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Whether you vote for the person or the political party, make sure you vote

In a span of 24 hours recently, I was accused of being a left-wing liberal and a right-wing conservative by two different acquaintances. Now I’m confused.
On the other hand, it confirms an old newspaper adage: “If you get all sides mad at you, you must be doing something right!” As the editor of The Chronicle, I was often accused of trying to agitate as many people as possible. I never denied it if it got readers thinking.
Actually the recent accusations verified what I’ve always thought. I’m an independent, and most people have no clue about my political leanings, including myself.
That said, I have a simple philosophy about elections and politics. I pick and choose. I do not vote party, I vote for the person. If the person happens to lean one way or the other politically, but seems a good fit for me, so be it. Outside of the political insiders who back their party regardless, I think most of us probably use my approach.
Prime example: U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson. He is a Democrat in a strong Republican district. Yet he gets re-elected every two years. Why? Because he represents the district he serves regardless of political affiliation. He is a good fit.
It must drive political insiders crazy. Good.
I’m not sure The Chronicle is endorsing candidates this year. That is the newspaper’s decision. I hope they do.
But endorsing is not for the meek and mild. As a retired editor, there is a likely chance you will lose friends and strain relationships if you endorse candidates not acceptable to your ‘friends.’
I’ve lost a few over the years. But as I used to say, “They’ll be back.” And they usually returned … eventually.
Perhaps the biggest danger is endorsing candidates close to home for city councils or school boards. Candidates for local offices tend to take things more personally than state or federal candidates. After all, once the endorsements come out, you still have to live in the same communities.
That said, I have the utmost respect for anyone willing to toss their hat into the political ring. That takes a lot of fortitude and commitment to be willing to serve your community, school district, county or legislative district. And, of course, no one likes to lose, or have that feeling of rejection. So, candidates, don’t take it personally.
In this day of ‘I’m-too-busy,’ I commend the six candidates vying for the three seats on the Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board as well as the candidates for city councils in Glencoe and surrounding communities. You are doing your civic duty.
Now it is up to the rest of us to follow suit and vote on Nov. 6. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.

Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.