EDITORIAL: Election season slow to start

The elections for the Indian River School District School Board and some local town councils are beginning to take form, and the 2006 election season promises to be full of at least some level of intrigue. But some of the most prominent positions up for election later this year have seen little to no action up to this point.

On the state level, Sen. George H. Bunting, Rep. Gerald Hocker and Rep. John Adkins all see their terms expire later this year — yet nobody has filed yet to oppose them. The Sussex County Council, long a lightning rod for conversation, sees Council Members George Cole and Vance Phillips face elections, but all remains quiet on those fronts as well.

Granted, there is still time left for people to throw in their hats, but it is getting close to that point where someone needs to get involved if he or she is going to get across a message in an adequate manner. These are all high-profile incumbents and, as we all know, name recognition is often a significant advantage in an election.

Are the incumbents going to be easy to beat? Not at all. Would the community be better off if these people left public life? Nope.

However, elections start conversations, and conversations bring to light issues that are important. Even in a losing effort, a candidate could spark real change if the incumbent hears input on how to better address a problem.

Or, the candidate could win the election and change an entire approach.

Elections cost money. There is no way around that, and some theorize that is why challengers have not yet stepped forward — so as to limit the money spent.

However, getting out a message through newspapers, television and radio comments can form a base of familiarity with the voters, as well as generate a following amongst the population.

That can be priceless during an election, particularly for someone looking to challenge a well-known incumbent.