Politics is often a thankless job. For whatever reason, many ordinary people downright refuse to run for elected office. We can certainly understand their hesitancy.
That's why we were so delighted to see five residents qualify Thursday and Friday for the District 3 seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. Whoever wins the five-person race will fill the unexpired term of Roger Crossen, who passed away on Nov. 17, 2020. His term expires at the end of 2022.
The candidates for the March 16 special election are:
• Jonathan Bagley.
• Shannon Bearfield, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran with a doctorate of pharmacy from South College.
• Shane Day, global sales director for Tiarco Chemical.
• John Thomas, a realtor and former member of the Whitfield County Board of Education.
• Chad "Bubba" Young, an insurance agent and former University of Georgia football player.
The race is nonpartisan. However, candidates can declare a party. Bagley, Day, Thomas and Young declared the Republican Party.
On this editorial page, we often bemoan the dearth of local candidates for the county commission, city councils, school boards and other important positions. We cringe when we see people running unopposed for elected positions, as they are not forced to explain and defend their positions that will go towards defining our community.
We look forward to spirited, cordial debate among these five candidates over the next two-plus months. We hope you are engaged in this race as well.