One of the refreshing things about local elections is that the smaller the town, the less it seems to matter whether the folks running are Democrats or Republicans.
When we're considering the city of Oneonta, it can't be ignored that Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 1,000 registered voters. Still, in the current three-man race for mayor, party may not matter as much as the best man winning.
Former Hartwick College President Richard Miller will be on the Democratic ballot Nov. 3 against Republican Erik Miller, alderman for the city's Third Ward.
Also offering himself as a candidate is State University College at Oneonta senior Jason Corrigan, running on an independent line. However, unless the 21-year-old student can find a way to overcome a thrashing earlier this month by Richard Miller in the Democratic primary, this would seem to be a two-man race.
Richard Miller, who is not even a registered Democrat, captured the primary with 77 percent of the vote.
Erik Miller, subject of a recent front-page story in this newspaper, was barely heard from as Richard Miller and Corrigan campaigned for the primary.
Erik Miller was unopposed for the GOP nod and is also running on the Conservative, Independence and Working Families party lines.
We want to hear what each candidate is proposing, and there will be plenty of time before the election for endorsements by a newspaper and decisions by voters.
For his part, Erik Miller seems unfazed by the registration advantage his main opponent enjoys.
"The Democratic political machine in the city of Oneonta is strong," he said. "But you have to understand that at the local level, it is the best man for the job, the best woman for the job."
We couldn't agree more. Still, while certainly a credible candidate, the Republican can sometimes sound like more of a Democrat than the other Miller.
"I have been called, by the members of the Republican Party, a Democrat in a Republican coat. I find that funny," Erik Miller said. "But if you look at my work history and my actions, I fall more in line with most Democrats."
So, here we have it, a Republican who sounds like a Democrat, an independent who will be representing the Democratic Party, and a student who may or may not be able to garner enough votes to have an effect on what may be a tight race.
The three will be debating Oct. 20 at SUNY Oneonta. We suggest voters attend and make up their own minds.