Races and coffee heating up

Published 2:39 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2004

By Staff
Voting is one of the most obvious and important ways we're able to exercise the rights bestowed upon us as citizens of the United States. Each time we cast a ballot -- without hardship, without any fear -- we're doing something millions around the world can only dream of. Our right to choose our own leaders and representatives was secured so long ago, by heroes who've been made so larger-than-life, that it's sometimes easy to forget the gritty, life and death struggle they undertook to make our nation free.
Perhaps the best examples we have of fights for freedom like those our forefathers undertook come from news accounts of people working toward independence today. They give us an idea of just how dangerous a journey it is from servitude to freedom -- when they are successful. When they fail, they show us just how special we are as a people, to have handled so well, for so long, a set of self-governing responsibilities many other nations are ultimately unable to shoulder.
Every time we vote, we carry on that tradition, whether we're casting a ballot for the office of president or governor, mayor or commissioner. This year, we'll have a chance to vote in both city and county elections, the outcomes of which stand to impact policy in our communities for years to come. We all owe ourselves and our neighbors the effort it takes to learn about those running for office, so that we'll have the ability to make informed decisions.
The first major opportunity to expand one's knowledge of the candidates comes next week, at the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Coffee &the Candidates event. Coffee &the Candidates will take place Tuesday, May 11, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at The Tomato Cafe in downtown Brewton. Featured will be candidates for district attorney, county commission and county and district judgeships. Even some of the candidates who are running unopposed are planing to attend.
Steve Billy and Danny White, who are running against each other for District Attorney, have both said they would be there to speak with voters next Tuesday. Billy and White have been among the most visible office-seekers in the county so far, both having made the most of opportunities to get their messages out, through signage and other forms of advertising.
District Two Supervisor Todd Williamson will also be there, as will District Judge David Jordan.
Those are the people who've confirmed so far, and the Chamber is still seeking commitments from others running for county office this year.
The Chamber's done a great job putting this event together. Now it's up to the rest of us to decide just how informed we want to be when we cast our ballots.