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  • Last modified 132 days ago (Aug. 2, 2018)

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County's choices are clear

Locally, the choices in Tuesday’s election are as clear are as they are statewide. For county commissioner in the western portion of the county, three candidates are running:

— Gun shop owner Craig Dodd, who narrowly lost as an independent last time around because he couldn’t get on the ballot as a Republican.

— Former road and bridges worker Larry Cushenberry, who helped run the campaign of Dodd’s opponent last time, lawyer Lori Lalouette, and who hinted afterward that his support for her may have led to his departure from the road crew.

— Retired banker Kent Becker, who was appointed to replace Lalouette after she resigned in the face of a recall effort amid acknowledged difficulties attending meetings.

On today’s very fractured commission, Becker has become the crucial swing vote between good-old-boy establishmentarian Randy Dallke and firebrand populist Dianne Novak. In many ways, he’s the scoop of vanilla in between Novak’s tutti-fruiti raspberry and Dallke’s dutch chocolate.

At times, Becker has been accused of straddling the fence and of changing his opinions after hearing from constituents encouraging him to take a more activist role.

Dodd, on the other hand, seems to be a friend and close ally of Dallke and as a result might be expected to more consistently side with Dallke’s view than Novak’s.

Cushenberry is a bit more challenging of the status quo in county government and might be expected to more frequently side with Novak and to continue her practice of closely examining everything that comes before the commission.

The commission seats held by Dallke, who has indicated he may retire, and by Novak, who already is being challenged by cattle feeder Mike Beneke, are not up for election for two years.

Whichever way you want the commission to turn out for those two years is how you should cast your ballot.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Aug. 2, 2018

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