2017-06-08 / Editorial

Onus on you to get to know candidates

As of tomorrow, we will know who will be the candidates to replace state Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed. That’s when the deadline is for candidates to declare for the seat that serves Jamestown and Newport.

So far, there are five Newporters who have said they will vie to be the area’s senator.

It will be the first time is a quarter century that many people will have to think about whom they will vote for or learn a new candidate’s positions. So, it’s incumbent upon Jamestowners to school themselves on the candidates and their views, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to Jamestown.

Our island’s needs and goals are vastly different than Newport, which the contenders to replace Paiva Weed know well. While we embrace tourism, it’s not on the large scale that they desire across the bay, where thousands of people stream up and down the downtown streets daily in the summer. We also want a limited commercial area and value our open space and pastoral nature.

Several of the candidates already have done meet-and-greet events in town and many more will be planned. We encourage you to attend these, as well as talk to them if they come knocking on your door. The Jamestown Press and local League of Women Voters also are planning to host a candidates’ forum just before the July 18 primary.

It is your responsibility to make sure the candidates understand and will be responsive to Jamestown’s needs. This is especially important since we are losing the clout that came with Paiva Weed being the state Senate’s president.

So, during the next six weeks, take the time to speak with the candidates and learn as much as you can about them. An informed voter is a cornerstone of our democracy.

Return to top