Pay attention, candidates — your constituents have a message for you: Roads matter.
During the past several weeks, The Paris News has interviewed candidates in several elections, including the Delta and Lamar County commissioners races. Most mentioned that roads will be a priority, and they should be.
“The roads are garbage,” Kristin LaRue commented on Facebook on one candidate profile.
“Fix the roads,” commented Lorri Privett.
“Still waiting for our county road to be fixed from the last time promises ...” Melinda Miller wrote.
And they aren’t alone — a vast majority of those commenting on candidate articles mentioned the roads. Some posted pictures of impassible areas.
There are many miles of roads in the region — incumbent Lamar County Commissioner Lawrence Malone noted there’s 233 miles just in Precinct 1. Maintenance and repair are costly endeavors, and commissioners must wisely use what funding is available. But they also must communicate with constituents more frequently than during an election year about what work will be done, where it will be done and how much it will cost.
In local elections, the partisan politics of Washington and Austin are often nonexistent, and especially so in a Republican stronghold like the Red River Valley. Due to a lack of competition, several March 3 races will decide who ultimately gets the office. Roads, not politics, will likely be the influencing factor that sway voters, and candidates would be wise to listen to them.