Tue, April 07

Editorial: Let’s hope decency, professional decorum prevail in 2020

In politics, nothing is official until nominating petitions are filed and candidates officially and legitimately secure their names on the 2020 August and November ballots.

The first step in that process began this week. For prospective municipal and county candidates, petition packets are now available. That step involves outlining the financial parameters by which political aspirants will seek public office and obtaining the petition paperwork necessary to secure their names on the ballot.

Similar processes are also required of those who seek state and federal offices, with particular importance being placed on documenting those who make financial contributions to their campaigns, and exactly how those funds are spent.

Throw in the likelihood of an Upper Verde School District consolidation election in 2020, statewide ballot initiatives and referendums and potential school overrides and bonds and the cumulative choices awaiting voters in 2020 is enough to make your head spin.

Not to mention a presidential election that likely will rival the theatrics of professional wrestling.

If you thrive on politics, this is the year for you.

It’s undoubtedly too much to ask for at the presidential level, but it would be nice to see an election season clearly marked by decency and professional decorum.

The ugliness of the political process, unfortunately, has trickled down to the local level as well. That was certainly evident in the election cycle of 2018. Then, we saw personal attacks on at least one incumbent council member in the Verde Valley, and social media tactics unbecoming of elected officials.

2018 also saw at least one local candidate clearly violate the spelled-out terms of newspaper candidate Q&As, and then take to social media with claims that their responses had been unfairly edited. Those claims failed to mention this candidate was clearly informed of the guidelines before the fact, and chose instead to cheat and then play the victim card. Again, it was tacky, childish behavior from someone who should have known better.

Obviously, the plea for decency, honesty and professional behavior resonates equally among local candidates as it does at the highest level of government.

We can hope for the best with all the political players tossing their hats into the ring in 2020. At the same time we should probably expect the worst.

In this corner, we’ll cling to hope.

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