We need leaders and we need answers

Staff Editorial

It is not yet election season, but there has already been some talk about possible candidates in upcoming races.

Shirley Bell, a retired communication studies professor, announced her intention to seek the nomination for state representative of the 110th district at a Trivia Night, according to The Daily Eastern News.

Current Rep. Reggie Phillips, (R-Charleston), has already said he is not planning on seeking re-election.

Instead, Chris Miller, 63, of Oakland has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the 110th district, according to The News-Gazette.

In state news, the Associated Press reported that the 2018 governor’s race might be the most expensive in U.S. history, because of current Gov. Bruce Rauner’s wealth and that of several Democratic candidates, including businessman J.B Pritzker, an heir to money from the Hyatt Hotel.

While representatives may change, and it is still a little while away until 2018, there are some things it is always good to keep in mind when it comes to politics.

One of these is, of course, getting involved. Now that there is a little time between now and when elections start, there is more of a chance to research these candidates and see which ones would represent our district and university the best.

After all, the people we put in office could be the deciding factor in whether or not we repeat the absolutely ridiculous budget impasse that took two fiscal years to end.

In a different article in The Daily Eastern News, State Sen. Dale Righter, (R-Mattoon), said there is still a possibility of a gridlock in the state budget in the future.

“Higher education should be prepared for another impasse,” Righter said in an interview with The Daily Eastern News. “It’s my hope that that will not happen, but the gridlock that was broken this past summer, the factors that create that gridlock are still out there.”

This is unfortunate and unacceptable. It is unacceptable, first and foremost, that some politicians have resigned themselves to the endless infighting that allowed staff members across universities to lose their jobs and social services to go without crucial funds. We cannot let anyone in Springfield, regardless of their political affiliation, keep shrugging their shoulders and thinking that there is nothing they can do to stop another crisis from happening. We need leaders, not just politicians, who will stand up for what is right even when it is unpopular, before a crisis happens and they are pigeonholed into the right decision.

To do this, we need to get prepared. We need to read up on who is running, keep informed of developments that are happening in races, and learn more about who will potentially be representing us, even as early as now. Many papers, including ours, often have an editorial encouraging people to vote before an election. Now, we want to make sure you stay involved before that. If we keep up with political happenings now, we will be able to choose the right people before it is too late.