As I was commuting to the office one day last week, I had a rare moment where I decided to turn off the sound system in my car, block out all distractions, and just think for a while. I don’t do this very often, but every time that I do, I realize that I need to do it more often. The silence was nice and very refreshing.
While riding along in silence, I realized that It will soon be that time again. This coming fall, as residents of our great state of Louisiana, we will experience our statewide election cycle. Every four years on a Saturday in mid-October, Louisiana voters go to the polls to cast their votes in the Gubernatorial Primary which for this year, falls on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
Candidates will vie for a vast array of statewide political offices including: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state attorney general, state treasurer, state commissioner of agriculture and forestry, state commissioner of insurance, positions on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE District 4 for Bossier Parish), and candidates for state senator (Districts 36 and 37 for Bossier Parish) and state representative (Districts 1, 2, 6, 8, 9 and 10 for Bossier Parish). There will also be four statewide constitutional amendments on the October ballot.
There will also be some local political positions on the ballot for Bossier Parish, including sheriff, clerk of court, tax assessor, coroner, police jury (all 12 districts). And, there will be a judgeship for the 26th Judicial District covering Bossier and Webster Parishes. The Gubernatorial General Election or “runoff” will fall on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
All of the candidates for the political races mentioned above have not qualified yet, as qualifying runs from Aug. 6-8. However, the picture is becoming pretty clear by now as to who will be running for these political offices. There will be many incumbents running unopposed, but there will also be a few contested races that are sure to be very interesting to watch.
Clearly, there is a lot to think about — this will decide the people who will lead both our state and our parish for the next four years and beyond.
I love our statewide election cycle. It is something that I have had a keen interest in since I was a kid. In fact, on a few occasions in my younger days, I have even had the chance to be a part of a few campaigns, which I have referred to in some of my previous columns.
Let me strongly urge you to be an informed and educated part of this political process. There are some huge decisions to be made in relation to electing the candidates whom we feel are best qualified to lead both our great state of Louisiana and our great parish of Bossier into the future. As I have said many times before, our vote is ultra important. Voting is a privilege. Voting is a responsibility. But most importantly, voting is a right guaranteed to us by our Constitution as citizens of the United States. In my opinion, our right to vote should never be taken for granted or viewed with an attitude of indifference.
Again, to say that the political races mentioned above are important is an understatement. The shape of our future both as a parish and as state depends upon your vote. And, at the risk of repeating myself, let me also say once again, be a part of the political process to make your voice heard loud and clear. It is almost that time again and I can hardly wait.
Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org