With most deadlines to file having either passed or pending, we’re beginning to find out who will jump into the rough and tumble world of local politics for 2018. While I can’t imagine lasting a day at any level of politics, I admire those passionate enough about holding public office to go through the arduous grind. Since most anyone can run, some of these races may be a bit entertaining. Not sure how competitive they will be, but entertaining – yes.

Most notable of races will be for County Judge. Carol Bush has held the position since 2009 and is running for another term. Once tomorrow’s deadline passes we’ll know who is running against her. Other than Bush, local attorney Rodney Ramsey has already announced his intention to be county judge and, as one might imagine, the ink wasn’t dry on filing papers before the nonsense of negativity began. My guess is that Carol Bush, like most who’ve held elected office for any length of time, is used to it. I’m also guessing many of you, however, are tired of it. I know I am. Mr. Ramsey, a candidate with a rather colorful past to consider, seems eager to do some bashing right out of the gate, but I say to Mr. Ramsey and every other candidate for that matter, tell us more about you and your qualifications for the job and less of what you think of others.

That said, given the climate of politics in America, there’s not a better time than now to say to all candidates who believe they are qualified to hold office, do it right or be rejected at the ballot box. Enough is enough of the shenanigans, of the dishonesty, of the nasty politics. Voters are to be served by men and women who put integrity and service above all else. Most of us have witnessed too many smooth-talking, slick elected officials playing games, playing favorites and playing righteous rather than doing the job well … and it has to stop.

The change needed in this country needs to start here, at home. There’s no reason we can’t hold every incumbent and newcomer to a standard of goodness, ethics and character. What a local attorney once again jumping into another race thinks of the county judge isn’t going to change minds … unless to his detriment. And, most assuredly, someone with a past that will need to be examined and explained should campaign with less bombast than more and with more humility than hubris. A race filled with name-calling, labels and accusations is cowardly and serves no valuable purpose as it relates to improving the county or city. It’s a race we’ll have plenty to say about on this page, for sure.

The need to change the political climate in Ellis County and Waxahachie is overdue, as I see it. Whether it’s the school board, city council, commissioner’s court or any other elected office, success that typically comes from men and women who act with the highest levels of character is what you, the voters, deserve.

Anything less just won’t work.