Opinion

The political game

Rhonda Silence
starnews@boreal.org unorganizedterritory.me

The primary to see who will move on in the election for Minnesota House of Representatives District 3A is once again the lead story in the Cook County News-Herald. The big story is the DFL race, of course, with four candidates—Rob Ecklund, Bill Hansen, Eric Johnson and Heidi Omerza—vying for the spot on the ballot for the general election to be held December 8.

It will be interesting to see how many people turn out to vote. In theory, Republicans and folks who like independent candidates could stay home. Former Ely Mayor and Quetico Park wilderness guide Roger Skraba is on the ballot in the GOP column, but he faces no opposition. Likewise, Kelsey Johnson of Gnesen Township, a representative of the Grocery Manufacturer Association, who has gathered enough signatures to be on the general election ballot in December, faces no other independent challenger.

However, politics is a bit like a game of chess. Just as a rook may be sacrificed to save a queen, political party loyalty may be temporarily sacrificed to cast a vote for the “other side” to ensure a candidate doesn’t make it past the primary.

Or even more convoluted, there have been campaigns to help a candidate get through the primary because it is believed he or she would be the weakest opponent in the general election, therefore making the “win” easier for the preferred candidate.

I will be watching with interest, but I won’t be playing the game. I’m not good at chess. And I’m truthfully not good at the political games. I have a hard time with the political platforms of both major parties, the DFL and the GOP, as well as the other minor players. I can’t sign on 100 percent to any of the manifestos. I tend to bounce from one political party to another, voting the person more than the party.

So, if you were hoping for a candidate endorsement, you won’t be getting it here. Not just because I’m not a stickler to either platform, but because as I’ve said in the past, I’m not going to speak for everyone at the News- Herald.

We don’t have an “Editorial Board” as larger papers do. We don’t have meetings with the candidates to grill them on issues and then debates amongst staffers to decide who the News-Herald should endorse.

No, we prefer to share the news about candidates and to take part in events like the Cook County Chamber of Commerce Election Forum held on September 16. If you are voting DFL and haven’t made up your mind yet, I encourage you to listen to the complete, unedited recording of the Election Forum on the WTIP Community Radio at http:// www.wtip.org/drupal/content/cook-countychamber hosts-district-3a-dfl-primary-forum. I’m listening to the forum now, as I didn’t really get to hear the candidates while asking questions with WTIP’s Jay Andersen.

If you’ve sent in your ballot already, good for you, you’re ahead of the game. If not, learn all you can about the candidates. You can still hand-deliver your ballot until September 29. See you at the courthouse!

I adore political parties. They are the only place
left to us where people don’t talk politics.

Oscar Wilde


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