L&T Publisher Earl Watt

 

A record number of Americans tuned in to the presidential debate June 27, and while many thought they were going to see two well prepared candidates go toe-to-toe over the issues, they witnessed the sad truth of a candidate seeking re-election who has aged dramatically despite the American people being told Joe Biden is as sharp as he has ever been.

I guess they may be right, although I doubt it. If this is the sharpest Biden has ever been, it leaves the question of just how bad was he before? Because what the American people saw at the debate was a sad shell of a man, something many of us has seen from an aging family member or friend.

That’s what happens in a debate. Despite all of the defenses from surrogates and political ads, from supporters and even paid staffers, nothing can come between the candidate and the people during a debate.

We get to see the candidates for ourselves. We get to hear their voices, their inflections, and we can get a true sense of how they will be able to communicate their vision to those who will implement or to the American people who will have to support it.

Soon, we will get that chance to see local candidates when they will attend the Chamber of Commerce candidates forum Thursday.

And it’s important to either attend or tune in.

We place a lot of weight on the race for the White House, but we seem to undervalue the local elections.

Truth be told, the local offices have a much more immediate impact on your life and your taxes than what is decided in Washington.

It’s important for you to view the candidates, listen to their ideas and visions and get a true understanding of who they are and how they will serve if elected.

While many Democratic pundits have been wallowing in pity after Biden’s performance, they also unveiled something that is very dangerous in elections. Many said they “love this man.”

Emotion is no way to elect leaders, no matter if the candidate is someone you know or someone you do not.

What we really should be looking for is the ability to perform in office.

There will be three contested races that will give voters choices.

The first will be the race for the Register of Deeds position. Long Term office holder Karen Warden is not seeking re-election, and three candidates are vying for the position. Jill Garinger, Lina Holl and Janet Thompson will be the first to answer questions at Thursday’s forum beginning at 6 p.m.

Many may not even be aware of all the duties that the Register of Deeds performs, and that alone is worth attending or streaming.

More importantly, it is important to get to know these three women and how they will serve.

There are two candidates seeking to serve as the Seward County Commission Dist. 1 Commissioner. Incumbent C.J. Wettstein is seeking another term, and he is being challenged by Todd Stanton.

In Seward County Commission Dist. 5, incumbent Steve Helm is facing two challengers, Lamberto Flores and Bee Symons.

It is important to listen to their positions on the issues when their forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Rock Island Depot.

First and foremost, no matter who wins, all of these candidates are to be commended for being willing to put their names on the ballot so we all have a choice. It’s not easy to risk defeat form a public vote, and we should show due respect to them all for providing we, the voters, the options.

They will do their job of campaigning, of knocking on doors and putting up signs, running political ads and attending forums and other public appearances.

Now it’s time for us to do our job. It’s not enough to just show up and cast a ballot without knowing who is running and where the candidates stand on the issues. Our system only works if we inform ourselves. We now have the burden of studying the candidates and then casting our ballots.

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