“Old Mill Park is a bad investment for Boaz.”
“They should have done something else with that money.”
“Our leaders need to do something about U.S. Highway 431.”
“The Marshall County Commission doesn’t know what it’s doing with the tag fee mess.”
These are among the plethora of concerning statements I have heard from people all over Sand Mountain in the last two months, but the statements have more in common than only being negative. They come from the mouths of people who refuse to do anything more than talk.
Forget about attending government meetings and staying educated for just a moment. Why not run for office if you’re so distraught with how things are going in your community?
Did you know the minimum age requirement in Alabama to run for district attorney, probate judge, circuit clerk, sheriff, county schools superintendent, county schools board of education, county commission, mayor and city council is only 18? For certain positions, you only have to be a citizen of that county or city for 90 days prior to the election. There are no term limits for any of those positions either. So, if you don’t run, the same people will stay there as long as they want.
On the statewide level, the oldest you have to be in order to run for governor, lieutenant governor or U.S. Senate is 30. All other offices are 25 or younger. To run for U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives, you only have to be a resident of Alabama for one day prior to the election. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
The most difficult thing about running for office might be money, but if you have a group of supporters that believes what you believe, who’s to say it can’t be done?
“The law requires every candidate to organize a campaign finance committee and file an Appointment of Principal Campaign Committee form, which lists who serves on the committee,” according to the Candidate Filing Guide for the State of Alabama. “The committee form must be filed within five days of becoming a candidate. For purposes of the Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA), the law defines two ways to become a candidate: 1. Reaching the disclosure threshold by either raising or spending $1,000, regardless of office sought. 2. Qualifying as a candidate with a political party or by filing a petition as a third party or independent candidate.”
If you’re passionate enough and believe in what you stand for, the shot is worth taking.
Elections for some local offices, including mayor and city council, are around the corner — the naysayers better run for it.
Taylor Beck is managing editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.