Our viewpoint: Why Tuesday, Aug. 14, is so important

Minnesotans are knee deep into summer. If we aren’t boating, we’re cycling or gardening. The kids are swimming and grandpa has gone fishing. We’re either on the way home from the cabin, or packing to head back up north. The teenagers are out skateboarding. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have the young ones at camp for a week.

We can’t resist the cliché: It just doesn’t get any better than this! Is there anything so glorious as a Minnesota summer?

We feel it necessary to puncture this idyllic scene with a reminder that Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, is just 12 days away.

And here’s why that day is important: That’s primary Election Day in Minnesota. It is important and you need to squeeze a visit to the polls in between weeding the garden, taking junior to soccer practice, and sipping a cold one on the deck.

This year’s primary election isn’t getting much attention on the airwaves. There’s no big statewide race and there’s no famous faces on the ballot. However, within Sun Newspapers’ communities, 27 local races will appear on the Aug. 14 ballot. Overall, some 87 candidates are vying for your vote. We’ve sought out those men and women, and highlight them and their views in this week’s edition.

With six candidates vying for two open seats, Dayton has a primary race for city council. Voters in Champlin and Dayton will join other communities in paring down the candidate selections for U.S. Congress Dist. 3 and Three Rivers Park Board Dist 2.

These races should matter to you. These local officials govern many aspects of your everyday life.

Your city council makes decisions about your police department and your utilities. Your school board’s decisions can change your child’s life forever. Your county board is responsible for transportation projects in your area, and also has a major role in social service programming.

You also pay a hefty chunk of change to these people every month, through your property taxes and other state and local taxes and fees.

We urge you to read and digest the candidate information in this edition. If you still have questions for the candidates after reading our coverage, call them and talk to them. These people are your neighbors, and want to be entrusted with making major decisions in your community.

Take the time to learn about your community’s local races and the candidates. Then, make your voice heard by voting Tuesday, Aug. 14.