Ward 3 rep will have a heavy load

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, May 21, 2011

The importance of Tuesday’s special election to fill an empty seat on the Selma City Council cannot be overstated.

Not only does this election go to selecting a representative of Selma’s most diverse district, it also goes to select the representative of the city’s most historic district and the one with a good portion of Selma’s downtown business district.

With eight qualified candidates entered in the race, and with seven actively pursuing the seat, the chances for a runoff election are very good. But, in the event one candidate is able to gain a majority of the votes Tuesday, they will be the one who was able to navigate a very passionate field of candidates, a field that represented a wide-range of backgrounds and interests.

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The candidate who wins will also have to jump right into a job on the city council at a time when the city is facing tight economic conditions, is in the midst of an extensive riverfront and amphitheater project and a city desperate in the need for an economic kick start.

The candidate who wins will also be just more than a year from running for re-election. In Selma, the game of politics is never over, and the truth of the matter is, the candidate who wins Tuesday will immediately be in campaign mode to hold on to their seat next August.

Tuesday’s election has plenty of interesting facets to it, but the importance of the election is not reserved to the registered voters and residents of Ward 3. It is an election that will fill out this city’s main governmental body for the first time in far too long.

No longer can Selma officials use the lack of representation as an excuse for not knowing of problems or being slow to respond.

If a candidate is able to pull out Tuesday’s election with a majority of the vote, then they must begin immediately working for Ward 3 and for Selma.