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Local government matters

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With the political paralysis in our nation's capital, it's easy to become angry or apathetic toward government.

Please remember, what happens in WDC often matters more than what happens - and doesn't - in Washington, D.C.

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Local elected officials, whether school board members, county commissioners, city council members or state legislators, make decisions that have a profound, direct impact on quality of life. They set property tax levies and decide how to distribute the money. They make sure roads are plowed, fires are extinguished, crime is solved, drinking water is safe and so much more. State and local government is where things get done.

Yet paradoxically, interest in state and local races lags far behind the attention paid to the dysfunctional national government.

In the Republican primary next Tuesday, Minnesota voters will select candidates to run against DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken in the Nov. 4 general election. There's also competitive DFL primary for state auditor.

In the coming days, take time to learn about the issues and candidates. Then turn out to vote.

Tuesday is also the filing deadline for city council, mayor and school board races throughout Minnesota.

Although there's still time, as of Monday no one had filed for the two-year term on the Wadena City Council. A few races in smaller towns, so far, feature no candidates at all.

Local elected offices might not be glorious jobs, but they're important. Consider giving back to the community through public service.

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