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Cast your vote and not a stone

From the publisher's desk
By: Keith Whitson

What has been the talk of the town for months is quickly winding down. I am talking about the election and, specifically, the sheriff’s race.
For me, like most of you, it couldn’t come soon enough. I can’t recall a race like it in my years of voting. Maybe it is just because I am more closely connected at this point due to my position with the newspaper.
I do take the freedom of voting seriously and I do feel fortunate to live in a country where individuals can run for office. But, I am sure we are all ready for this to end and move on.
During the election I have heard at times that this newspaper was biased toward Hensley and then that we were biased toward Lengel. Let me assure you, I have tried to be as fair as I possibly could.
There have been letters to the editor that I have denied completely in regards to both candidates. There have also been letters I have toned down for the sake of being liable. I don’t want to be caught in the middle and make this newspaper part of a legal battle for critical words written concerning either candidate.
It seems much of the campaign has centered around the past office and has become more or less a debate over differences there. Some still hold loyalty to former Sheriff Kent Harris while others are seeking something completely different.
I think we all can agree that we would like to have law and order in our county. We all want to feel safe and feel like our families are protected. We would like to see drugs eliminated and peace in our communities.
It is sometimes a fine line between running a good, challenging campaign with promises or focusing on the faults and weaknesses of the opponent.
I recall recently seeing a news clip of an outbreak at a Little League game in Georgia. It started over a dad playing music between innings. Another father didn’t like it and soon they were slugging it out. The video was shown far and near. It is one like many that I have seen over the years.
It is sad that too often the bad things get more spotlight than the good. It is also sad that often these are the examples left for children.
I am reminded of the many youngsters that are fulfilling their family’s wishes or personal dreams. Whether it is playing piano or playing a sport, many times the children are doing it to please the parents. It is also the parents that are taking the fun out of it by turning it into such a competitive nature. It brings a lot of pressure to the child who tries not to disappoint.
I thought of that Little League game several times recently as I watched adults verbally fight over their candidates. It seemed that the candidates themselves were more or less caught in the middle of something much greater.
I don’t know if there have been any physical fights over the election but I have heard at times that it has split the county. I hope that’s not true. I also hope that however the election turns out, we can support the winner and give him a chance.
Personally, it is not a job that I would want. Whoever is in that position puts their life on the line for each of us. It is a tiring task of being on call around the clock for whatever the situation.
Many have held that office over the years. Some have been better than others. For some reason we hear of people abusing the office all across the land. But yet, there are many who still do an amazing job.
I know of one that did in my mind, and maybe I am a bit biased after all. My dad, Bob Whitson, held that office for two terms. He was the kind of guy you just didn’t want to mess with. I think that in itself gained him a lot of respect and brought fear to those who would have crossed the line.
I feel like most of us have already made up our minds at this point who we plan to vote for. I know I have. Don’t forget to exercise that right. Let’s show support for our candidate and let’s show support for the winner when this is all over.
Give him a chance to help us have a safer and better community to live in. My gut feeling is that we will be in good hands. If you think you can do any better, just wait for the next election and turn in your papers. That’s the beauty of this country we live in.