By Steve Novotney
On May 29, 2012, Wheeling resident Charlie Ballouz lost his bid to become the city’s second ward council representative.
Ballouz lost by one vote to current council member Ken Imer.
Tom Dailer, a longtime resident of the Warwood section, was defeated in his May 2010 attempt to unseat incumbent Patty Fahey for the Ohio County Clerk’s position … by fewer than 10 votes.
Politics IS local because local politics will impact your life far more than the state and federal levels, and yet a very low voter turnout is expected tomorrow in Wheeling and nationwide. It does not help when many of the candidates have campaigned AGAINST their opponents instead of FOR their desired position.
But that is when the individual comes into play. The voter must seek out the truth because all incumbents and candidates appear far too similar while up on the stump. But voting records, financial reports, and the list of campaign contributors are facts and figures that should be considered by every serious voter. The information, by the way, is available on the Internet.
A few of the official websites?
But, of course …
The federal level?
There’s no need to depend on the national news networks or syndicated talk radio programs to form an opinion on any ballot race, and the voter must recognize the bias on the local level, too. Education erases your vulnerability, and it’s not too late if you are an Election Day voter.
In Wheeling, we have a pair of races involving a Senate seat and a Delegate seat that could determine the future of natural gas tax collection and job creation. In the First Senatorial District, Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons is challenged by Ryan Ferns, a former Democratic delegate who has since registered as a Republican.
Most Ohio County voters also will have the chance to vote for the two delegates who will represent the Third House District. For the past four years, Ferns and Del. Erikka Storch have served the district’s two seats, but with Ferns’ decision to challenge Sen. Fitzsimmons for a senatorial position, a vacancy exists. Democrats Shawn Fluharty and Holli Smith, and Republican Dolph Santorine join incumbent Storch on the ballot.
Voting matters, and here’s one reason why: More than 2 million American soldiers have surrendered their lives to protect OUR right to vote, and that free speech should not go unaccounted out of respect to our war dead and all combat veterans.
Need another reason? Our children.
A third? For the first time in decades in this tri-state region a vision for a future has been framed that finally moves past the Rust Belt era. It’s realistic, and it’s homegrown.
If you are too lazy, quit complaining. If disgust has led you to apathy, wake up and care again. That’s the only fix. The people are the fix.
We just have to follow through.
You still have time. Go vote.