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Responds to letter concerning judge race

To the editor:

I don’t know Sharon Henry. Thanks to her letter to the editor in the Tuesday, March 23, 2019 issue of the Morning Journal I now know the name of one member of the Columbiana County Republican Party’s “Judicial Screening Committee.”

I understand that her letter is a reflection of her work for the Columbiana County Republican Party. I have nothing against that group. Actually, I vote Republican the vast majority of the time.

What I do resent is being told how to make my voting decisions by a group of people whose identity I don’t know, whose qualifications I don’t know, and whose selection is not known to me. Was there an election for members of the Judicial Screening Committee for Columbiana County Republicans? Is there a fact sheet I can read about each member of that committee that allows me to determine their qualifications for making a decision for me? I think not.

The beauty of the election process in the United States is that each voter has the honor, privilege and responsibility to choose a candidate based on personal values, beliefs and facts gained throughout the campaign process. I understand a party endorsement in the General Election. But the advantage of the primary process is that the voter who supports the platform of a particular political party has the opportunity to use those beliefs and values to contribute to the political process. How is a screening committee more knowledgeable than the voters?

I don’t need a committee to choose a candidate for me, particularly when I don’t know the names and experience of each committee member and had no say in the selection of the committee. Let the people of Columbiana County make the decision for an ‘endorsed’ candidate. Why not take the time prior to the Primary Election to offer educational opportunities to those who don’t vote. Work with the Columbiana County Democratic Party to visit schools, churches, and other community venues to reach out to people who are disenfranchised by the political process. Save your party time, money and effort for the general election.

Now to the issue of “to parse her message” one word is at issue — endorsed. I don’t understand where any violation or “spirit” of violation exists. Katelyn Dickey’s website lists the names of Republican leaders who endorse her. I am not a “Republican leader.” I am not the member of a “Judicial Screening Committee.” I’m just a registered voter, who takes her honor, privilege and responsibility very seriously. I also prefer to make my own decisions. I do endorse Katelyn Dickey for Municipal Court Judge. I hope the endorsement of a Columbiana County primary voter takes away the stain of parsing the message.

MARILYN A. PARKES,

Lisbon

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