What election may tell us

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Editorial: May 22, 2014

ISSUE: Analyzing Tuesday's election results
OUR VIEW: Message in vote about government center

Elections serve as a viable barometer of public opinion.

If that statement is true, it seems fair to conclude that relocating county government from its historic downtown residence to a new $13.1 million complex is not a source of universal outrage in Hardin County.

Cries of “recall them all” may have surfaced in some corners after Hardin Fiscal Court took action to begin building a new four-story building off Ring Road and Patriot Parkway. But Tuesday’s results show little traction for that viewpoint. Every magistrate on the ballot and Judge-Executive Harry Berry received a majority vote in the party primaries.

Democrats Roy Easter and Garry King and Dwight Morgan, a Republican, each earned re-election by virtue of having no opposition in November. At minimum, that means three of the eight members who voted to relocate from the courthouse will return to office. All eight, including Berry, remain in the running.

When the filing deadline passed in January, Magistrate Bill Wiseman was the only member of Fiscal Court who attracted no opposition. Citing a campaign pledge to keep county government on the Public Square, Wiseman cast the sole dissenting vote regarding the relocation.

Wiseman’s commitment to voters certainly could have served to ward off some potential District 5 challengers as some suggested. But even in races where the courthouse concern was raised as a campaign issue, the results indicate no desire among voters to send a message. Vocal opposition to the relocation did not materialize as a force at the polls.

Affirmation of all incumbents suggests the relocation of the county government offices is not a central political concern that some made it out to be.

While many factors go into election results, including life experience, campaign legwork, popularity and name recognition, issues remain a driving force.

Dissent can arise on many decisions. Tuesday’s election should serve as a reminder the loudest and most persistent voices are not necessarily the majority voices.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.