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Our View: Promise of primary is of value

In four days, it will be Christmas Eve, a date filled with great anticipation of a very important event the next day.

About three months later, it will be Illinois Primary Eve, a date that also precedes an important event – the choosing of party candidates who will square off in the Nov. 4 election.

It’s pretty hard to find people who will not be excited about Dec. 24, the day before Christmas.

It’s pretty easy to find people who will not be excited about March 17, the day before the Illinois primary on March 18.

That’s because few Illinoisans bother to vote in primaries. Unfortunately, not many local people are bothering to run this year, either.

Four years ago, the last time Illinois elected a governor and other statewide officers, only 25 percent of DeKalb County voters participated. This year, we fear turnout will be lower.

Why discuss the primary during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?

Don’t blame us. We aren’t the ones who scheduled the petition filing deadline for early December.

But the candidate list has been made, and now that officials have checked it twice and tossed two Republican county board candidates off the ballot, voters will have to decide who’s been naughty or nice.

Although there are some choices for statewide and federal positions, unfortunately there is little competition for the nomination for local offices.  

Local Republican voters will decide who wins the four-way race to decide who will take on Gov. Pat Quinn in November.

Upcoming decisions for area Republican voters include the nominations for governor, state treasurer, and 16th District U.S. House representative, as well as choosing who will challenge Dick Durbin in November for U.S. Senate.

There’s little competition for local nominations – Samuel-Louis Bandy and Craig Genteman both are seeking the nod for County Board member from District 9, which includes much of central DeKalb, including downtown. Margaret Peck and Timothy Bagby both are seeking the Republican precinct committeeman slot in Sycamore Township Precinct 9.

For the Democrats, incumbent Quinn faces a relatively unknown challenger, Tio Hardiman, in the primary. Races exist for 14th District U.S. House representative, where Dennis Anderson is challenging Dennis Hosta, 16th District state central committeeman, with various other nominations having only one candidate.

Democrats have one disputed countywide race: Denise Ii and Trent Taylor both are seeking the nomination for county clerk and recorder.

Christmas marks the exchanging of gifts, some greatly appreciated, others entirely unwanted.

Is not the primary also a gift? When candidates are willing to step forward, it allows the people, not political chieftains in smoke-filled rooms, to select party nominees.

But some people apparently view the primary as an unwanted gift that’s not very exciting, altogether too bothersome, and worthy only of being traded in at the customer service counter.

We simply ask, for what would you exchange the gift of democracy?

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