To the Editor:

We have two candidates asking for votes to become our county commissioner. The Grant County Chamber of Commerce, with our interests at heart, invited Gordon Larson and Sam Palmer to hold a public meeting to debate local issues and share their visions. Gordon responded he was eager to participate and he’s willing to debate with Sam about local issues any time.

What was Sam Palmer’s response? No debate.

Realize what is lost because Sam is denying voters the opportunity to compare candidates’ ideas. Candidates would express opposing viewpoints and points of agreement. Debating, they would flush out the nuances of policies and reveal the best and worst ideas. We would have the information we need to choose the candidate who will impact our future. As it is, we are voting half-blinded because one candidate, Sam Palmer, will not participate in public discussions that would strengthen our understanding of issues and direct us in policy choices tested by debate and built on consensus.

A candidate debate could be an example of “being one in spirit” (Philippians 2:2-4) — coming together to evaluate local issues, rather than adding to partisan divide. We all could applaud both candidates for putting the community first, above their own personal interests (vulnerabilities). Some defend Sam Palmer’s choice not to debate with Gordon Larson, saying it would just be “argumentative.” To argue points, not personalities, is a good thing. We are about to choose a commissioner to represent us on matters and in places reaching far beyond the county. Shouldn’t we have a chance to evaluate each candidates’ ability to defend our interests?

Both love Grant County, and both want the commissioner job. Gordon Larson is the one who has worked for it. He has held 13 public meetings in every corner of the county. Another is scheduled Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m. (Canyon City Community Hall). We hear he has had good discussions with supporters and challengers. Amazingly, he gets nods of approval across the political spectrum. This happens when people and policies matter more than partisan politics.

Vote for Gordon Larson — his skills and openness are impressive.

Kay Steele

Ritter

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