Aiken Municipal Building

The City of Aiken's Municipal Building, located at 214 Park Ave. S.W. City Council meetings, both regular and work session, are held here.

Opportunity knocks every once in a while, and if you want to get involved in local politics this week is your chance.

The candidate filing period for Aiken elections opened on Monday. Up for grabs this year are three spots on City Council – mayor, District 1 and District 3.

It is important to encourage potential candidates to file. If you're thinking about it, go for it. The more candidates, the better.

When several candidates run for the same spot, it can drive people to engage, learn, support and ultimately vote. Turnout will be minimal if there's just one choice for each council or mayoral race.

And when it comes to local elections, such as these, every vote matters and demands its place in the counting. Vote.

With competition comes information and an opportunity to provide Aiken residents an in-depth look at the candidates: at meetings, at fundraisers, at public events, during forums and even behind the scenes. We strive to cover the elections, and the aftermath, fairly and precisely.

We do know Mayor Rick Osbon has filed for reelection. As has Gail Diggs, our council member representing District 1, and her opponent Jeremy Stevens.

The District 3 seat is completely wide open as incumbent Dick Dewar has said he will not seek reelection. In April he said he wanted "to give people time to think about whether they want to run and plan their campaign accordingly."

For those who do not know, District 1 is predominantly in the city's northeast. District 3 encompasses much of Kalmia Hill and the Houndslake areas.

Both the city and county have excellent maps detailing the exact spread and boundaries of the City Council districts. Find out what district you live in, and keep an eye on the elections. 

The filing period only lasts until noon Monday, July 8. It is indeed a short window, especially with the holiday mixed in.

The municipal party primaries are scheduled for Aug. 13. Runoffs, if necessary, will be held Aug. 27.

The general election will be held Nov. 5. The last day to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 7.