Mark Westcott said last week that he resigned from the Warren County and Queensbury Republican committees.

I would call that a good start.

If last week’s election in Queensbury showed anything, it showed this community demanded high standards among its elected officials and would not stand for the type of treachery we’ve come to know in national politics.

This was a landmark local election with the people of Queensbury standing up for doing things the right way.

When town Councilman Brian Clements and supervisor candidate Rachel Seeber both refused to condemn Republican Party trickery while defending the town’s law firm for its role, voters spoke.

Westcott blamed the election defeat on this newspaper.

I blame it on an informed electorate with principles.

Westcott still doesn’t seem to understand that voters chose between right and wrong, and that most people are sick and tired of the nasty discourse seen on the national stage that seems to be seeping into their towns.

People are sick of the political parties and those that run them.

Westcott called on longtime Republicans, Sen. Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec, to provide local leadership and guidance to get the party functioning again.

Here’s an idea that seems long overdue.

Let’s demand that all political parties — Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Green — adopt a simple ethics policy for its endorsed candidates.

It could be something like this:

“Our political party in Warren County stands for the highest ideals of American democracy and demands that any candidate it endorses make a commitment to serve in the best interest of its constituents while campaigning on the highest ideals of our society by providing the electorate with facts while refraining from misleading campaign literature, social media and advertising in any manner. And finally, the candidate vows to put community before party.”

It would be a gesture that local political parties want to put community first, that they believe in competitive and vigorous debate between candidates and that dirty tricks will no longer be tolerated.

I’d like to see the political parties adopt standards of transparency as well. They should commit to identifying all officers and committee members and reporting their votes when they endorse candidates.

It is the American way, just not the political way.

I have heard so many people say that the ideological differences between the major parties in local elections are minor in most of our communities.

I believe that as well. This problem is political. It makes no sense.

There are hundreds of dedicated men and women serving on local nonprofit boards who volunteer their time to make our communities better. What most of those good people won’t do is run for political office.

It’s dirty, it’s ugly and it’s too difficult on their families.

That is our loss and we can’t afford that.

We can take this election and make it a starting point for reform.

We should be looking for the most qualified individuals to run our communities, not the most well-connected individuals.

Let’s stop politics as we know it.

Let’s be an example for the region.

Let’s be an example for the state.

The Republican Party in Warren County is perfectly positioned to change business as usual and do the right thing.

The ball is in their court.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com. His blog “The Front Page” discusses issues about newspapers and journalism. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley

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Editor

Ken Tingley is Editor of The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y. and writes a regular blog called "The Front Page."

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