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Kudos to all who ran for office

We’d like to congratulate all those who sought office in Saturday’s city and school elections around the county.

Yes, it may be more customary to congratulate only the candidates who got the most votes — after all, they took the top spots in their respective races by out-polling the opposition.

But in our view, all those men and women who filed for office and conducted campaigns for council and school board posts are winners.

We admire people who are willing to make a commitment, who aren’t afraid to go out on a limb in an effort to improve their communities.

Those who file for office risk a lot. When they declare their candidacy, they open themselves up to public inspection and set themselves up for criticism and potshots from a variety of tormentors.

You know how it works. You’ve seen the angry faces at the meetings and heard and read the negative comments and accusations that are often hurled across the meeting rooms, posted on the Internet and mailed to the local newspaper.

Sure, a certain amount of criticism is to be expected when you seek public office or serve in an elected position. That’s what the word “public” means. It helps to have a thick skin if you’re going to become involved in local politics.

Now, don’t get us wrong — we’re not suggesting that you feel sorry for any candidate or elected official, only that you give them a fair chance.

That’s especially true now that the votes are counted — it’s time to put our differences aside and move forward.

Instead of working overtime to be critical of those who were elected — even if we voted for someone else — maybe we should make a greater effort to listen to their ideas and try to work with them to make improvements that will benefit everyone.

That’s the least we can do because when you stop and think about it, we owe them a lot.

Being an elected official is no easy job, and it is a job — don’t let anyone tell you different. Serving on a council or school board requires a ton of sacrifice, a lot of long hours and plenty of hard work.

That’s why we’re congratulating all the candidates.

In our view, everyone on the ballot Saturday was a winner, no matter the outcome of the individual races.

If you weren’t elected, thanks for giving it your best shot. You’re a credit to your community.

And if you were victorious, we wish you the very best in your next term. Thanks for caring enough to serve.

As for the rest of us, it’s time to put the election behind and move ahead. Let’s get to work and see what we can accomplish together.