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Column

Election is over, mostly

I think most voters agree the 2020 election has been contentious at all levels. I have never been a strong “politico,” and I like to keep my own personal political leanings mostly to myself or only share my views with those close to me. I consider myself a true independent and I plan to keep it that way.

As states continue to sort out official results, I have to trust that this year’s election officials will make sure every vote is counted. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a repeat of the 2000 election, perhaps on a larger scale.

I was only in junior high during the Bush v. Gore big Florida recount fiasco, so I didn’t pay too much attention to it. Even if that happens again in 2020, things will get sorted out and the results will have to be followed, no matter who is named president.

On the local level, I feel the races in Jasper County were run well on both sides. Yes, things got heated in certain races, but I felt the candidates mostly stuck to the issues without having to delve into too much mud slinging.

That was not the case in the Ernst-Greenfield battle. No matter which side you were on in that race, you had to be getting tired of all the negative ads against either candidate.

One highlight for me this year was helping to organize the debates between Iowa House District 29 candidates Wes Breckenridge and Jon Dunwell and the Jasper County Supervisors Doug Cupples and Michelle Smith. I was in touch with Ron McCarthy at KCOB to help get the pieces to come together.

The debate was something that took quite a bit of planning and had a few twists along the way. Usually, we would have a traditional debate setup with in-person attendees; however with ongoing concerns about COVID-19, a virtual debate seemed to be the best format.

We are grateful to Tom Messinger at the Newton Community School District for offering us the chance to use their administrative building for a location. It made the streaming portion of the debate so much easier with the help of IT-Specialist Noah Short and the students in the Cardinal TV club. I have to give a huge shoutout to them for helping the night of the debate and making the debate available on the Newton News’ Facebook page.

I thank all four candidates for participating and giving our readers an issue-driven debate. Hopefully, all those who tuned in on Facebook or listened on the radio got something out of that event.

So as I finish this column Wednesday afternoon, I feel like the Iowa results will remain mostly unchanged as election officials finish counting and canvassing the election. I honestly couldn’t tell you when we will know for certain who the next president will be. There are already lawsuits being filed before the count is official in some states.

Like everything else in 2020, this election was never going to be an easy one. Thankfully, there are certain ways this election will be just like all the others.

No matter who you voted for or if your person won or lost, we need to remember to be grateful we live in a country where you have a voice in our democracy. Once the dust settles and the elected officials take their seats, it’s time for Americans to get to work and hopefully help things return to normal for this great country of ours. God Bless America.

Contact Pam Pratt at pampratt@newtondailynews.com

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