Thank you to all the candidates on the ballot

Friday, March 29, 2019
People vote Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at the Elks Lodge in Jackson.
Andrew J. Whitaker ~ Southeast Missourian

If you're a regular reader of the Southeast Missourian you have probably noticed by now the number of stories about our election coming on April 2. While the tax issues capture most of the attention, there are several races scattered across the area for various small-town boards, school boards, hospital boards and the like. It has kept our government reporter Mark Bliss busy for weeks.

Dozens of folks have put their names on the line for the opportunity to put in a lot of unpaid work for little fanfare and maybe more than just a little criticism.

So we'd like to take this opportunity to thank those who run for office. We'd like to thank those who care enough about their communities to take an active role in their outcomes, in their people, students, teachers, police force and the list goes on. It's a great responsibility to be a voting member of a public body. Likewise, the wrong mix of people and motivations can lead to controversy, lawsuits, bad policy and an injured community reputation. So it's extremely important for good, strong candidates to lead.

Many of the names you'll see on your April 2 ballot you might not have read about in our stories, because those races are not contested. Such is the case in Jackson, where Dwain Hahs has admirably led Jackson in his first term and seems to have Jackson moving in a good direction, having built good relationships both within and outside of the city.

As we've done before, we'd like to end this editorial with one of our favorite quotes, from Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

To everyone who enters the arena: We tip our hats to you.

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