EDITORIAL: Elections near

Municipal primaries in Northeast Mississippi and around the state are eight days away. If there’s an election coming up in your community and you haven’t been paying attention, now’s the time.
Find out who’s running for mayor and alderman/council member. Get to know what you can about them. Find out where they stand on the issues you care about and that are important to your community’s future.
Because Tupelo is the largest municipality in our readership area, the Daily Journal has placed special emphasis on its upcoming elections. Papers delivered in Tupelo today have a 24-page special tabloid section devoted to the candidates’ answers to a questionnaire covering some of the key issues facing the city. We think Tupelo voters will find it helpful and informative in comparing the candidates.
On Sunday, the Journal completed a week-long series on Tupelo’s seven wards from the perspective of their residents, and later this week we’ll publish profiles of the candidates for mayor.
Tupelo in many ways is at a crossroads as a community. The next four years will be critical in determining whether the city continues its steady forward progress. Visionary leadership and the willingness to lay aside petty factionalism and personality politics to work for the common good will be essential in city government. Tupelo has too much to lose to get dragged down by needless political division.
The questionnaire responses, as well as the campaigns of most candidates up to this point, indicate a recognition of that reality. Let’s hope it carries over to everyday practice after the election, whoever wins.
As with every election cycle, we need to remind ourselves that in municipalities with party primaries on May 5, you’ll have to decide whether to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. You can’t vote in both. Pay attention to who’s running under what party label so that you don’t wind up with a ballot that doesn’t include the person you most wanted to vote for.
Party primary runoffs, if necessary, will be May 19 in races where no one gets an outright majority. The two-week period between the primary and runoff elections is one week shorter than in state and congressional elections.
The general election will be June 2. In some municipalities in Northeast Mississippi, that’s when the first and only voting will occur because either everybody runs as an independent or there are no contested primary matchups.
The important thing is to know beforehand who’s running, which ballot they’ll be on when, and where your polling place is. Take the time to find out – and then vote.

NEMS Daily Journal