Secretary of State Jason Kander, Missouri’s chief election official, sent out a reminder that Tuesday, Feb. 25, is the opening day of filing for state offices on the primary and general election ballots. The filing period ends March 25.

Of interest in Franklin County is that all of the state representative offices are on the ballot this year. The only statewide office on the primary and general election ballots will be state auditor. Republican incumbent Tom Schweich will seek re-election to the office.

Franklin County has four state representatives who serve sections of the county. Washington is divided into two House districts, which may be the first time that has ever happened. The state senator who represents the county has two years to go on his term, which is for four years. State representatives serve two-year terms.

Filings for state offices must be done at the secretary of state’s office in Jefferson City.

To us it is more than just a reminder about the opening of filings. It is a reminder that we need qualified candidates to seek public offices. It should be clear to all of us by now that we don’t want far-out radicals to seek office. Usually, they are single, or double, issue candidates whose proposals aren’t practical or even are unconstituitonal. We’ve seen enough of this recently on all levels of government, especially in the state capitol. We also have witnessed too much legislation that is poorly written and has to be amended in future legislative sessions. Before term limits, we had legislative veterans who had the experience to kill faulty bills.

We need moderates who are civil to members of the other party and understand that to pass meaningful measures, such as needed reforms, some compromises are needed. We elect people who are too stubborn to see the other side of positions on issues, and nothing gets done. That’s not in the best interests of people who elected them.

We don’t know what it will take to get better qualified candidates and elect them for improved government. We need public-spirited citizens from both parties to file. What has happened to the motivation to serve the people rather than the party or the individual?