Springtime brings elections

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Spring is here, which means that the local political season will soon be in full bloom as candidates gear up their campaigns for the May 11 election.

It’s an exciting time for voters because it provides opportunities to question candidates about the issues and challenge them to defend their platforms.

One of those opportunities is scheduled in Denton on Monday night, when the Denia Area Community Group sponsors its candidate forum.

Residents are invited to question candidates for City Council during the event, which will begin at 7 p.m. at the Denia Recreation Center, 1001 Parvin St.

Monday’s forum will be moderated by former Denton City Council member Linnie McAdams. Organizers will accept written questions from the audience and the Denia group will prepare some questions. Residents can also submit questions via e-mail in advance to deniaforum@earthlink.net.

We encourage voters to take advantage of every available forum, but the one sponsored by the Denia Area Community Group offers an opportunity that is fairly unique. Unlike other forums that have set formats, nearly all the questions at this one are driven by the audience.

“That’s the draw,” Denia area resident Pati Haworth told us.

We agree and hope that all voters will consider taking part in the action Monday night. In years past, Haworth said, the audience’s questions often reflected the news headlines, and she expects a similar outcome this year.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone asks about the power plant and natural gas utility planned at the airport — and gas wells … maybe, public art — it depends on who’s there,” Haworth said.

We can’t wait. Some of the issues confronting the City Council should prompt plenty of tough questions, and we hope the candidates are on their toes.

All four of Denton’s district seats are up for election on May 11. In District 2, incumbent Dalton Gregory has two challengers — Travis Trawick and Alfred Sanchez. District 3 also has three candidates — incumbent Jim Engelbrecht, Brendan Carroll and Griffen Rice. District 4 drew two to replace outgoing council member Chris Watts — Joey Hawkins and Phil Kregel.

In District 1, Kevin Roden drew no opponent.

Like we said, the Denia forum should offer a great opportunity for voters, and we are hopeful that other forums will soon follow. Representatives from the local chapters of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, both of which traditionally hold candidate forums, said this week that they have not yet organized their events.

The Denton Firefighters Association, which often yields endorsements for local candidates, has scheduled its forum for April 15.

We’ll keep you informed about available opportunities to hear the candidates, as well as key election dates. Two are coming up in the next few weeks — the deadline to register to vote is April 11. Early voting begins April 29.

If you haven’t registered to vote, we encourage you to do so, and we hope you will take advantage of every opportunity to hear and question the candidates.

The people elected this spring will be charged with making many critical decisions, and voters have a responsibility to learn as much as they can about the candidates and where they stand.

It’s easy to criticize our elected officials when we don’t agree with the direction that our city or school district is taking, but in all honesty, we must share the blame — an informed electorate is the best way to help ensure that those who serve truly represent our interests.


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