Etowah County is now a fluorescent flashing light in one of the reddest of states.

Republicans swept the table in contested local races in Tuesday’s general election. They now hold every seat in the county’s legislative delegation and, save one commission seat, are in control of the elective offices at the courthouse and judicial building.

It’s the completion of a trend that should surprise no one given what’s happened in the rest of Alabama over the last decade, the aberration (and it was one) of the 2017 U.S. Senate special election aside.

This is a conservative area that is gravitating toward the conservative party. We don’t say that to crow; again, we strive to keep this space nonpartisan. The numbers at this point in time — and we understand that such things can be cyclical — simply don’t lie.

According to unofficial returns that don’t include provisional ballots, 34,690 votes were cast Tuesday in Etowah County; 13,334 of them — 38.4 percent — were straight-ticket Republican.

The Democrats fielded attractive candidates who offered compelling messages and worked hard. That’s just a difficult hole to start out in — or climb out of — especially when Republicans offer equally attractive, compelling and hard-working candidates.

That’s not fence-straddling or trying to divide the praise. Good people on both sides sought office in this election.

The local race that attracted the most interest was Senate District 10, where Andrew Jones of Centre easily defeated Craig Ford, running as an independent after 18 years as a Democratic state representative.

It got rather nasty on both sides in social media and in over-the-top mail-outs that flooded the district in recent weeks. We hope that ends along with the campaign.

We’ll be interested in seeing how well the new legislative delegation — Jones and state Reps. Becky Nordgren (now the senior member), Gil Isbell and Craig Lipscomb — functions as a unit, being of the same party for the first time.

We’ll also be interested to see if Ford retains the independent label moving forward. (Prediction: We’ve not seen the last of him politically.)

The spotlight race at the courthouse was for probate judge, where Scott Hassell defeated Jay Hedgspeth and will succeed Bobby Junkins, who’s retiring after 30 years in the post. At the judicial center, Sonny Steen unseated incumbent David Kimberley and Cody Robinson defeated Democrat Morgan Cunningham and independent Elizabeth Haney for circuit judgeships.

Steen and Robinson are both young, and we were especially happy to see so many fresh faces among the candidates this year, even if their efforts were unsuccessful or even ended in the primaries.

We’ve feared that the nasty tone of politics in the 21st century might dissuade young folks from getting involved. It’s refreshing to see that’s not the case at least locally.

There will be other elections down the road. We need good people in them, too.