Political parties shouldn’t play a role in county government

Published 6:13 am Friday, November 16, 2018

Years ago I was amused to see a campaign sign for Republican coroner. I thought someone went to great lengths to pull a prank and later learned county candidates run as partisans including the coroner. I can’t imagine anyone having contact with the coroner is too concerned if he is a Democrat or Republican. A “D” or “R” coroner is amusing. A “D” or “R” sheriff is not. The sheriff has the legal authority to take my money (taxes) and my freedom (arrest). If there is a position that should not be influenced by partisan politics, it’s the position of sheriff. The same can be said about every elected position in the courthouse.

Elected city positions are non-partisan. I’m not aware of a cogent explanation of why county elected positions are partisan and city elected positions are non-partisan. A former Boyle County elected official told me the Kentucky Constitution would need to be changed for elected county positions to be non-partisan. I don’t know if that information is correct, but a change is needed.

In 11/11/18 Advocate-Messenger columns, Messrs. Richard Campbell, chair, Boyle County Democratic Party and Tom Tye, chair, Boyle County Republican Party provided their post-election thoughts. Mr. Campbell wrote, “Moreover, the party must overcome the perception held in some of our churches that one cannot be both a Democrat and a Christian.”

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Mr. Campbell doesn’t state why he believes some church goers believe this, but presumably he is alluding to abortion and same sex marriage. There is a place for these controversial subjects to be addressed and the Boyle County Courthouse is not that place. Eliminating running as a Democrat or Republican goes a long way toward eliminating Mr. Campbell’s concerns.

Mr. Tye wrote, “As citizens we should do our very best to ignore the R or D labels that were attached to each name on the ballot and find ways to be supportive of each other and our local officials.” Doesn’t that beg the question of why run as an R or D in the first place?

The candidates appear to agree with me on this issue. I never saw one roadside campaign sign that listed a Democrat or Republican. Clearly, the candidates did not consider their political party important enough to tell the voters. They’re correct.

Non-partisans run our city business and non-partisans should run our county business.

Rich Beach