By Sylvia Gurinsky
At local, state and federal levels, there has been a recent exodus of long-serving elected officials.
For some, fear of losing in the November elections is the reason. For others, including long-serving U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Miami and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, it's simply time to move on to other things.
Still, the departures of people like Diaz-Balart, Sorenson and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana are a "brain drain" on their legislative bodies. Whoever replaces them and others will wage elections that could turn nasty - and, in many cases, fueled by the poison found on talk radio, cable channels and, yes, blogs. The result could be more people who win elections, but are nowhere near ready to govern properly - or worse, don't care to learn how.
Add the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing even bigger and more corruptive money into elections, and the result is yet another roadblock to honest, intelligent individuals who would otherwise seek to run for public office.
Sorenson's future plans - a program at the University of Miami to train people who are interested in serving in local government - are promising. So are the efforts of people such as former U.S. Sens. Bob Graham of Florida. Perhaps they can get through the next hurdle: Getting the good people to be willing to serve - and able to win.