One of the most liberating things I have ever done was switch my party registration from Republican to Independent.

Both major parties are composed of great people who want what is best for their communities. However, both parties tend to be headed by people who have tunnel vision with a focus on winning.

Alex J. Hayes is the managing editor of the Gettysburg Times. Contact him at or 717-253-9413.

(1) comment


I agree that, all things being equal, the party affiliation of candidates for local offices such as Borough Council is not terribly important. That is, if you are just looking for good, hard-working people to do the grunt work that is local government. But there is a bigger picture to consider that doesn't necessarily equate to petty politics. Many politicians start out serving in local offices but eventually aspire to higher office where party affiliation is a major indicator of how they will direct or influence public policy on crucial economic and social issues. Also, local politicians are part of the party infrastructure that joins as one to support candidates in their party in higher offices. So, depending on whether a local candidate may seek higher office, and given that every office filled by a party member is one more soldier in the party's army to build and advance its platform, a local candidate's party affiliation can and does make a difference in the long term. Viewed this way, it isn't necessarily hyper-political or petty to consider a local candidate's party affiliation when deciding how to vote.

I do appreciate the Times posting an original opinion piece. I encourage the Times to consider forming an editorial board and publishing its position on issues pertinent to its readership on the Op-Ed page more frequently.

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