I would like to thank Patrick Graham, the owner of our company, for selecting me to be the new publisher for The Times-Journal. I told him I wanted the best person to get the job, even if he felt that would be someone else, so it is deeply humbling to be given this opportunity to take charge of a company I’ve been associated with since 1990.

My DeKalb County roots run deep. My name will be familiar to many of you. My kinfolk are the Stiefels and the Benefields. I intend to make them proud. I appreciate the warm reception I received online from so many of you.

I look forward to meeting those of you who I have not yet had the honor of knowing personally. We want to be a publication you can depend on to give you accurate news that informs your day and enhances our community, plus advertising that helps you source the products and services you need right here in DeKalb County where your money can do the best good. As always, we appreciate your news tips and your feedback.

These are dramatic and historic times. The gravity of the moment isn’t lost on us. I said as much when Patrick announced I was to become publisher. We will continue to bring you information that has been vetted and can be attributed to official sources because we know you are counting on us.

Of course, Tuesday’s election is on everyone’s mind. Officials tell us they are expecting a record turnout. The campaign rhetoric in this cycle has been intense and often characterized by a greater emphasis on the personalities involved than policy distinctions between the candidates. I hope everyone who is registered to vote will pray on the matter and choose to participate. Please do so as safely as possible and be respectful of others to do the same.

Let’s remember that our democracy depends on an informed populace and a commitment to peacefully disagree when it comes to differences of opinion. Whatever the outcome, we need to remember that our choices in the polling place are ours alone and the sacred duty of every patriotic American. I hope everyone respects the process and the conscience of individual voters. We can move forward with an understanding that the things we share in common and the love we feel for America, the free and beautiful, far outweigh any political differences we might have with our neighbors.

— Steven Stiefel is the publisher of the Times-Journal. His column appears in Saturday editions. Email: steven.stiefel@times-journal.com.

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