Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Choosing hometown leaders matters to all

By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 4, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated April 3, 2013 at 11:04 p.m.

The Victoria City Council election approaches. Are you ready to decide the future of our city?

Voting is an important right and responsibility given to every citizen of the United States, and we encourage Victoria voters to take part in the upcoming election on May 11. But to take part, voters must first be registered. In order to vote in the May 11 election, voters must be registered by or mailed with a postmark no later than April 11.

This year's city council election is already an interesting race. There are five candidates running for mayor, and they all recently took part in an hourlong debate at the Advocate on Wednesday morning. Candidates expressed a wide range of views about how the city is run and what they plan to do if elected. With so many people interested in taking the lead in Victoria, it would be disappointing if the citizens of Victoria did not take the time to lend their voice to the discussion by voting for the candidate voters believe will be the best mayor.

In the last city council election, only 12.7 percent of registered voters in Victoria took part in the election. We are disappointed to see so few residents taking an interest in city government, especially when the people who govern our hometown can have a much more immediate affect on our lives than those we send to Washington, D.C., or even Austin. We encourage our readers to register to vote then follow through by taking part in early voting from April 29 to May 7 or on Election Day.

We realize city council elections are not nearly as publicized as national or statewide races, so we are offering some options to help educate our readers for the upcoming election. We have already held one candidate debate for the mayoral race. Next, we will hold debates for each of the City Council races, starting with the District 6 debate between Tom Halepaska and Russell Pruitt at 11 a.m. Monday. After that will be the District 5 debate between Joe Truman, Gabriel Soliz and Andrew J. Young at 1 p.m. April 12. Last will be the debate for the District 3 unexpired term between Jeff Bauknight, John T. Hyak and Vic Caldwell at 11 a.m. April 16. Each of these debates will be a live webcast, as well as open to the public, but we ask that attendees call at least 24 hours beforehand to reserve a seat. After each debate, we will make the video of the event available along with the rest of our election coverage at the Election Central page under the Special Reports tab of our website.

We encourage our readers to take this chance to help decide the future of our city by electing our next group of leaders. If you don't vote, you forfeit your ability to influence the future of Victoria.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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