Judging by concerns voiced by our readers, and the response we've received to Friday's debate, it's clear that many voters still have questions regarding the character and effectiveness of both mayoral candidates.
While many of those who attended or listened on the radio said they learned much to help them differentiate between the candidates, their lingering doubt on these issues can make choosing between them, at best, difficult.
Ken Murphy's controversy centers on his recent departure from Manzanita Manor. Did he resign over conditions he could no longer accept? Or was he fired for creating those conditions?
Murphy's version is quite different from that of his immediate supervisor, Mark Yampole of the Tucson-based management company, Community Care LLC.
Then there's the 1988 survey by the Arizona Republic ranking Jim White among the 10 least effective state legislators. For a candidate running on his political record and experience, the survey has to give voters pause.
At the debate, the candidates were asked point blank about these two issues. How they responded should at least provide some insight to voters who have still not decided how to cast their vote. So should the questions the candidates asked of one another.
Murphy asked White why he spent nearly $5,000 outside of Payson for his signs and brochures. White's response: to save money.
White asked Murphy why he introduced so few initiatives during his eight-year tenure on the town council. Murphy's response: he prefers working one-on-one behind the scenes.
When the polls close next Tuesday, many will breathe a sigh of relief but it should also be a sigh of satisfaction from the fact that we stayed the course. It would have been easy to throw up our hands and walk away months ago. The interest shown in this debate indicates that a sizable segment of our community understands that democracy is not always a neat and tidy process.
Regardless of how you feel about the candidates, get out and vote. It's the only way democracy can work.