Running for political office asks a lot of people. A successful campaign usually entails spending hours meeting with potential voters, devouring as much information as possible on the issues and engaging in — we hope — spirited yet civil debate with one’s opponents. Not to mention the increased demand for candidates at the statewide or higher level to hustle for donations.

And then there’s the fact that, at least nationally, 2018 is a year of hyperpartisanship. There’s a lot of pressure on candidates to take less moderate positions to appease primary voters, which makes it all the more difficult to build a coalition of base and independent voters in the general.

All of which is to say we don’t blame anyone who decides against running for office this year. At the same time, we’d ask anyone who’s even giving it a sliver of a thought to brave the storm — if they are truly serious about doing all they can to best serve the public.

In Wyoming, it’s our gubernatorial race that appears to be getting the most attention right now. But, there are so many other elected positions that help steer our community into the future. Even precinct committeewoman and committeeman positions are important to the structure and decision-making of our two major political parties. Other oft-overlooked positions include conservation district, fire district and hospital district.

No matter how small the office might seem, however, we would stress that anyone running for office should make a concerted effort to learn about and understand the issues. Don’t expect to get by on charisma and campaign advertising alone. Serving in elected office is a serious business, and should be approached as such.

If you feel like you want to do this, then we’d strongly encourage you to go to the Albany County Clerk’s Office website for local races at www.co.albany.wy.us/candidate-filing.aspx or the secretary of state’s website at soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/2018ElectionInformation.aspx and take a look at what is required to run. Please keep in mind the filing deadline of June 2.

And if you do decide to run, please know you’re providing an invaluable service to the public by helping promote competition and public debate. Whether you win or lose: thank you.

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