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Why don’t you run for office?

Natchez and Vidalia residents have the opportunity to make positive changes in their communities this spring when we will go to the polls to choose city leaders.

In Natchez, the offices of mayor and aldermen will be up for election. In Vidalia, mayor and aldermen will be decided, as will chief of police in Vidalia and Clayton.

Ferriday residents will go to the polls in a special election for a new Justice of the Peace.

Natchez resident Dan Gibson, the owner of two bed and breakfasts here, and incumbent Mayor Buz Craft in Vidalia have made it known they will seek the office of mayor in those communities. Incumbent, one-term Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he is not going to seek another term.

Let’s make sure Gibson in Natchez and Craft in Vidalia face lots of competition.

We hear all the time from residents who have ideas about how we can improve the city and city services provided while cutting expenditures, thus saving tax dollars. Now is the time to step up and toss your hat into the political arena.

Qualifying begins in Natchez on Jan. 2 and continues through Feb. 7, which is 60 days before the first primary election on April 7. A runoff election, if needed, will be April 28. The general election is set for June 2.

In Vidalia, Clayton and Ferriday, qualifying runs for three days — Jan. 8, 9 and 10. All prospective candidates must have qualification forms submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. In Louisiana, the primary election is April 4 and the general election, May 9. Early voting there begins March 21.

Seriously, have you ever thought about running for political office? Our community benefits when we have several good candidates vying for positions of leadership.

Aldermen shouldn’t serve term after term after term. Many are elected again and again simply because of name recognition.

Local government has more presence in our everyday lives than any other form of government. Local governments are responsible for our roads, water service, police and fire protection, zoning regulations and levying property taxes. Who we elect to make decisions for us about these things is keenly important.

Here is our chance to make the changes we would like to see in city government. Consider running for office. You may be the best answer for our community.

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