Filing for a chance at winning public office is just around the corner with municipal election filings starting July 5.

Many offices are open in the upcoming election, and we encourage everyone interested in local government to throw their hats in the ring. The more the merrier, we say.

Sure, when following the national media’s coverage of the presidential races, pundits and newscasters have had derogatory things to say about the high number of candidates vying for the White House: 16 for the Republicans in 2016 before primary voting; 25 Democrats for 2020, at last count. But those are just the candidates the news media and “experts” believe had or have a chance of their party nominating them. Actually, as of Tuesday 748 candidates filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run for president, including 259 Democratic candidates, 97 Republican candidates, 31 Libertarian candidates, 14 Green candidates and a horde of independents and minor party favorites.

So, we shouldn’t be shocked if a couple of dozen people come out wanting to serve on the Goldsboro City Council. Au contraire, as we noted, we welcome a significant number of candidates.

It takes a great deal of confidence, hard work and responsibility to seek public office, especially at the local level. Few local candidates have a committee or team put together to help with a campaign, other than family, a few friends and a small number of supporters. Usually, local candidates seeking office on city and town boards are out stumping for votes by going door-to-door, speaking before small groups in homes and standing up during candidate debates that neighborhood or city groups promote. The cost of any campaign materials — fliers, mailers, signs and bumper stickers — comes right from the candidate’s pocket. It’s not glamorous. It is sometimes expensive, and it requires an arduous, backbreaking effort to succeed.

Sure, presidential and federal campaigns capture a great deal of the limelight. But it is at the local level where the huge decisions are made: raising and spending local taxes, direct education of children, law enforcement and public protection, immediate quality of life (parks and recreation), public services and local roads. It is the people making these decisions who are the true leaders of our government.

Therefore, local candidates who make it to Election Day — win or lose — must be saluted. These are the true heroes of our representative democracy, and their impact, again win or lose, affects us all. Like President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “People do not come out to vote for a United States senator. They come out to vote for the sheriff or the county commissioner.”

Those are the essential races — campaigns for local office — and we encourage everyone to get involved.