More choices keep incumbents on their toes

Published 8:54 am Friday, April 17, 2015

A month after declaring his intention to run for re-election, Mark A. Marshall faces a challenger for the position as sheriff of Isle of Wight County. J. Russell Stephenson of Windsor just the other day announced his candidacy for the office.

We think that’s good for the county.

Not because we’re endorsing the challenger over the incumbent. Not at all.

We think that whenever people in government offices are challenged, it provides voters more choices in who will lead or serve and protect them.

Equally important, if not more so, is that challengers put incumbents on notice that their job performance is being watched closely and even called into question.

This happened at a couple of recent Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors’ meetings when a disgruntled resident reminded the county leaders that this is an election year. The woman said that she — and other people — looked forward to being able to vote them out. Though she didn’t name names, there are in fact three supervisors whose terms expire in 2015: Byron “Buzz” Bailey, Al Casteen and Delores “Dee Dee” Darden.

By the way, four people on the IOW School Board are up for re-election this year: Denise Tynes, Julia Perkins, Ed Easter and Alvin Wilson; the latter two were named as interim members.

Elsewhere, all Southampton County supervisors are up for re-election this year.

Statewide, incumbents and challengers have until Tuesday, June 9, to file paperwork to run for office.

If you’re seriously thinking of becoming a supervisor, school board member or whatever position that calls you to lead, please don’t procrastinate about making a decision.

You could be the next person who can make a positive difference in Isle of Wight County.