The race to fill Mark Stone’s shoes as a Santa Cruz County supervisor representing the 5th District will certainly heat up once the holidays have passed. With six candidates, from a career politician to those nearly green behind the ears, voters have a colorful spectrum to choose from when filling the county seat in June.

In an ideal world, every voter would have a chance to talk to and research each of the six candidates. The more likely scenario is that most of you will not meet more than one candidate. At the paper, we have met and will continue to meet with the candidates in an effort to offer you as much information as possible.

There are two questions we need to answer so we can cover the race in the most complete way.

First, what resources do you need to become interested in this race? Do you need video of debates, or written material from each candidate? How will you most likely do your research before the election? We can assure you that reading candidate statements in the voter guide will not be enough to inform your vote.

Second, what would you like to ask candidates? The Press-Banner is preparing to cover the race in a way that informs voters as fully as possible. We know many of the issues that interest you — roads, taxes, business, law enforcement and fire coverage and the environment — but there are no easy answers, as the county budget has shrunken each year. However, supervisors are the best source for getting something fixed or changed, and they will help shape our valleys. Now is the time to find out what we should expect from them.

Running for office is time-consuming and takes resources. These candidates have all said they plan to stay in the race as long as possible, and the Press-Banner will try to give each candidate equal coverage in whatever way best educates voters.

We believe the democratic process should be not a popularity contest to be won by the candidate with the most money, but an honest look at who we want representing us and spending our tax money.

Please contact the Press-Banner by email at pbeditor@pressbanner.com, on the Web at www.pressbanner.com or by mail, 5215 Scotts Valley Drive, Ste. F, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, throughout the five months leading up to the election with any questions or comments relating to the candidates or the race.

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