Primary today offers important choices

THERE IS PROBABLY NO election that draws a smaller turnout than a primary election before the spring local general election. We’ll see if that holds true today as a primary vote is taking place for the April 7 general election.

Oftentimes there is not even a primary for the spring general election, as local positions frequently are not contested at all, let alone enough to require a primary to narrow the field for the general election. This year is different, however, as voters in all parts of the county will have choices to make in the primary election today. There is one countywide position – judge of Sheboygan County Circuit Court Branch IV – where the field needs to be reduced. Three candidates – Sheboygan/Kohler Municipal Court Judge Catherine Delahunt, Plymouth Municipal Judge Matthew Mooney and Sheboygan County Court Commissioner Rebecca Persick – are running to succeed retiring Judge Terence Bourke. The top two vote-getters today will advance to the April 7 general election.

Voters don’t always have a choice when electing judges, and even more rarely do they see a choice of three such highly-qualified candidates. Voters should take advantage of the chance to make a choice from such a fine slate of candidates.

In the city of Sheboygan Falls, the race for an open seat on the City Council from District 2 drew three candidates – former aldermen Thomas McCue and John Raml and first-time candidate Peter Weber.

In Random Lake, incumbent Village President Bob McDermott faces a challenge from two aldermen, Robert Siebenaler and Matthew Brockmeier. Five candidates are vying for two open positions on the Wilson Town Board – Michael Bergin, John Ehmann, Brian Hoffmann, Thomas Kultgen and Tom Stoelb.

And in the towns of Greenbush, Lyndon, Mitchell, Russell and Scott and the villages of Cascade and Waldo are choosing among three candidates for the 20th State Senate seat vacated by Glenn Grothman when he was elected to Congress last fall – Tiffany Koehler, Lee Schlenvogt and Duey Stroebel.

The old wisdom holds that all politics is local and, whether or not that’s true, it’s true that local politics impact us all most directly. That’s why it is so important that voters make their voices heard in local races and not just state or national races. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is all too often the case.

Voters have a variety of ways to become informed and cast an informed vote in this or any election. Along with articles in local newspapers, voters can find information online, on websites or Facebook candidates for candidates, along with other traditional methods like candidate appearances, events or campaign literature.

There is no excuse for not becoming informed about the candidates, and no excuse for not voting at every opportunity that presents itself – especially in local races where each vote carries so much more weight and the outcome has so much greater a local impact.

If you haven’t voted yet in today’s primary, the polls are open until 8 p.m., so get out and vote.

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