County loses with commission races that are partisan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Should the best candidates for Lawrence County Commissioner be voted on by the entire county?

Well in a county that is currently struggling, I would have to say yes. However, under the current political system in place, it is very likely that the two best candidates, or the three best candidates, or maybe even the four best candidates will not be voted on, in the November general election.

Lawrence County has fallen on very tough fiscal times. We are at a very important crossroad in our history.

Email newsletter signup

We are just coming off a “primary election” where there were multiple candidates trying for two seats on the board of commissioners. At the same time, there was a very important presidential primary going on in Ohio.

Lawrence County needs to elect the three best qualified people to run our county. Not the three best Democrats, not the three best Republicans, the three most qualified leaders, regardless of political affiliation.

Political affiliation should have absolutely no place in how our county is operated!

Let me give you a prime example: Just a few weeks ago, Les Boggs, Tyler Walters and Bob Mayo all ran for the “right” to face current Commissioner Tanner Heaberlin (who was unopposed). These three men may all be very qualified to be on the commission.

However, only county Republicans were allowed to make that decision. If you voted on the Democratic ticket, you were unable to make the decision on those three men.

As a result, in November all of Lawrence County will vote for either Tanner Heaberlin or Les Boggs (who won the primary election). What if Bob Mayo or Tyler Walters is more qualified than Tanner Heaberlin? Would Les Boggs have beaten Tyler Walters or Bob Mayo, if all of Lawrence County could vote?

We are facing what may be the most important vote in our county’s history. Are we voting for the most qualified candidates?

Maybe we are, but one thing is for sure, the entire county did not decide and that is something that needs changed. Partisan politics has no place in county government.

If we want the most qualified candidates and the most qualified employees, we need to get “partisan politics” out of this process. Why should it matter what political affiliation a county commissioner is?

When we have a partisan election for county commissioner, I feel we are short changing ourselves. All Lawrence County should vote for the best and most qualified candidates, regardless of political affiliation.

That is when our county will get the best leaders and in my opinion, that is when our county will flourish.

Jay Zornes is a businessman and an Ironton resident.