Monday, January 03, 2005


Even though 2005 is not a midterm or presidential election year, Polk County will see plenty of politicking going on. Thanks to Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards' efforts, most of the county's municipalities agreed to change their election dates so they would fall this year. The reason behing this change --- which in some cases required special permission by the Legislature --- was to remove municipal races from what had been a crowded and sometimes confusing general election ballot. The change will also allow elections workers to promote and provide better services for those elections.

Most of the 17 municipalities across Polk County will hold their elections on April 5. Winter Haven will follow on September 6, Lakeland on November 1, with Auburndale a week later.

Although these are officially "non-partisan" elections, the political parties should become involved. Local officies such as a City Commission is often the first step for individuals who wish to serve their communities in public office, and their campaigns are a "training ground" of sorts that candidates and their workers can learn from. It is a chance to look at possible state or federal legislators to see how well they handle themselves, and how well they serve their constituants after election. It's a lesson the Democratic Party should strongly consider.


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