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Landscape of government changes quickly

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

By The Staff

The 2010 election season is over. And while robo-calls during dinner and negative TV ads end, a new political landscape begins.

Our founding fathers created a political system whereby every two years Americans can express themselves—and on this past Tuesday, voters let out a primal scream.

In a historic election Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives by gaining more than 60 seats, defeating Democrats across the country, as Democrats barely maintained control of the Senate.

Mid-term elections during economic slumps are never kind to the Oval Office. However, the disapproving message sent to President Obama is not only historic; it is profound and sets the stage for a new direction. The questions become: Where are we going? How do we get there?

One can look at many factors for this abrupt change in political power: a bad economy, the rise of the Tea Party that energized Republicans, anger toward Washington, health care legislation that smacks of big government, high unemployment, huge deficits, despair over a country saddled by debt and a stalled economy. Americans want to work; they want job growth, not the growth of government.

Republicans won the hearts and minds of independent voters. This is the third straight election that independents—be it by official designation or simply voters whose philosophy is not to be beholden to one particular party—have determined the fate of Democratic and Republican politicians. On this Election Day they said, OK, Republicans, it’s your turn; government is not working for us. Whether independent voters have found a lasting home with Republicans will depend on what transpires during the next two years. The political pendulum is a club wielded by independent voters and cost many Democrats their job.

Marion County was a part of this trend. Our County Commission tally will be Republicans 5, Democrats 0. Lost to the Democrats was their final seat, the one held by Barbara Fitos, currently serving as chairman. She was defeated by Carl Zalak, and Kathy Bryant defeated two others in the face for the seat being vacated by Jim Payton.

The School Board, in a supposedly non-partisan race, went to a pair of Republicans. Both Angie Boynton and the man she defeated, Tom Patrick, are known as Republicans, while in the other race Ron Crawford survived the national onslaught against incumbents, but barely, against Democrat Sharon Hagen.

A lot of other races went as expected.

There was a strong turnout, and the people who voted are to be commended. We’ll be watching closely for the next two years. If the GOP doesn’t deliver, the 2012 election could be another shakeup. Stay tuned.

The Citrus County Chronicle contributed to this editorial.