In contrast to the 2008, long-running presidential campaign, which seems -- to many -- to be interminable, this year's local election season appears to be flying by so quickly that it may be hard for most voters to get a clear idea of just who is running, what they have to offer, and if they can actually do the jobs they are seeking.
Just in the contests to fill seven vacant seats on the Clayton County School Board, there are 34 candidates -- 34. There are dozens of others asking for your vote, so they can become county commission chairman, commissioner, district attorney, clerk of court, solicitor general, sheriff, or fill one of several other open positions.
Already, there have been several candidate forums, sponsored and hosted by civic-minded community groups. But the large number of candidates at these forums and the limited amount of time they have to introduce themselves and explain their positions, have left little or no time for the people in the audience -- the voters themselves -- to ask their own questions of these election hopefuls.
For that reason, the Clayton News Daily is appealing to you -- as a resident and voter in this community -- to tell us the questions you would like to have answered by the people who are trying to win your vote. If you have a question for the school board candidates, or those wishing to run the sheriff's office, or the district attorney's office, or sit on the county commission, or hold any other position, send us your question.
And we will ask it of the candidates as we go about our normal interview process with those seeking office.
Some of your questions will, no doubt, be ones we are already planning to ask, but others may be novel, or ones we hadn't considered. While many of you may have specific questions, aimed at specific candidates, those that will work best and be more helpful to the process will be questions that can -- for instance -- be asked of ALL school board candidates, or questions that can be asked of ALL sheriff's office candidates.
Here is how to reach us with your questions:
· If you have a question for school board or state senate candidates, e-mail Curt Yeomans at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
· If your question is for U.S. House of Representatives candidates, those seeking State House of Representatives posts, or county commission candidates (including those running for chairman), e-mail Joel Hall at: email@example.com.
· If you want to ask questions of those seeking to be sheriff, district attorney, solicitor general, clerk of court, or to hold any local judgeships, e-mail Daniel Silliman at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We won't have time to answer you personally, but your questions will inform our reporting and help us give the readers and voters in this county a better picture of who is running and what they propose to do, once in office. So, look for our stories in the coming days and weeks, and know that your question may have helped your fellow voters be more informed and conscientious in making the important choices that will affect us all.
-- The Editors