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Shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, it will be over.
The vocal, aggressive and sometimes nasty election season is coming to a close. The yard signs, advertising messages, polls, spending reports, promises and allegations all will cease to matter. The only opinions with lasting value will be tallied at the polling places around our community.
Voters will crown winners on Tuesday. But in my mind, there will be no losers among the candidates.
Hardin Countians have been blessed with an unusually crowded field and perhaps the most qualified group seeking public office in the community's history.
In many cases, voters are confronted with making a choice between two capable candidates. It's a great problem to have.
But I truly believe there are no losers in the process because participating in the public debate of ideas is so vital to the working of our representative form of government. Beyond the election process itself, this through expression of thoughts and debates about our differences are worthwhile.
Consider this: Do you get smarter by focusing solely on your own thoughts or those of people who agree with you?
Growth comes through open-minded consideration of alternatives. I believe that''s true in business and family life but surely government works at its best when public policy is formed in a similar, healthy exchange of thoughts through the legislative process employed in city council and fiscal court meetings and at the General Assembly.
Now less than 48 hours from the polls opening, I want to offer my sincere thanks to each person who put themselves and their families on the line by stepping up and offering to serve. No losers here.
In fact, the only true losers on Election Day are those eligible voters who fail to register or don't go to the polls.
Be a winner Tuesday: Vote.
Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (270) 505-1674.