Editorial: As election process begins, Summit County needs passionate candidates to step up | ParkRecord.com

Editorial: As election process begins, Summit County needs passionate candidates to step up

It’s time for Summit County residents with a passion for public service to step up.

The filing window to run for offices in this year’s election is set to open Friday morning and run through next Thursday. There will be a number of influential positions on the ballot, and our communities are depending on qualified residents heeding the call to service.

The openings that have the most influence on Summit County include four seats in the Utah State Legislature, two spots on the County Council, four positions at the County Courthouse (attorney, auditor, clerk and sheriff) and seven school board seats throughout the county.

It’s often said that the results of local elections shape communities far more dramatically than national or even statewide ones. That’s true. The people we elect this fall to those positions will have the power to do things like craft laws at the State Capitol Building, determine how tax dollars are used in Summit County, oversee one of the county’s two major law enforcement agencies and influence the education of our children.

They’re the kind of responsibilities we should entrust only to people with integrity and who are committed to representing their constituents to the best of their ability. In Summit County, we’ve been fortunate to see those kinds of candidates rise to the top far more often than not, and we’re looking to another crop of high-minded folks to step up this time around.

But people running for office aren’t the only ones who have an important duty. As prospective candidates weigh their futures, residents need to fulfill an obligation of their own. In addition to voting and participating in party caucuses and conventions, constituents must push their candidates as election season unfolds.

Given the responsibility candidates are seeking, campaigns should be challenging. We should demand our would-be leaders spend the coming months engaged in vigorous debate about their visions for bettering our communities and ensure they clearly define the values they’ll stand up for if elected. It’s the best way for voters to learn who will faithfully represent their interests.

People who have what it takes to lead won’t shy away from the task. Here’s to hoping plenty of them make their way to the County Courthouse in the coming days and prove it.

Residents seeking to run for office must file in person at the Summit County Clerk’s Office at the County Courthouse in Coalville. The filing window is set to open Friday at 8 a.m. and close the following Thursday, March 15, at 5 p.m. For more information about what’s required to become a candidate, visit co.summit.ut.us/290/Candidates or call the Summit County Clerk at 435-336-3203.

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