Editorial: Democracy in action
Among the most cherished — and important — rights we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America is the right to freely choose our own leaders, and nowhere is the simple beauty of our election system more clearly expressed than at the local level.
We saw ample evidence of that in Moffat County on Tuesday, as voters turned out for the 2018 primary election, choosing candidates to represent the two major parties in November’s general election.
The primary is now over, and we’ll not comment on the specifics of the outcome. The county voted its collective conscience, and we won’t debate the choices the county made. However, we do have some congratulations and thanks to offer.
First, the congratulations.
We congratulate Sombrero Ranch Manager Don Broom — a newcomer to the political scene — who emerged as victor in a hotly contested, three-way race for county commissioner to capture the Republican nomination.
Likewise, we congratulate Tammy Rashchke — a longtime county clerk and recorders office employee — who defeated her co-worker, Tori Pingley, to win the Republican nomination for county clerk and recorder.
And finally, we congratulate Jesse Arthurs, who defeated Moffat County Coroner Kirk McKey in the Republican primary and will face Democratic nominee Alec Brown in November to determine who will be the county’s next coroner.
Each of these candidates ran good campaigns, and we salute them on their success.
Second, the thanks.
We’re thankful to all the candidates who threw their hats in the ring. Running for elected office is a difficult, expensive, time-consuming task, a task most of us would never even consider undertaking. Candidates place their entire lives on hold for months to shake hands, make speeches, distribute yard signs and talk with constituents. They open their private affairs to public scrutiny and often become the targets of personal attack. And, they do all this out of an honest desire to serve their communities.
For that, they have our gratitude.
We are also grateful to outgoing County Commissioner Frank Moe and outgoing County Coroner Kirk McKey. Both have served our community to the best of their abilities, and we have never doubted their honest desire to better their community and do what they felt was right.
They stepped up, they served and they have our thanks.
We would be seriously remiss if we neglected to thank outgoing Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod and her staff at the Moffat County Courthouse. If anything is as difficult as running for elected office, it’s organizing and executing an election. Herod and her staff operated with astonishing efficiency and accuracy — both in the months leading up to the primary and on election night. Thanks to their skill, hard work and dedication, results had been compiled and delivered to the public within a couple of hours of the polls closing.
And finally, we thank you — the voters of Moffat County — for participating in this vital election, and not only by casting your votes. The way we see it, you — through your thoughtful questions and your incisive letters to the editor — fully engaged in this election, and in an age when voting on a whim or just skipping the process altogether is becoming more and more popular, your level of engagement was most refreshing.
While most of our local races were — for all intents and purposes — decided by the primary, we still have a general election coming up in November, and we encourage you to be just as engaged in that process as you were in this one.
Listen, ask questions, talk to the candidates, learn where they stand and how their stances align with your own. Then, make informed decisions.
This is democracy in action, and through the choices we make, we hire the architects of our future.
Let’s make it a bright one.