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Dear Riley County,

Please restore my faith in humanity.

This election is not Red vs. Blue. This election is about PURPLE vs. Trump.

Our problems are amplified because of Trump, but let's not ignore the down ballot elections which, arguably, have an even larger impact on our lives.

Let's take a look at our state level elections.

For House 66, we can all rest assured that Sydney Carlin will continue to fight for us. We need to send Sydney and her colleagues support in the forms of Jim Vathauer and Cheryl Arthur.

District 67 is an open seat because moderate Republican Tom Phillips was neutered in Topeka by the Wagle-led GOP. Then there's Suzi Carlson in District 64 who knows not a lick about agriculture but who loves to tow the Wagle line. Of course, we won't have to endure Wagle's work going forward, but who knows how much of her legacy will live on?

Why would anyone choose to put a Republican in 67 who won't be effective as a moderate and will be forced to turn into a party pawn in order to avoid being sent to the basement?

Why would anyone choose to re-elect a Wagle-pledged politician who chooses deadlock over compromise?

(credit: Greg Kearney of Kansas Publishing Ventures)

Then there's Craig Bowser who's trying to unseat Old Faithful Tom Hawk in Senate District 22.

Bowser doesn't even live here in the Flint Hills. His apartment address may be in 66502, but is that is that his HOME--because it looks like he lives in Holton. Is this just barely above board compared what Steve Watkins did in Topeka?

If he's already pushing the line on ethics, what else can we expect? Is this someone we can trust?

And let's not forget the County Commission race - as what happens on the local level of government does in fact have the most impact on our daily lives.

I'll be the first to say it: I'd never before paid attention to local government. EVER.

And I'll be the first to admit: I DON'T WANT TO!

Do you?

I tell you though, with a Board comprised of Ford, McKinley and Matta - we're going to have to continue to pay attention. We need to include some heart and empathy when looking at budgets and spreadsheets. I have much doubt that a commission with a majority R presence will work on our behalf.

If COVID has taught us anything besides the importance of hand washing, it has taught us that we need government TO WORK. We can not longer afford to take the role of government for granted.

Please Riley County. I beg of you: please replace our current system with a system that rewards doing homework, listening to the people, and serving with grace and compassion.

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