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EDITORIAL: Vote for the person, not the party

In America's ever-polarized political landscape, the 2010 midterm election season continues to stoke division between Republicans and Democrats. As GOP leaders anxiously anticipate a sway in their favor, Democrats brace themselves as they try to maintain their control of Congress.

Here in Wyoming, GOP candidates for governor and the U.S. House of Representatives lead their opponents in the polls. Yet several races, at statewide and local levels, could go either way come Election Day.

We encourage voters to consider each candidate when voting, rather than blindly casting a vote based on the word “Republican” or “Democrat” alongside a name.

For certain races, such as county commissioner and superintendent of public instruction, it's debatable whether party affiliation plays a role in the actual position. In some cases, partisanship has no bearing on a position's responsibilities — county coroner comes to mind.

Some races should be non-partisan, but the reality is, next week on the ballot, county and state candidates will be identified by “Republican,” “Democrat,” or, in a few cases, “Libertarian.”

Voters need to assess each candidate individually. Don't write a candidate off or stamp your approval simply based on a person's party affiliation.

This is an important election. Remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and when you do, consider the best person for each job. Our county, state and nation are strongest when we choose the best leaders — not just those who toe the party line.

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