fe and beyond if Lee won Tanner’s seat and decided to keep the county manager job? Newcomer filers Johnny Greene, Jr., and Gerald O’Hara are seasoned government retirees who also seek Tanner’s seat. Their years of work experience are something that could prove positive for the area should one of them get elected.

Politics isn’t for everyone, but voting is. In this year’s elections, there’s no shortage of candidates. While that fact may make the various races all that much more interesting, it’s better to have more choices than fewer, as it allows the public to hold their elected officials accountable and helps prevent arrogance and complacency and helps to keep those elected honest.

In any event, the candidates that win later this year will end up serving four-year terms, which we think is plenty of time to make Gallup and McKinley County prosperous. Such a reality starts with everyone making their voices heard and making their votes count come November.

By Bernie Dotson