Time running short to make voting decisions

Friday, May 5, 2006

When Ronald Reagan came to what was Kearney State College in the 1976 presidential campaign, he probably could have comfortably filled the large coliseum.

Instead, his campaign staff shoehorned him and his enthusiastic supporters into a smaller theater.

Reagan's handlers knew the relatively tiny venue would create an atmosphere of political momentum would be lost in a space large enough for several basketball games.

That momentum didn't win him the nomination that year, but it paid off four years later when he won the election.

Thursday night's candidate forum at the Bieroc Cafe, sponsored by the Gazette and KICX/KBRL had some of the same atmosphere going for it.

No, it wasn't for any particular candidate, but it was an effective rally for the political process itself.

With seven candidates for Legislature, plus candidates for school board, county commission, City Council and other races, it had the flavor of one of New England's famous town-hall meetings.

It wasn't a debate, but many of the expected issues, such as water, local control of schools, economic development and many others, had an airing.

Anyone who was lucky enough to have attended or listened to early candidate forums was able to learn more about who should receive their vote.

For anyone who doesn't know the candidates, it may have been a first exposure to those who want to represent them in local and state government.

Regional editor Connie Jo Discoe wrote a recap of the Red Willow County Commission race that ran Thursday, and a recap of the McCook Public Schools race will be in Saturday's edition. We hope you've been following the coverage of other forums for Legislative candidates as well.

We're sure the candidates are ready for the primary to be over, but in a way, we wish we had more time to get to know them.

But we'll need to make a decision, and time is running short. In case you missed them, the sample ballots were printed on Thursday, April 27. This weekend would be a good time to take a few minutes, go through the ballots and decide who deserves your vote.

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