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Let’s hear from you on this election

Four weeks from tomorrow, we will turn on our televisions secure in the knowledge that we won’t have to watch a single political advertisement. After this election cycle, maybe Nov. 9 should be declared a national holiday, for we deserve one.The negativity of this election has been downright striking, and for us Iowans, it started early. Republicans spent months bashing other Republicans before the caucuses. And Democrats did the same. After a short reprieve, the advertisements started up again in the spring and have been picking up momentum ever since.The debates between the presidential candidates — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump — have been disasters. If our children behaved the way they do on the debate stage, they’d be experiencing the pain of an extended “timeout.”Many of us are watching the debates not to learn anything about the candidates but just to witness the train wreck we know is coming.The bottom line, though, is that the decisions that most affect our daily lives aren’t made in Washington, they’re made in Des Moines and right here in New Hampton.And while our State Senate race between Democratic incumbent Mary Jo Wilhelm and Republican challenger has shown signs of turning nasty at times, most of our local races, so far at least, have remained on the high road.We hope that continues, but make no mistake about it, if you care about our schools, our state’s water quality and our state’s business climate, those State Senate and State House races should be vitally important to you.And if you care about our roads, our Sheriff’s Office, our county parks, those supervisor races should be critical to you.So we’d love to hear from you when it comes to our local races. Heck, if you have a burning desire to tell us why you’re voting for Clinton or Trump, Grassley or Judge or Weaver or King, we want to hear from you.Our policy for years here at the Tribune is that we won’t publish “election” letters to editor on Election Day so the last day we’ll publish those types of letters is on Tuesday, Nov. 1, which means those letters are due in our office by noon on Friday, Oct. 28.If you write a letter, we’re asking you to avoid the pitfalls of those presidential candidates, who have a nasty habit of telling us why we shouldn’t vote for the other candidate without telling us a thing about what he or she would do if they were elected.But let’s have a discussion on this page about the issues and the candidates that mean the most to you; after all, it’s what this page is supposed to be all about.

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