I sat through a local candidate forum last night hoping for some enlightenment, particularly on school board and sheriff races.
Choices for school board, broadly speaking, are the professional educators and current board members versus poorly informed populist rage. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Out of six (I think) candidates there's one person I'll probably vote for. Not even sure how many slots are up this year but I think it's at least four.
I was underwhelmed with my choices for sheriff, but I've figured out who I'll probably vote for.
In Pennsylvania the office of magistrate (excuse me, "Magisterial District Judge") can be (and often is) filled by a non-attorney provided the person pass a relatively brief certification class. Candidates for magistrate can even win election before becoming certified. Licensed attorneys are automatically certified to fill the position. In my judicial district there is one attorney running against three lay people. Inevitably when this situation arises the lay people claim the position was created for lay people and requires "common sense". I can't imagine voting for any of the lay people. (The other two MDJ districts in my county are filled by an ex-cop and a lay person who previously worked in an MDJ office.)