Congratulations to the candidates who ran in this election — particularly, of course, to the winners, but everyone who ran deserves thanks.

In part, it’s just nice to see a little action, especially with such a dispirited, unmotivated electorate. Among the city’s more than 101,000 residents, more than 56,300 are eligible to vote, but the turnout this year was a record low: 16,202 ballots cast (of which 132 were invalid), according to the most recent figures from the Election Commission.

A 29 percent voter turnout seems a little scant for a city of such literate, politically attuned and opinionated people. Last time  anyone looked at certain T-shirts, the city includes the most opinionated zip code in the world, or something like that.

That’s why it’s so commendable that there are 26 people with the energy and interest to run and serve. (Not to mention the people who actually voted.)

In a city the size of Cambridge, being a politician doesn’t necessarily bring the perks associated with national politics, or all the chances for graft. The public servants here truly seem to be motivated by making a difference, even if much of it is naturally self-interested, and even by the simple virtue of public service.

This is not to say there aren’t compromises made once people are in office. The ideals of a challenger can be lost to the efficiency of the incumbent, and often are.

Most of our candidates run to do good, though, and for that, and for running at all, gratitude is in order.