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We should expect more of candidates running for public office

HUNTSVILLE — High-quality candidates are necessary at all levels of government, yet there are not many people who are willing to put themselves out there and run for public office.

The political environment today is vicious and cruel, and it seems as though no candidate can escape unscathed. But our need to be governed well by people who are qualified, committed, and full of integrity has not changed.

Federal office candidates will ultimately work on national policy and assistance in broad strokes over time.

At the state level, the actions of future officials will largely influence the well-being and vitality of our state.

Local candidates will make decisions about our communities that directly affect us every day. We need the right people in these positions of power and authority for the right reasons so our communities can flourish.

As the 2022 campaign season closes, we would do well to remember a few things. One, as George Washington says in the hit musical “Hamilton,” “Winning was easy, young man. Governing’s harder.”

While running a political campaign is grueling and consuming, winning the race is only the beginning. Doing the hard work of governing the people entrusted to an office is more demanding and exceedingly more important.

Citizens need to make sure that the candidates we are sending to Washington, D.C., Montgomery, and our respective local cities know what their jobs will entail.  and that they are not pursuing the office for selfish gain, but rather out of a sense of duty and commitment to the people they will serve.

Second, we should exercise our right to vote. Our power lies in our votes and every vote counts.

Candidates win races with fractions of the total population voting. If these candidates are not qualified to hold an office and constituents vote to elect them, we are not doing our part in setting our communities up for success.

We all pay the price when unqualified, greedy candidates win seats and implement poor policies that affect us both now and in the future.

Lastly, we should encourage committed, qualified people in the community to run for public office: Perhaps consider running for office yourself.

Change will not occur until we decide enough is enough and we deserve to be represented by people who take their positions of power seriously and will fight for what is best for their constituents, not what’s best for their own personal gratification.

The time for change is now.

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