July 18, 2024

Not all elected positions should be party-based

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If you voted as anything other than a Republican in the Union County 2024 primaries last week, you had very little to vote on. Candidates for county board, auditor and sheriff all ran as Republicans.

There was a Democrat race for United States Representative, but outside of that, everything was on the Republican ballot. For this reason, the primaries are practically synonymous with the general election in county races.

It makes sense to have our federal and state representatives run under a specific party, but what sense is there in having the county auditor or the sheriff run under a specific party?

The county auditor’s job is to provide accurate and reliable financial records; preserve integrity and fairness in the election process and provide efficient and knowledgeable service. None of this should be changed by which political party one is a part of. If we are looking for accurate financial records, a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian should be able to provide identical information.

The sheriff is another position where a political party seems irrelevant. The sheriff’s duty is to enforce laws and ordinances to maintain public safety and order. He or she patrols assigned areas to deter criminal activity and respond to calls for service.

A sheriff should not enforce and patrol based on political motives. They should uphold the letter of the law regardless of personal opinions. And if this is the case, the need for a party affiliation becomes nonexistent.

This will also allow more people to share their opinion on local elections. In this election, only those voting as Republican got a say in a contested race for county board. Is that how we want it to be?

Political divide is everywhere. We see it on social media, at the dinner table and in conversations with strangers. It’s time to take the politics out of our elected officials where we can.

Cheyenne Roche

CHEYENNE ROCHE

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.