Editorial....A sea change afoot?An election year always brings with it a certain buzz of excitement (though admittedly, some years more than others).
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
An election year always brings with it a certain buzz of excitement (though admittedly, some years more than others). As this week’s first round of election filings came to a close, those who are more politically inclined will now go to work in support of their favorite candidates, while others are more likely to sit back and anticipate (or dread) whatever changes are likely to come their way as a result of the upcoming elections.
In either case, there’s a sense of drama, a sense that something important might be happening that could change our lives in significant ways.
This year is shaping up to be one of those years. Not only is the office of President of the United States up for grabs, but incumbent Minnesota State Senator Chip Cravaack is facing a field of three very motivated competitors in pursuit of that much-coveted seat.
On the local scene, the newly created Minnesota District 11A has turned into a real horse race, with no incumbent to hold the edge and a broad field of candidates emerging, several of whom have never run for office before.
Incumbent State Senator Tony Lourey faces a challenge from teacher, former Extension educator and past Senate contender Bill Saumer of Pine County, who is testing the political waters once again in order to pursue some of the values and ideals he holds dear.
Political newcomers and veterans have stepped up to the plate in the races for Carlton County Board and Cloquet City Council as well, each with his or her own agendas and motivations that could prove to make these some very interesting races in the months to come.
Next week, the Fond du Lac Reservation will cast ballots for the office of tribal chairman. Here, the story is a little different as incumbent Karen Diver, who stands on her record of progress and growth, goes up against her political predecessor, Peter J. Defoe, who has decided to come out of retirement to stand up for the things he believes in. District representative posts in Cloquet and Brookston are also on the line, with some very qualified candidates eager to get the nod of the people.
Whether it’s political veterans or first-time novices who take the lead as this election year progresses, the ensuing dialogue and debate should be of interest to all of us.
Now is the time to sit up and pay attention. Listen to what the candidates are saying and what they stand for. Ask the tough questions. Feel free to look beyond party lines for the answers you are seeking. By the time the elections roll around, you will be able to make your vote count in a real and significant way.
There’s a sea change afoot – and it’s up to you to turn the tide.