Primary election another reminder that Platte County needs more candidates

The practice of coming up with election preview content often sneaks up on me.

This should come as no surprise. I’m pretty much easily identified as a former sports reporter trying to fake it as an overall newspaper man at a weekly publication.

I think I’m doing OK, but thank goodness for Jeanette Browning Faubion, my faithful part-time co-worker with more experience at The Citizen than the rest of the staff combined. She uses the established tradition in gathering info on candidates and puts together the sample ballot.
I just try to assist where I can.

That sample ballot? You won’t find one in this week’s issue. Depressingly, that’s because there just aren’t enough contested races to even worry about.

Jeanette did the heavy lifting on providing previews for the two Republican primaries, but the races for a spot the on first and second district commissioner ballot in November are the only ones. Normally, we have to try and spread the content out over multiple weeks.

Not this time, and that made my job easier.

However, the nagging feeling that what’s easy for the newspaper isn’t good for the public won’t go away. Platte County needs more candidates for public office.

I’ve only been at this job two years, but that’s become painfully obvious.

A couple of Republican primaries just doesn’t cut it. Not with just one candidate total in the races for treasurer, public administrator, sheriff and assessor. 

All of those seats will go to unopposed Republicans, including three incumbents in the November election.

You know why? Let’s start with the fact that current Platte County Treasurer Rob Willard lost more than $48,000 of taxpayer money in what amounted to a Nigerian Prince e-mail scam. You know exactly what I mean by that.

However, this “mistake,” which Willard acknowledges was his, occurred after the filing deadline so he goes into the primary next Tuesday unopposed and unopposed into the November election.

I’ve heard from enough people to know that another option might look awfully attractive in wake of the controversy surrounding Willard.

The money will likely come back, but the ultimate cost might not be fully known. In addition, Willard promises to win back the trust of the public, but I’m not so sure that will happen.

At least not for all of the voting public.

I appreciate the honesty of the Republican candidates for county commission. I appreciate the county’s efforts to host debates, allowing voters to be informed about their choices.

How cool would it be to host multiple primary debates — Democratic and Republican? I guess I can dream.

The District 1 winner between incumbent Beverlee Roper and challenger Dagmar Wood will go into November unopposed. The District 2 race features well-known John Elliott, campaign manager a year ago for current presiding commissioner Ron Schieber, and relative unknown Jason Buckley. Vic Perrin, a third candidate, never made it to the debates after ending his campaign earlier this month, citing unspecified smear tactics.

We will find out more about Democratic District 2 candidate John Fairfield as November approaches. By then, that lone local race will be overshadowed by bigger elections at the state and national level.

I won’t tell you who I think you should vote for because frankly, I don’t live in Platte County right now and that wouldn’t be right. I can tell you that Platte County needs to offer more candidates to the voters.

Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.