The good news of Christmas — peace on earth, good will toward men and similar appeals — is sharing center stage this year with the battle for the U.S. presidency. While Americans are scambling to prepare for the holiday, but seem hardly ready to cope with the difficult process of choosing a new chief executive. Not yet, at least. The campaigning, and even the formal debates, have already been under way for months.

But the time is quickly approaching when voters will be forced to pick up the pace; otherwise, someone else will amke the selections for them.

Meanwhile, candidates for a number of county, district, state and congressional offices are making their intentions known in Texas. The filing period for this state’s March 4 primaries continues through Jan. 2. Several have already filed for offices in Brown County, and many others are sure to join them.

Even though the spotlight will be shining brighest on the presidential sweepstakes, the functions of all of the offices that will be filled through the March primaries and then the November general elections are crucial for the various operations of government. Election time presents not only an opportunity, but also an obligation for voters. They must study the issues and the candidates in order to make the best decisions.

At the same time, the next few weeks will also be an important time for potential candidates as they consider whether this is the time to offer themselves for public service. That may be a distraction during the holidays, but it could lead to happier new years in the future.

Brownwood Bulletin