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Government is yours to shape; vote Tuesday

People who vote in Tuesday’s primary will finalize races for the fall election and shape the direction of their government. Like things the way are? Want change? Vote.

Published: Saturday, March 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Election campaigns generally take on certain narratives. The 2014 Illinois primary is no exception.

Several races in Tuesday’s primary are characterized by challengers trying to topple incumbent government officeholders.

We see that in Lee County, where a challenger, John Simonton, hopes to topple Sheriff John Varga by winning the Republican nomination for sheriff.

We see that in Ogle County. Two challengers, Joe Drought and Brian VanVickle, are going up against Sheriff Michael Harn for the Republican nomination.

Also in Ogle, Eric Morrow is going up against the appointed state’s attorney, Mike Rock, in the Republican primary.

A two-term incumbent, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-16th District, is being challenged by David Hale Jr. for the GOP nomination.

No Democratic challengers have surfaced in the aforementioned races, so winning the primary is tantamount to winning the Nov. 4 election.

In Whiteside County, the closest thing to a local primary race is for 17th Congressional District state central committeewoman on the Democratic ballot, where incumbent Christine Eik Winick is being challenged by Dorothy “Dot” Turner. Not exactly a barn burner.

Statewide, two Republicans – state Sen. Jim Oberweis and Doug Truax – are battling for their party’s nomination to challenge three-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in the fall.

And four Republicans – state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, businessman Bruce Rauner, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford – want to win the GOP nomination for governor so they can challenge incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn, the Chicago Democrat seeking a second full term, has a primary challenger of his own – fellow Chicagoan Tio Hardiman.

The lone statewide race without an incumbent is for state treasurer. The winner of the Tom Cross-Bob Grogan GOP bout will take on Democrat Michael Frerichs, who is unopposed.

Taxpayers in Whiteside and Carroll counties should pay close attention to their primary ballots. Both contain propositions to impose a 1 percent local sales tax to raise money for school facilities.

Historically, primary elections don’t draw overwhelming turnouts, largely because of the perceived lack of contests.

Voters who buy into that rationale this year deprive themselves of a voice.

Do you want the challengers to win? Do you want the incumbents to stand strong? Do you support or oppose a sales tax increase in Whiteside and Carroll counties?

We encourage you to go to the polls Tuesday, cast your vote, and help write the conclusion to this campaign’s narrative.

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