Editorial Cartoon

With the exception of the race for Kentucky governor, about which questions have been raised by the race’s apparent loser — incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin — there is no question that the other races on Tuesday’s general election ballot were decided Tuesday.

That means all the months of campaigning, negative or positive, have come to an end, as have the visits, campaign rallies and other events. There are no more debates or arguments to be had over who deserves or who should hold a particular office. The voters have spoken.

And now, the real work begins.

The governor’s race aside, it’s time for all candidates to put aside the things said and the actions taken during the campaign because they have a much bigger purpose now — to serve the people of Kentucky to the best of their abilities.

The offices decided on Tuesday affect a wide range of public life in Kentucky, from the governor’s office down to offices such as that of the Commission of Agriculture. Each of these offices have an ability to make a positive impact on Kentucky in numerous ways.

They also have the ability to drag the state down in numerous ways, as well, if they don’t take seriously their role and duty.

The first thing they must do is put the past behind them. Not every candidate received the most support in particular counties. They cannot take that into account now that they’re elected and use it to play politics to punish those who “voted wrong.”

It’s vital that we all be on a level playing field, no matter how we, or our community as a whole, voted.

It’s also important that, especially in today’s divided culture, in which rancorous races result in long-term grudges and political gamesmanship, all those — elected or not — be able to put aside their differences.

Those who won must be ready and willing to forgive their opponents for words and actions they see as harmful and those who lost must not simply disappear from the public discourse.

Even those who didn’t receive the most votes have something to say about the workings of our state and can add to the discussion, only if they’re willing to do so.

At this time, more than ever, it’s important that we have a diversity of opinions and viewpoints being brought to the table. We need novel and unique solutions, not more political games.

It’s important that no voice be shut out simply because of political leanings or

Kentucky has a long, uphill battle ahead of it to establish the state as a leader in numerous fields — manufacturing and business development, education and more. And it will take all being willing to put aside selfish pride and political stances for us to succeed and not just survive, but thrive.

That starts today.

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