Party affiliation secondary to character, qualifications

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I am conservative and progressive. Do I have to be a Republican or a Democrat?

Growing up in North Central Montana in the 1950s, I spent a great deal of time with my maternal grandparents. They were homesteaders who became small business owners. Family was most important. Religion, education, literature, arts, and sports were part of family life. So was working hard, taking responsibility for oneís life, being independent, treating all people with respect, and reaching out to people less fortunate.

Politically theirs was a divided household. My grandmother was a Democrat, my grandfather a Republican. They took their voting responsibility very seriously. Voting is in my genes. When I cast my ballot, I hear my grandfatherís voice about taking responsibility for oneís life and being independent in one ear. In the other, I hear my grandmother talking about treating all people with respect and reaching out to those less fortunate.

When I enter the voting booth party affiliation becomes secondary to candidate qualifications and basic principles. I am a registered Democrat but I have voted for Republicans in county, state, and national elections. The candidate who best shares the values passed to me by both grandparents is the one who receives my vote. I hope that in November the best candidate for the job gets your vote.

KEN MEYERS

Sagle

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