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Election season doesn’t have to be nasty

Local politics can bring out the best — and worst — in our community. Hopefully, we will see far more of the former than the latter this election season.

As the calendar flips to September, there is no doubt campaigning is about to really heat up across the area.

There is nothing we can do about keeping the civility in our state and national races; that ship has long since sailed. But we can certainly, as a community, do our part to keep local races positive and reflect the core values our community was built on.

Candidates need to stay focused on qualifications and ideas rather than personal attacks on opponents.

Voters will decide on a host of key positions including magistrate, commissioners, judge executive, jailer and others.

We all have to do our part not to turn these into popularity contests and challenge every candidate to share his or her ideas and vision for moving the community forward.

We need substance over style.

It isn’t enough to say, “I love Nicholasville” or “I want to see Jessamine County prosper.” You can confidently bet that each and every candidate feels that way.

The far more important question is: What specific ideas do you have that will move us forward?

We all know what many of the challenges facing our community when it comes to employment, drug abuse, poverty, hunger and others. No reason to spend energy telling us the problems. We need solutions.

As citizens, we all have the responsibility to stay engaged and not tune out the onslaught of messages that we know are coming.

Campaign ads are already popping up and yard signs will continue to dot landscape, both as much a sign of fall as the leaves changing color.

Our community will have candidates’ forums and other events where voters can interact directly with those seeking to become public servants. We hope everyone involved — candidates, supporters and voters — approach election season the right way and focus on the greater good of letting democracy work the way it was intended.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6452 or by email at mike.caldwell@jessaminejournal.com.