Who’s right for Dallas County?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

In this year’s election, many candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for local offices. As a newspaper we feel an obligation to endorse candidates, offering our readers our choice of candidates – who we think can do the best while serving in the office they are vying for.

Anyone willing to serve the public’s interest in elected office deserves respect. Those who run spend many hours, and much of their own money, while campaigning.

They often travel to parts of the county they’d never see otherwise, talking to folks and “pressing the flesh.”

It comes down to the primary election Tuesday for voters to decide who will be on the ballot in November. In some races, there is no Republican or third party candidate, so the winner of the primary will hold the office.

We’ve talked to all the candidates and have considered some basic criteria in evaluating who we will endorse:

1) What has the candidate done for Dallas County and the Black Belt?

2) Who has the most experience for the office they are seeking?

3)

Who could overcome the current challenges in the office they are seeking?

4)

Who could most impact Dallas County’s public safety, education and beautification?

5) Who could best lead Dallas County into the future?

In the race for Dallas County Sheriff, incumbent Harris Huffman Jr. is a proven leader.

Huffman has served 12 years as the county’s sheriff, during which the department has grown and implemented several new programs. His experience, dedication and understanding of the office should continue to improve the public safety of Dallas County.

In the race for Probate Judge, Kim Ballard has served in elected office for 19 years, most recently as a Dallas County Commissioner.

Ballard is well respected for his work on the commission, and has insight into the day-to-day operations of the Probate Judge’s office.

In addition to his political experience, Ballard has proven himself a leader in the medical field as an administrator. Ballard knows and understands the needs of the county, should be able to continue pushing Dallas County forward.

Regarding the race for U.S. Congress, Artur Davis has done much for the Black Belt.

His work includes bringing truckloads of food to the needy, playing a large role in economic development and has set the tone for progress in our region. Building on his experience, we can only see his office doing more for the Black Belt if re-elected.

In the race for Representative District 67, Raji Gourdine brings a fresh perspective to that position. His experience bringing together different types of funding to help with community programs will serve him well in juggling the responsibilities of a state legislator.

Gourdine’s work with the summer programs for youth, the Selma Works program with WCCS are both examples that he has worked to try and make Selma and Dallas County better, starting where it is needed most – youth and those who are seeking better opportunities.

The above is The Selma Times-Journal endorsements for the Primary election on June 6, 2006. We wish all the candidates well in Tuesday’s election. Whoever you support, get out and vote.

The polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday.