Election season


Elections are next week, here at least, and it’s impossible to miss it.

Signs have appeared in yards as suddenly and ubiquitously as the leaves in the grass. Candidates for judge and DA sponsor the radio’s football game coverage. I found a note card on my front door yesterday, that read “sorry I missed you” from a clerk-of-courts candidate.

Every day we run compare-and-contrast stories of a different race: judge, DA, township supervisor, borough council.

Our editorial pages are overflowing.

I dread this time of year. Of all the stories I cover, these are the worst. We cover conventions that are rallies and have no news value and I wince when I quote vitriol. The letters to the editor are impassioned, emotional, and often ungrounded. The candidates’ forum is mercifully short, though crowded, and it’s hard to write a story when the topics jump from drugs to past experience to plea bargains.

My story runs long.

A county official calls or schedules a non-political event and I read between the lines; just another part of the campaign, I think on more cynical days.

Come elections, all days are cynical days.

I dislike covering elections, and politics, and yet I flip open my paper today and it’s chock-full of political ads, one stacked on another. And these are good, a jolt for our revenue stream.

Tuesday it will be over, and Wednesday morning will be a disastrous time crunch as we call the winners and losers and someone will be up all night, watching those votes come in.

Then the signs will come down and the rain will flatten the leaves into the grass and it will be quiet again, for a season.

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