At the Moulton Recreation Center Tuesday night, Nov. 6, Lawrence County political opponents shared the stage. As members of the community gathered awaiting to see results for each candidacy, those in the running mingled amongst the crowd and socialized amongst themselves. 

When results began pouring in, several candidates who had taken a rapid lead were given early congratulations and asked, “what comes next?” One such candidate, Joey Hargrove immediately commented, “I want to thank my opponent for running a clean race…my hat goes off to him.” Hargrove said he and Ned T. Jones had shared texts and conversations before and during the race concerned with respect for one another during the running.

Later in the evening, opponents Deano Orr and Greg Dutton could be seen hugging and beaming together in very involved conversation—the way friends behave. Dutton and Orr both exuded not only great sportsmanship but also great civility and respect for one another. 

Such a sight serves as a valuable reminder that civility and teamwork are absolutely crucial for those not only in leadership but also from those of us in the general masses. 

Regardless of party lines, it is important to remember the common goal is to work for the betterment of our communities. Cooperation and teamwork are two of the most essential components of great leadership. 

The mark of a great leader is one who will listen to his or her constituents, work with other community and government leaders in doing the right thing for their communities and those they represent, and above all, leading with grace and self-respect. A leader who respects him or herself respects their opponents and who respects those they represent are sure to meet success, not only for themselves but also for those they serve.

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