The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 30, 2016 10:00 pm

Election letters

Ritz the only choice for Indiana’s children

In late summer I went to Indianapolis to hear both Glenda Ritz and Jennifer McCormick speak at a forum hosted by the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. Both are educators, both have worked within the public school system, and both are concerned with the so-called reforms that have been forced onto our school children. It sounds like this election might be a wash – but look again.

At the forum, McCormick was open about the fact that her campaign was taking money from the same donors who backed former State Superintendent Tony Bennett. This is money coming from foundations that have backed the same reforms that McCormick and Ritz abhor. And yet McCormick doesn’t see this as a problem or a conflict of interest. I couldn’t decide whether she was very naive about how the political system operates or whether she thinks we voters are the naive ones.

Ritz has performed her duties with grace and good humor in the worst of circumstances, and those circumstances have been funded by McCormick’s donors. If you care about our Indiana schools and the children who attend, Ritz is the only candidate.

Meg Bloom

Fort Wayne

Ritz, Gregg will team up for state’s children

I read in the Decatur Daily Democrat and again in The Journal Gazette about the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of Republican Jennifer McCormick for state superintendent of public instruction over incumbent Democrat Glenda Ritz. I do not take argument over their right to make endorsements. However, I was rather offended with their reason.

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar is quoted: "Our leadership voted to take this unusual step because we can’t have four more years of divisiveness and dysfunction from the Department of Education."

I think they missed the real cause of the dysfunction and divisiveness. Ritz was not the cause. She tried to work within the system and continually met roadblocks. It was Gov. Mike Pence who caused the problems. Ritz handily defeated Tony Bennett, and Pence could not accept that defeat. He tried to stop Ritz at everything she tried to do for education. He even went so far as to create a separate education board and stripped Ritz of her position as chairperson of the Indiana State Board of Education, a position held by past superintendents.

Since her election four years ago, Ritz has had to be on the defensive for every initiative she proposed – accountability, teacher evaluation, testing, and the list goes on.

The solution would not be the election of McCormick, but the re-election of Ritz as state superintendent and the election of John Gregg as governor. They would work together for the good of education in Indiana. Positive results would be forthcoming with Ritz and Gregg working together for the children of Indiana.

Of course, I seek your support for themin the Nov. 8 general election, but whomever you intend to vote for, please exercise your right and the privilege you have to vote.

Barb Engle


Vote for Banks is a vote for a better future

This is one of the most challenging election seasons in recent history. Amid all the questions, there is one candidate who has my complete confidence: Jim Banks, who has my vote to be our next 3rd District congressman. I have known Jim for more than 12 years. He is principled, honest and loyal to family and country. Please don’t throw away your right to vote by staying away from the polls when you could vote for Jim Banks and help ensure a better future for America.

Linda Buskirk

Fort Wayne

Somers’ steady hand needed at NACS

A few years ago, citizens were encouraged to get involved in the local community by running for some local office or school board position. One individual who stepped out to answer that challenge was Kent Somers. He had a strong interest in the integrity and financial soundness of the Northwest Allen County Schools system. He had another incentive in that his children attend NACS schools.

Somers’ background has been a great asset as he has brought a level of financial understanding and expertise to the board. This has been invaluable as the board deals with issues resulting from property tax caps, contract negotiations, reduced tax revenue and increased enrollments. Kent’s leadership capability was recognized by his fellow board members as he was elected to serve as president for the 2016 calendar year.

NACS has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing, top-performing districts in the area, and Superintendent Chris Himsel was recently recognized as Indiana superintendent of the year. Especially as NACS faces these challenges, we should return Kent Somers for another four years to the NACS school board and let his experience continue to guide NACS in these challenging times. Now is not the time to change.

Re-elect Kent Somers.

Judith Ross

Fort Wayne

Let God’s commandments guide your voting

With all the political banter we’re bombarded with, there is much to be deceived by. So my suggestion is to ignore the mudslinging and vote God’s way.

Here are a few (just a few) of his directives: 1. Vote the most pro-life candidate because God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). 2. Vote for the most pro-Israel candidate because God blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who don’t (Genesis 12:3). 3. Vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate because God says the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). 4. Vote for the most pro-work candidate because God says if a man doesn’t work, let him not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). 5. Vote for the most pro-marriage candidate because God is for marriage as defined in Genesis.6. Vote for the candidate who most closely believes government’s purpose is to reward the good and punish the evil (Romans 13). 7. Vote as closely as you can based on God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16); knowing that whoever gets elected, God is the one who puts all men in authority (Daniel 2:21). 8. Vote: it’s a privilege God has given you in this nation.

Harold Stambaugh

North Manchester

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