An example of how elections should be run

Amid all the name-calling, dishonest campaigning, and Facebook flame wars, we came across one shining example of what an election should look like.

And that example is right here in our back yard.

The Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners had two seats up for election this year, and four candidates filed to seek those seats. Incumbent Kim Quinn, appointed to the board in 2014 to fill a vacancy, was joined by Evan Cockerham, Mary Nunn Meijboom and Franklin Nichols in a four-way race for the seats.

Cockerham and Quinn won the seats, with 407 and 359 votes, respectively, but what’s important here isn’t the final numbers, but the way in which the candidates conducted themselves.

Going in to the race, there was an expectation of some fireworks, given that Quinn and Nichols had engaged in a few public and fiery disagreements.

Throughout the campaign, though, the four stayed focused on the issues, never lowering themselves to personal attacks. We even have a picture online of two of the candidate’s mothers holding an amiable chat Tuesday outside one of the town’s polling locations.

Tuesday night, after the results were known, all four of the candidates were quick to praise their opponents. The two who came up on the short end of the count, Meijboom and Nichols, were openly supportive of the two who won, and of the board of commissioners in general.

This wasn’t the only clean race in the area. While a few folks not directly affiliated with the campaigns took some childish cheap shots at one of the candidates, the race between Surry County Commissioner Van Tucker and Democrat challenger Ronald Bowman was a clean, issues-oriented race.

Tuesday night, both men praised one another, without a cross word to say.

And overall, the races won by State Del. Sarah Stevens, a Mount Airy Republican, and State Sen. Shirley Randleman, a Wilkesboro Republican, were clean, well-fought campaigns.

But for pure class and professionalism, it’s hard to beat the four candidates in Pilot Mountain. That town has had its fair share of problems with finances and leadership, and it’s facing many more challenges with an aging infrastructure needing massive upgrades, but we’re hopeful the four candidates (and yes, there is room for the losing candidates to serve the town) will help Pilot Mountain continue to set an example of how things ought to be handled.

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