Today in Georgia there was a runoff election between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. Mr Kemp won and will face Stacey Abrams for the governorship in November. In Georgia as in many other states we have open primaries. Anyone can vote in any party’s primary(democrat or republican) but if there is a runoff you can only vote for the party’s ballot you chose in the primary. The majority of the news coverage leading up to today’s runoff was about Kemp Vs Cagle.
Now it is obvious why this election is important. The sitting President has endorsed Mr Kemp and Stacey Abrams has a chance to become Georgia’s first African American Governor. With all the focus on the gubernatorial candidates, I mistakenly though that today was just a republican runoff and that I didn’t need to bother. When my girlfriend, reminded me to vote to today I had to go looking online and sure enough there were. runoffs for the democrats too.
The two positions for my area was for Judge and for State School superintendent. These are two very important positions and yet they were virtually ignored by major news outlets. I think that is a problem. I read the paper every morning and I specifically look for political news. I saw nothing. We have a problem with civic engagement in this nation. We have to have the major outlets do a better job of presenting candidates to the public. Major and minor ones. Often times the local elections have a bigger impact on someone’s life than a president or a governor would.
People are busy living their lives so they don’t have all day to do political research. The free press has to distill this information and present it so that we can have an informed and engaged electorate. Or we have to do it ourselves.