As primary elections go, Tuesday's was more exciting than many in recent years.
On the state level, there was a heated Democratic race involving an incumbent governor and a strong challenger -- with challenger Claire McCaskill winning over Gov. Bob Holden. And there were two constitutional amendments -- gambling and marriage -- on the ballot that brought more voters than expected.
Closer to home, races in Cape Girardeau County drew a large number of candidates, particularly in the races for the two county commission seats up for election this year.
What was striking about the local primary races, in sharp contrast to many of the statewide and national campaigns, was how polite and informative they were, with none of the negative swipes that have become the trademark of our political process. Instead, local candidates touted the experience and values they could offer as public servants.
And there were many candidates, even among those who will not be on November's general election ballot, who offered backgrounds and skills that offered a sense of confidence no matter who the victor turns out to be.
It is a major and important commitment to become a candidate for any office. Everyone of the candidates in Tuesday's primary served in extraordinary ways by allowing their names to be placed on the ballot and then taking their credentials and aspirations to the voters.
All of the candidates deserve our hearty thanks and special appreciation for the time they spent and effort they made to be a part of this vital process in our system of government.
Thank you all.