Vote for qualifications, not name recognition

To the editor:

This Nov. 2, voters will see a well-known name appear on their ballot twice.

I’m speaking of the late Gov. Carnahan’s daughter Robin, who is running for secretary of state, while his son Russ is a candidate for Congress. These elections will certainly prove to be historic for two reasons. First, the top candidates for secretary of state are both women. Second, voters in St. Louis’ 3rd Congressional Districtiwill have a new representative in Washington for the first time in 28 years.

Because of the gravity of both positions, Missouri citizens must vote with due care.

The secretary of state has many responsibilities, most importantly to serve as the chief elections official. With the “hanging chad” debacle in 2000, I want the candidate who is better equipped to ensure fair and accurate elections.

Our new congressman will certainly be influential in matters of interest to his constituents. I am asking myself how the candidates will vote on issues such as funding for our dedicated servicemen in Iraq, cost-cutting to reduce the deficit, the sanctity of traditional marriage, and whether tax reforms that directly benefit my family will be repealed or made permanent.

The Carnahans’ opponents for these races will be Catherine Hanaway for secretary of state and Bill Federer for Congress. Although Mrs. Hanaway, Missouri?s first female and current speaker of the house, and Mr. Federer, a local entrepreneur, both make the news, they undoubtedlyilack the same name recognition as a Carnahan.

That’s why it is crucial for voters to take the time to become familiar with all candidates. Who shares your values? Whatiare their educational and professional credentials?

Although voters may receive literature in the mail or visit the candidates’ Web sites, those resources are biased toward the sponsor. As an alternative, voters can visit the League of Women Voters Democracy Net Web site at www.dnet.org. Here, voters can learn about a candidate’s background and positions on major issues, without the biased mudslinging.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, visit your local library which should have copies of the League of Women Voters’ Election Guide.

This Nov. 2, vote for the most-qualified candidate, not the most recognizable name.

Amy Fix

Oakville