Primaries upon us soon

Published 1:05 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It is time to focus on the upcoming primaries. Early voting starts April 15 for the May 4 primary. Both the Republicans and Democrats must narrow the field by one, from four to three, for the fall Polk County Board of Commissioners race.

Republicans also pick one Sheriff candidate from three &bsp; Dennis Bishop, Gregg Osteen and Nathan Sheilds.

The next seven months offer Polk County a chance to focus on the direction the county is taking, perhaps with the recently completed Comprehensive Plan as a starting point. Will the work done to create the plan be put on a shelf or be put into practice?

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Voters have a lot of experience and talent to choose from. Of the candidates, all but three have served before.

Ray Gasperson, a Democrat, is an incumbent, as are independent candidates Tommy Melton and Warren Watson, who, pending successful petition drives, will be awaiting a contest with both the Democrats and Republicans on the fall ballot. Former commissioners running for another term include Republicans Harry Denton, Ted Owens and Tom Pack and Democrat Benny Smith. Seeking a first term are Republican David Moore, who sought office as a team with Ted Owens and Tom Pack two years ago, and Democrats Ricky McFalls and Margaret Johnson.

The Bulletin soon will be asking each candidate facing the primary to comment upon their their vision. Typically, the differences are subtle, the candidates prone to generalities. Elections turn on personal recognition and party.

We will do our best to work with the candidates to bring you the information you need to decide.

But perhaps the greatest store of knowledge about the candidates and the likely paths they would choose for Polk County resides with you, the candidates longtime friends and neighbors. We welcome your comments and thoughts to help us all with this decision.&bsp; JB