There was a lot of talk about the “will of the voters” during a recent debate involving the four candidates for county judge of Rockwall County.

The speakers weren’t talking about the upcoming primary election on Tuesday.

They were referring to the past — bond issue proposals that were rejected by voters in 2004 and 2005. Even though voters turned down both proposals for courthouse construction funding, the county is moving forward with construction of a courthouse.

Needless to say, the courthouse construction project is the hottest topic in the county judge campaign.

I wasn’t a Rockwall County resident when those issues were defeated by voters. And I didn’t start hearing rumblings about a courthouse construction controversy until I became a newsman for the Herald-Banner last September.

I’m not going to condemn, support, agree with, or disagree with anybody about this issue.

But what I want to talk about today is the “will of the voters.” And I won’t be talking about the past. I want us to take a look at the future.

We can’t go back and do anything about the past. But we can have an impact on the future when we vote our “will” during Tuesday’s primary election. With the county judge candidate you vote for, you can say, “Yes, I support the direction the county is moving in now.” Or, you can say, “No, I believe the county needs to be moving in a different direction.”

Vote who you believe is the best person to lead this county forward.

And don’t base your decision on only one issue. There are so many issues that affect Rockwall County residents. For example, there’s the issue with roads. And what are county officials planning that will help us deal with future growth issues? And what about taxes and other financial issues?

Deciding which candidate will win your vote sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? I thought so, too. After meeting three of the four candidates, I reached a “preliminary” decision. Then, I met the fourth candidate and then I heard all four speak during the debate. Let me tell you, based on what I heard at the debate, I realized my “preliminary” decision was very wrong.

I wish every voter could have heard the debate, but there were only about 200 in attendance at the event.

I’m now down to two choices.

How am I going to decide who will be my final choice? I’m going to pray and I’m going to take a closer look at my two “finalists.” I want my choice to be capable, honest and sincere, someone who looks at the big picture and is not driven by one issue, someone who will unite and lead this county forward.

Many people already have cast their ballot during early voting. That’s great. But if you haven’t, please be sure to go to the polls Tuesday. Let your “will” be known.

I keep thinking back to an important mayoral election when we lived in another city. So many people — including some of my best friends — did not bother to vote.

“My vote doesn’t matter,” some would respond when asked if they were going to vote. Such an old, old, sorry excuse for not exercising this very important right.

And even though this mayoral race had been a top news story in this city for months, some would ask, “Who’s running?” Seriously, they didn’t have a clue. So very, very sad, but true.

But who usually voices the loudest complaints when things don’t go their way at City Hall or the courthouse? That’s right. The people who didn’t bother to take a few minutes to let their “will” be known at the voting box.

So, please exercise your right to vote. And go to the polls armed with as much information as possible regarding the county judge candidates as well as candidates in the other races.

And when you walk away, you will feel good that you have let your “will” be known.

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