Viewpoint: Who's willing to serve in office?

How often have you heard someone complain about the politicians who represent them? It seems to be happening more lately than usual. But when it comes time to run for office, the loudest complainers are rarely heard from.

It seems they don't often get actively involved in campaigns, and they certainly don't often run for office themselves. This year, that may be changing, at least here in Dougherty County.

Four county commission seats and three spots on the school board are up for election, and all but one incumbent has opposition. Nine non-incumbents qualified to run for those seats, and almost all of them have no prior political experience.

But they believe they can serve the voters well, so they're willing to step up and give politics a try.

We're not endorsing any candidate in any race, but we're glad so many newcomers are entering those races. When voters have a choice, the public's interest is better served. Contested races force candidates to be explicit about what they believe in and what they'll do for the voters. Honest, respectful debate is good for democracy.

Running for office isn't easy, and we respect anyone who's willing to take on the challenge. We're glad Dougherty County voters will have more options than usual this year.

Now, it's up to the voters to learn about those candidates and make wise and well-informed decisions.