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Planning to vote? Attend candidate forums to educate yourself first

The Sheridan WYO Rodeo, in all its glory, has passed. Summer farmers markets, festivals and camping opportunities are in full swing. Our community is full of tourists and entertaining attractions.

But two events with a lasting impact will bear down on us in no time — the primary and general elections. The primary, set for Aug. 19, will narrow the field. Voters will choose who they feel will best represent our interests at a local, statewide and national level.

Newspapers, radio stations and websites spout a lot of information about candidates, trying to provide the good, the bad and the ugly on each potential leader. Often, though, voters yearn to wade through the noise and learn about candidates firsthand. The best opportunity to do just that will be the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce candidate forums scheduled for Aug. 5-6.

Candidates who desire to participate, from any of the political races, will likely be in attendance. They’ll answer questions, give quick introductions and let the people of Sheridan County decide for themselves who is most suited to lead.

So often we hear complaints about the way government operates — broken, corrupt, focused on the wrong things. The best time to voice those concerns is with the ballot.

Absentee voting has already begun and voters can cast their ballots anytime between now and Aug. 18. On the 19th, those who enjoy the thrill of voting day can show up at the polls to make their opinions known.

There are several races that will likely drum up attendance at this year’s polls, despite the fact that no presidential candidates are on the list. With Mayor Bob Wood of Dayton retiring, an open seat for the spot has drawn three candidates into the race. Five candidates have also filed for the two Town Council seats open in that small, mountain community. In Sheridan, three have filed for an unexpired two-year council term and four are vying for the three four-year spots.

In the partisan races, anti-tax advocate Dennis Fox threw his name in the hat to challenge three of the sitting county commissioners.

University of Wyoming Extension educator Scott Hininger filed for the county treasurer seat currently held by long-time incumbent Pete Carroll, who is also seeking re-election.

Voters have plenty of choices to make. Attending one of the candidate forums may not simplify those choices, but it will make them more informed.


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