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Sedona's 2014 primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 26, with the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.Based on the emails filling my inbox over the last few weeks, one would think the 2014 election is just days away.

Politics can be a nasty game, especially in the modern world of 24-hour television news cycles and clipped sound bites.


Candidates for Arizona governor, Arizona attorney general and Congressional District 1 are declaring their intentions to run and trying to get the word out about their political viability.

Managing Editor Christopher Fox GrahamLast week, Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey and businesswoman Christine Jones, both Republican candidates for governor, visited Sedona to shake hands, raise money and meet future constituents, should they win the governor’s seat. They face a half-dozen other Republicans and a handful of Democrats to replace current Gov. Jan Brewer in the November election.

With Congressional District 1 fairly split down the middle between liberal and conservative, the Democratic and Republican national committees appear as though they will be adding thousands of advertising dollars into the campaign.

The emails from all these candidates include announcements of fundraising achievements, letters of endorsement from other elected leaders, to attacks on potential contenders and rebuttals of the same aforementioned attacks.

While we may think of political attacks as a new phenomenon of mass media, they are as ancient as democracy itself. Politicians in the republics of ancient Greece and Rome were so adept at political attacks and persuasion they even named the oratorical art form — rhetoric — and trained leaders in how to use it.

In the first contested president election in U.S. history, President John Adams attacked challenger Thomas Jefferson relentlessly, even once publicly accusing him of trying to marry his son to King George III’s daughter to create a royal American dynasty.

Less common are political statements about how a candidate will improve the lives of their constituents or the measurable achievements of incumbents. Voters often ask candidates to focus on plans for the future rather than criticism of their foes’ pasts or attacks on their characters. Often these calls fall on deaf ears because attacks appear to be so much easier to orchestrate, meaning honor and integrity take a back seat to “win at all costs.”

The Sedona City Council election is generally free from low attacks. Our small-town character means that win or lose, we are all neighbors, first and foremost.

We hope that whomever declares themselves as candidates for the 2014 election keeps that in mind.












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