Editor, The Messenger,

When you pull your ballot over the next few weeks, you will make some extraordinarily important choices for our country just by simply filling in a few circles with your pen. And though the stakes are harrowingly existential in our national elections, as our newsfeeds and phone screens keep reminding us, there are some pretty darn important decisions to make down your ballot, too. In fact, way down your ballot past all the other races is the election I’d like to bring to your attention.

In the race for Judge of the Court of Appeals, Juvenile Division, my friend Zachary Saunders is running a spirited campaign for something he passionately believes in. With a picture-perfect family, unstoppable attitude, and wealth of experience from his work in the Athens County Prosecutor’s office, Zach checks all the boxes that someone running for office requires. But we are not talking about a typical politician and that is what makes him such a great choice. His humility, humble spirit, and well-rounded perspective make him one of Athens County’s most effective public servants and soon, elected officials.

As an Ohio University Graduate and long-time county resident, Zach has proven his dedication to our community and in shaping its future. His work at the Prosecutor’s office reveals a focus on protecting our young people and elderly. And my personal experiences with him reveal deep character and work ethic. Lastly, there is something we terribly undervalue in our elected officials that should be mentioned here. Zach isn’t just experienced and dedicated. He is a good person, through and through. And that, I have learned in my experience in City Hall, will be the most important quality underpinning his work as our next Judge.

So, when you fill in the circles in the national races that are so rocking our nation, do not stop just yet. There is a choice ahead of you at the bottom of your ballot that will impact our community greatly. I have already made that choice and early voted for Zachary Saunders. But whether you vote early, by mail, or on election day, I urge you to cast your ballot for Zach, too. Thank you.

Taylor Sappington

Nelsonville

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