Partisan vs. nonpartisan

Published 1:01 am Sunday, July 17, 2011

It’s too early to tell what, if any, effect the Beaufort County Republican Party will have on Washington’s nonpartisan city council elections.
The GOP established a subcommittee to look for conservative candidates it could support in the council race.
The subcommittee favors first-time office-seeker Lloyd May and former mayoral candidate Rick Gagliano, both of whom are launching tries for council slots.
Brooks and Gagliano will go up against former Councilman Richard Brooks and incumbent Councilmen Gil Davis, Ed Moultrie, Bobby Roberson, William Pitt and Doug Mercer.
Five council seats are available, and eight men are running.
We hesitate to endorse a political party’s involvement in a nonpartisan city council race, especially when the party’s campaign plans – how it could help its favored candidates – remain unclear.
City council elections tend to be more local and complicated than large-scale contests like those that determine who gets to serve as a county commissioner.
On the other hand, we can’t say the GOP is doing anything wrong by drawing more attention to the these races. After all, some towns and cities do have partisan council elections, and residents of at least some of these towns and cities seem satisfied with their election process as it stands.
Basically, anything the Republicans can do to generate more interest in the city’s elections is welcome.
Maybe a little party involvement will get people’s attention, inspire future candidates and spur higher voter turnout. Stranger things have happened.