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Voters, not parties, decide primaries

DEAR EDITOR:

The June 5 Tribune Chronicle editorial regarding local Democratic Party endorsements shared a false premise that political party endorsements mean voters don’t decide elections. Voters always decide primary elections and rightfully so. Just ask nonendorsed candidates who have won.

The Tribune editorial stated that the Democratic Party should not endorse candidates in the primary. Why? The Tribune endorses candidates in the primary. Should the media not endorse? Unions, the NRA, AARP, etc. all endorse candidates. Should they stay out of the political process and not represent their members’ interests? Or should only the political parties that exist to elect members of their party who best represent the values and platform of their party, are most capable of serving in the office and are most electable, stay out of the political process?

I respectfully inquire of the Tribune editorial board to share why they feel more qualified or entitled to endorse candidates in the primary than the political parties to which the candidates belong. Political parties work year-round to identify and develop candidates and outreach to voters. So, at election time, why should those same political parties not be able to weigh in as to which candidates most closely match the party’s platform and have the best chance of being elected and serving?

The process the Trumbull County Democratic Party uses to endorse candidates involves Central Committee members elected from 158 voting precincts from every corner of Trumbull County. Those Central Committee members are elected by Democrats in their voting precinct every four years. The endorsement process is intended to select the candidates who both support the values and policies of the Democratic Party and are most electable. And, to be clear, the Trumbull Democratic Party endorses candidates at only the county level and above, not in local community races.

Democratic voters are supported in their decision-making process with another input knowing which candidates have the Democratic Party endorsement. This is an input that they can weigh accordingly when they vote, often choosing between multiple very good Democratic candidates, along with other inputs. Yet make no mistake, voters decide elections and their choice is sacrosanct. Our country’s electoral system gives the citizen and voter the power to decide, and no one’s endorsement or lack thereof changes that.

KAREN ZEHR

Warren

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