It’s On to the Municipal Elections [OPINION]
It would be a good bet to assume that many Americans are experiencing election fatigue right about now. Who could blame them? We indeed seem to be in a perpetual cycle of elections these days, that is for sure.
While ballots cast in the recent presidential election are still being counted, some are already speculating about who might be on the ballot in 2024. It's crazy.
And get ready, because the municipal elections are just around the corner.
The cities of New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton all have municipal elections in 2021. While Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan and Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell face re-election next year, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is not up until 2023, having won a four-year term in 2019. The city councils in all three communities are on the ballot next year, as are some school committee seats.
The office of Massachusetts Governor is not on the ballot until 2022 when the entire Massachusetts Legislature is also up for re-election.
The contentious political climate that exists throughout the nation has resulted in a renewed interest in governance. Debates over such issues as defunding the police, public health policy, and immigration have piqued the interest of some folks who might consider entering the fray. That is a good thing as turnover tends to be slow for these positions.
Often people complain that the same incumbents run unopposed term after term. The Democratic Party has dominated Massachusetts politics for decades. However, change can only come when more people become engaged in the process. But be prepared, because it is a big commitment.
Should you consider seeking public office, the New Bedford Election Commission offers some great information on how to get started on the City's website. The other cities and towns in our area also provide information for seeking public office, as does the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
For those seeking public office in the upcoming municipal elections, just give us at least a couple of months between the national and local elections to recapture our sanity before you start campaigning, please.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.