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A bounty of good candidates to choose from

Paul Simon’s 1973 single "Kodachrome" includes the lines “when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all,” and reminds us that it is sometimes fun to think about all that we learned. Some things we thought of then as useless, but as adults we have found quite useful. Some things that we thought we’d never forget, we have forgotten.

During the past several weeks we have written many stories about the upcoming Nov. 7 election. We have talked to and written profiles on individual candidates, as well as informed readers of the Tuesday deadline to register to vote. If you don’t register, you can’t vote. And remember that early voting begins Oct. 16 and ends Nov. 3. Election day is Nov. 7.

As I read these stories I thought back to something I had learned at Griffin High School government class. It was a beautiful spring day in 1971 that my teacher decided that her classes should register to vote. I don’t remember any discussion of political party or other politics. If we needed our parent’s permission I don’t recall nor do I think it mattered. We were registering to vote. To my classmates and me this was a class participation lesson that beat sitting and listening to a lecture. Besides, we all received an A for the day. I didn’t get many of those.

I think back to that day and realize now that it wasn’t political party or petty politics that influenced her to lead 30 or more kids to the Spalding County Courthouse. She was teaching the principles of voting and wanted us to know and understand this privilege (learned in high school) and right would be of importance for the rest of our lives.

I am encouraged today by the large number of local men and women willing to place themselves and their families up for voter consideration for Rome City School Board, Rome City Commission and Cave Spring Council seats. These folks are from all walks of life. Some of them I know personally, some of them I don’t. But what I have read indicates that they are all good, solid citizens with strong ethics and personal values.

Given where we are with some state and national elected officials Rome, Cave Spring and Floyd County voters are blessed with many good candidates to select from and vote for.

If you believe, as I do, an old cliche that all politics is local, then I think this election can begin to position this community as a catalyst for positive change.

And when I think back on all that I learned in high school I know registering to vote and voting will assure that we all are equipped to impact the “writing on the wall.

Otis Raybon is the publisher of the Rome News-Tribune.