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My opinion: Is this for real?

Finally. Yes, finally we are in the home stretch of this election cycle and though we all know that Nov. 8 will most likely be the beginning of a renewed and continuing drone from national politics on how things are going into the crapper - regardless of who wins the presidential election - we can hold our heads high right here in New Richmond.

That’s because our local State 29th Assembly District includes two candidates - both from New Richmond - who have decided to step away from the mudslinging and the misguided mumbo-jumbo that has permeated every inch of national politics.

Months ago Republican Rob Stafsholt and Democrat Scottie Ard, just after emerging from the summer primary, stepped into the corner of a room at a gathering and struck a pact that focused on respect, dignity and simple consideration of one another.

Unlike what’s portrayed in the political cartoon to the right of this column - where participating in the national election is like having your teeth drilled, undergoing an IRS audit or visiting your proctologist - Ard and Stafsholt’s election is - well - painless ... as it should be.

In fact, this election has been downright old-fashioned - as in agreeing to disagree and letting electors make the decision based on fact and truth.

My, what a novel idea.

“I think it is important to show the community, espeically the children, that two people can disagree on issues and politics but do not have to be nasty to each other on a personal level,” Stafsholt said.

Ard continued the thought: “It is our hope that everyone will follow our lead and be the example rather than the exception. At a time when we as a society are facing great challenges we must work together with consideration and respect.”

Understanding that there is more at stake than which candidate is elected, both of these individuals have risen above the name-calling, the lies and bad behavior that has become the norm in so many electoral races.

So committed are they to their beliefs, Ard and Stafsholt stood shoulder-to-shoulder Monday night on the streets of New Richmond handing out treats and glow sticks to those enjoying the Halloween festivities.

Their actions and commitment to support the candidate elected and to work within the system shows that there is hope for us all.

Their actions demonstrate that can move beyond the flak and debris to have actual conversations that will help make positive changes. For that, we thank these two candidates.

Raymond T. Rivard, editor