By Reggie Connell/Managing Editor of The Apopka Voice
Apopka is a great city filled with people that are proud of their community and engaged in its politics. What other municipality has mayoral candidates announce their campaigns a year early?
But what sort of an election will 2018 bring? What will the residents, candidates, and news outlets choose?
Apopka deserves an issue-based election. It is the fastest-growing city in Central Florida and it deserves the very best leaders this community has to offer.
But at a time when personality-politics are at its peak, it will be tempting to travel down a very different path of opposition research, gotcha’ journalism, and misleading hit-pieces. It would be easy let the dark artists of Social Media and Political Action Committees with vague names send out sensational mailers and posts with wild allegations determine who wins and who loses.
Don’t let that happen Apopka. Take a few extra steps and make certain what you are reading and hearing is true. Take the road less traveled and seek out the truth.
Take the high road.
What if the voters of this community could elect their next mayor and city commissioners based on their merits? What if experience, performance, vision, problem-solving and ideas won and lost elections?
What if Apopka could break the national mold and focus on what is important to its community when selecting elected officials?
It will take a concerted effort from the local media, the candidates, their supporters, and the Apopka voters to make this happen, but wouldn’t it be a refreshing change to the current climate in politics?
The Apopka Voice will be there every step of the way on this journey to Election Day 2018 for Seat #1, Seat #2, and the Mayor of Apopka. Through news reports, features, analysis, editorials, and debates our mission will be to give you all the details to make an informed decision on March 15th, 2018 – which is just four months away.
Apopka is a growing, changing, diverse, and complex city. It will take experienced, talented visionaries to lead it into the future. We owe it to the residents and voters of Apopka to give a complete, comprehensive and thorough examination of these brave Apopkans who put themselves into the spotlight to be examined and decided upon in the brightest of lights, and we intend to make good on that debt.
And the voters owe it to these candidates to decide upon facts and honest, objective analysis, not Facebook posts, innuendo and rumors.
Municipal campaigns can quickly devolve into mud-slinging lowest common denominator contests. Do not let hyperbole and rhetoric become reality.
All too often media outlets take sides in an election and tell a story that appeals to a specific ideology and provides no balance, or ways to engage. The Apopka Voice will dedicate its content to reporting accurate accounts, allowing both sides to tell their most compelling story, and then dig deeper into the issues and provide a way for readers to engage, contribute, and come to logical conclusions as to who should be mayor, and who should be sitting on the City Council in 2018.
Good luck to all seven candidates running for elected office in Apopka, and to any of you who may still throw your hat into the ring. Be safe on the campaign trail, and thank you for your interest in public service to your community.
Now take these next four months and show us your very best.