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The 2022 election season in West Virginia is about to begin. Before the end of this month, voters will see what choices they have in the primary election on May 10.

Monday was the first day candidates planning to run for office in the primary election may file their certificate of announcement with the secretary of state’s office or their county clerk’s office, depending on the office sought. Candidates must file their paperwork and pay the filing fee during the filing period, which ends at midnight on Saturday, Jan. 29.

According to Secretary of State Mac Warner, candidates for federal, statewide, legislative, and judicial (excluding magistrates) offices, as well as those running for office in more than one county, are required to file a candidate’s certificate of announcement with the secretary of state’s office. Candidates for all other offices file at their respective county clerk’s office.

Offices on the ballot this year include U.S. House of Representatives; State Senate; House of Delegates; county commissions; county boards of education; conservation district supervisors; Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District; political party executive committees for state, congressional, delegate, senatorial, and county districts; and any vacancies for unexpired terms that are to be filled.

Fans of politics like to say the upcoming election is the most important in history. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but there’s no doubt elections this year in West Virginia and elsewhere are important to how the nation, state and local communities will respond to challenges facing them.

It’s easy to take elections for granted. It’s easy to say they make little difference, as both parties are essentially the same. Easy, but not wise.

This could be a landmark election, given how national trends can affect local decisions. It could prepare the state for significant change next year and beyond. Or it could reinforce the status quo.

West Virginia needs wise, intelligent, thoughtful and dedicated people in public office. If you fit that description and are thinking about running, now is the time to file.

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