Locals react to election day results
CHARLES TOWN – The courthouse was crowded with candidates and people who stopped by to see how the election results were coming along Tuesday night.
Sarah Smith looked at all the people there and was surprised by how many took an interest in this year’s election.
“I don’t think I’ve seen this much interest since John Kerry ran for president. The fact that nearly 47 percent of the eligible voters voted is just great,” she said.
The day after the election people were still talking about the winners and losers as well as politics itself.
John Rolnick has strong feelings about the process.
“I think the midterm elections were to long. Now they are talking about the next presidential race which will be in two years,” he said, “Will it ever stop?”
Carl Odell of Charles Town believes that the time for change is here and that the election will produce new blood that hopefully brings about action not only in growth issues but ways of bringing jobs to Jefferson County.
“I think the people have spoken, and now it’s time to move on the issues. I’m optimistic about the county’s future,” he said.
Irene Saunders of Harpers Ferry on the other hand thinks that the county has taken a step back.
“The election was sort of a mixed bag. The county’s in for a lot of change,” she said. “In some ways we have turned back the clock. I’m afraid that there will be more development rather than preservation. I don’t think the public is not educated on the issues. One of the big things is that we are going to have to work harder to educate others on the issues as well as fighting development.”
Saunders isn’t the only one, however, concerned about the outcome and state of the elections. Odell is also concerned about how much money goes into campaigns.
“I hope that somewhere down the road there will be public financing for people running for office. Look how much has been spent this election. I think public financing would help the people seeking office but do not have the funds.”
Steve Brewer has other concerns.
“I was taken back by just how negative the political scene has been for the last three or four years. There is always a negative side to political campaigns, but this year it appeared to be extra nasty and often misleading,” he said.
He feels that the Democratic Party collapsed this election cycle.
He added, “I was also surprised and dismayed as I witnessed (on the national level) the Democratic Party appear to fold and never get their message out and the Republicans succumbing to the pressure of the Tea Party. It seems as if it is easier to believe a politician who can quickly turn a phrase and engage the emotions of the masses, that it is to really understand and appreciate the policies they stand for and the direction of their leadership. We definitely live in interesting political times, which are not necessarily a good thing.”