"All Politics is Local"
This quote from the late Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, reminds us to pay attention to local issues and candidates, even in a time where national events and elections occupy all of the attention. Down-ballot races are important because they elect people who adopt and implement policies at the local level, even those with national dimensions.
For example, school boards direct how our children will be taught and what the educational environment will be (think school police and gun violence). Judges and State’s Attorneys make decisions within the criminal justice system that have real, direct consequences for victims and those charged with crimes. The laws regarding crime and punishment are written at the State level, but law enforcement is very local, so mayoral, county executive and council races are extremely important.
In addition, local races are where most elected officials get their start, so it helps for voters to know them before they run for higher office.
Click on the links to see a list of local races in the counties.