Octorara Fails to Produce Candidates for 2015 Primary Election

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.

School Board Elections

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)
  • Empty

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

  • Empty

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?



One thought on “Octorara Fails to Produce Candidates for 2015 Primary Election

  1. This is a problem just as you state it Mr. Alexander. What is the cause? One can only speculate. Look at the polarization in politics today. There’s very little discourse on topics and positions. Most discussions degenerate into personal attacks. Some just start that way, never even discussing issues and just starting as a personal attack. I think this is what makes the issues seem so big. There are complex issues and just as complex ways they can and maybe should be fixed. Some people take such positions going into discussion on an issue that they are not even willing to compromise on ANY topic. I think part of the beauty of our political system is the ability we have had over the centuries to find ways to meet in the middle on issues. Today, you’re almost seen as a traitor to your party if you even listen with regard to an opposing position.
    Possibly another important reason why people don’t volunteer for these positions is they just don’t have the time. Many people in our area work hard and long hours just to make ends meet. When they get any extra time they spend it in pursuit of relaxation and with their families. When I’ve attended parent nights at the school I was always surprised to see how little attendance there was. If we get so little attendance in an activity that directly impacts our children, is it really surprising we get even less for political activity? Thank you for your willingness to serve your community. You have a passion, but don’t be too surprised that others have their passions far away from this area.

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