Willingness to run for office deserves voters' respect

As you observe the scrutiny candidates from the local to the national level undergo, or dissect characteristics and qualifications of public office hopefuls, ask yourself, would you be willing to endure the same fishbowl treatment?

We don’t ask this to shame anybody who rightly exercises their due diligence as a voter to ensure they pick the right person to run their county, state or country. Instead, we ask to transport you, if only for a moment, behind the fatigued eyes, ears and minds of those who have essentially stuck their neck out in the interest of representing thousands, or in some cases millions.

Let’s face it, oftentimes politicians’ names are uttered by citizens when they are unhappy about something and want to critique their work. Again, nothing wrong with that — they do work for the people.

But we want people to realize, as this election wraps up in the next couple weeks and some candidates move on to yet another round of campaigning, that they are people like us with families and friends, with hopes and fears, who personally feel criticisms levied by the masses.

They also endure the deplorable, such as the vandalism of expensive campaign signs, such as those belonging to judge candidate Ken Fahlgren and commissioner hopeful Jason Carr.

It takes a unique type of person to open up their life to the citizenry in an effort to later serve them, knowing that many prefer someone else, knowing that many will quickly start to complain when problems emerge.

Thankfully, such unique people exist. Three hope to serve as your county judge, and seven more want to earn a seat alongside him on the Crook County Court. Two others seeks votes to serve as county surveyor.

While we still expect the public to hold whoever emerges from this election accountable for the management of their respective county, state or nation, we applaud the willingness of any candidate to take on the grind that is an election process and the continued scrutiny that follows for those who take office.

The citizens will be their new boss, or in the case of incumbents, continue to be their boss. But consider how you would want your supervisor to treat you on the job. Yes, you would expect to hear about your mistakes. Yes, it is completely reasonable to take some heat as an employee if you don’t measure up. But remember to keep it civil and whenever possible, try to work with the elected leaders for a better solution, not against them in an adversarial and nonproductive way.

After all, those who ran for these offices frankly took on a task and opened themselves up to scrutiny that most of us are not willing to endure. That alone deserves some level of respect and appreciation.

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