Thoughts on the upcoming primary elections

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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I know quite a bit about primary elections; I ran in several of them.  I was fortunate and won a county commissioner seat in 2006 and 2010.  I didn’t run again in 2014.  I support term limits for some offices including county commissioner.  Eight years was enough.

The filing period for the 2024 primary has ended.  The primary election is March 5, 2024.  The in-person early voting period begins Thursday, February 15 and ends Saturday, March 2.

This leaves little time for the candidates to campaign and for the voters to know the candidates.  Back when I ran; newspaper ads, mailers, radio ads and personal contact were the methods I used to get the attention of the voters.  It appears that social media has become the primary tool now-a-days and going door-to-door may not be as safe as it once was.

2024 is a presidential election year.  Most of the attention will be on the presidential race.  Possibly, there will be a third-party candidate for president.  Most all voters will have knowledge of these candidates, know who they are, and vote for their chosen candidate.

Local elections do not rise to the same level of importance to voters.

In the recent 2023 municipal election, 28.99 percent of the registered voters voted. This was an improvement over the 22.33 percent in the previous municipal election in 2021.  Obviously, voters were more motivated in 2023 and some change did occur.

In comparison, a whopping 77.43 percent of Beaufort County voters voted in the 2020 presidential election.  A lot of votes will be cast for local candidates in 2024 but it will have more to do with who is on top of the ballot.

The president and congress are extremely important but they move as slow as molasses even when important decisions need to be made.  Lately, they just kick it down the road and not much gets done.

The Beaufort County School Board and Board of County Commissioners make important decisions quickly that can have a significant effect on Beaufort County residents.  It’s important to know who the candidates are and what they are up to.
Your vote in the primary may determine who is elected to the school board because the winner of the primary may not have an opponent in the general election.

Your vote in the primary for county commissioner will determine who the four Republican candidates are in the general election.  There are two Democrats for county commissioner who will move on to the general election.

All races in an election are important if they affect you, the voter.  This includes the locals in the primary election.  Your vote could be the deciding vote.

Al Klemm is a Washington resident and a former Beaufort County Commissioner.