Running for public office is not easy. It takes a lot of preparation and hard work. It means talking to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, most of them who have something to complain about. It means giving lots of speeches and attending just about every community event possible. It often includes some sharp public criticism and scrutiny, which is not always comfortable for candidates and their families.
But most candidates who run for local elections do so for noble reasons. They want to be involved in public service, and they think they can help. We may not agree with their views, but their intentions are sincere. That mostly includes the local candidates who are running for their party nomination in the primary election Tuesday. All the candidates, whether you support them or not, deserve some appreciation and respect for putting themselves on the firing line and making an effort to serve their communities and constituents.
Normally a primary lacks much drama but this year there are some interesting races to watch locally with equally strong candidates opposing each other. Here, like many other places in Kansas, some hard-line conservatives are running against more moderate candidates in the Republican Party. The results here and statewide will shape the future direction of state government in the next two years.
Republican voters living in the 40th, 41st and 42nd House districts, which includes all of Leavenworth, Lansing and outskirts, have choices to make. There are also GOP choices in both the 3rd and 5th Senate Districts, and for County Commissioner District 2. Democrats have fewer picks with only contested races in the 40th House District, and in U.S. District 2.
Hopefully, voters will do their part and get out to the polls Tuesday. Secretary of State Kris Kobach is predicting an 18 percent voter turnout across Kansas, which would be higher than the 8 percent of the last primary, but still far too low.
Even if 20 percent turn out to cast a ballot, that means each voter is essentially representing five people. Don’t let somebody else make the choice for you. The candidates have made their pitches, now it’s time to make a choice.