Debate puts local politics center stage

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 30, 2016

The Pearl River Community College Young Americans for Liberty have organized a debate for the candidates running for the District 106 legislative seat.

The public event will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Brownstone Center. With less than two weeks to go, only two of the five candidates have confirmed they will participate.

The local debate, much like the national presidential debates, was organized to give the voting public a broader understanding of each candidate’s position on key issues, not to mention the entertainment factor that draws in many voters.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It’s a shame more candidates running for the position are unwilling or hesitant to participate in the event.

Only one candidate to date has held a public event announcing his decision to run for public office.

It is quite common for local or state politics to get lost in the midst of a national election, or even day-to-day issues.

However, the representatives we elect on a local level have a far greater impact on the everyday lives of county residents.

Whoever is elected to the position come Nov. 8 has big shoes to fill since the former representative was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Revenue.

By participating in the public debate, the candidates have the opportunity to educate voters about their positions on key issues that affect us the most. It’s important to know what exactly a voter is supporting when he or she checks that box on Election Day.

A political science professor will moderate the event, and the questions have already been disseminated to the candidates for preparation.

Not participating, not debating and not informing the public about where a candidate stands on local issues will only perpetuate the common problem that occur in local politics, a lack of voter interest.

Those  who want to represent our county in state government should first answer to the people they need to elect them.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

email author More by Julia