For a very long time, one of my greatest complains about our area is the lack of competitive races for public office. Very often, those that run are unopposed for their office. This year, it appears to be even worse.
Today, I looked at the Unofficial Candidate Report from Chester County Voter Services. We have a problem.
Region 1: We have 3 seats available, but only 2 candidates:
- Brian Norris (Rep/Dem, Incumbent)
- Stephen Spoto (Rep/Dem)
Region 2: There is 1 seat available, but only 1 candidate:
- Lisa Bowman (Rep/Dem, Incumbent)
Region 3: there is 1 seat available, and no candidates
The problem does not only exist with the Octorara School District, but also with Parkesburg Borough Council. There are 3 seats available at Borough Council, and only one person running: Lyle E. Gillespie Jr, Republican. We also only have one candidate for Constable: Kandi Sheller.
We have gone from an area with a high percentage of uncontested or under-contested core municipal races for mayor, council, and school district to having a candidate deficit, and not having enough candidates.
What causes this do you think? Is it apathy? Is it that these are thankless positions? Is it that the problems facing our area seem just too big, and people just don’t feel up to the challenge?
In any event, the lack of candidates leaves these races open to write-ins, who can win their Primary, and make it to the General Election, with any number of votes, as long as they’re the top vote-getting, It could be as little as just one vote.
Our area is suffering. People need to show more interest in what’s going on in their School District and Borough. We need people to get involved, attend the meetings, bring stuff up that needs addressed, and be more involved in the community.
Do you really want these positions filled by appointments?