Election season is a lot like sporting events in small communities. I have seen friends, co-workers, and acquaintances become unfriendly at the baseball park, softball fields, and little dribblers games during the heat of the moment. But then the season is over and assuming the banter did not go too far and get too unfriendly, people forgive and forget the bad moments.
I am hoping for the same after the 2022 election in Tyler County. We all live here and for the most part, have the same desire, to thrive in a safe community.
Since 1990 when I started working for the Tyler County Booster, the policy has always been: each candidate can put a free announcement with a photo to let the public know they are running for office, who they are, and what they hope to accomplish. After that, anyone can purchase a political advertisement anywhere in the newspaper where ads are permitted on a first come, first served basis. These ads must be pre-paid. Also, the ads must have a disclaimer stating that it was paid for by the candidate, or it was paid for by an organized group for the candidate, or a friend of the candidate. In the last instance, the person must have permission from the candidate to run an advertisement on their behalf.
Last week, someone bought an advertisement for a candidate. He assured the newspaper he had spoken with the candidate two weeks prior to the ad running and the candidate was aware of the content of the ad. These two have known each other for 35 years, according to the gentleman paying.
Due to the controversy that ensued after the ad ran and words were exchanged during a political forum last Thursday night, I spoke with the candidate and the gentleman who paid for the ad. I have determined that the general message of the ad was known and approved by the candidate, but the candidate did not realize the exact words his supporter would use to present the message and has since received backlash from the community for a few poorly chosen words used in the advertisement. This is unfortunate and feelings have been hurt, but no laws have been broken. Everyone involved acted in good faith. This gentleman, who spent his personal money to support a candidate he believed in, put his thoughts in print. Most others, if being honest, could say if their thoughts were in print, more feelings would be hurt.
Many subscribers to this newspaper are registered voters in Tyler County. This includes the seven families who work at this for-profit business and get their livelihood from it. We all have a voice, and a vote. We do not all agree, but we do all agree to vote.
I encouraged you to vote for the candidates you feel will best represent Tyler County effectively in the positions they are running. Then, whatever the result, we will all accept it and begin working together again for Tyler County until the next election season.
See you at the polls.