Picking a candidate

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The next governor of Missouri will be elected Nov. 4, just 15 weeks from now. But it is just nine days until the Aug. 5 primary election, which will determine the final candidates in many area and statewide races.

I've donated money for the election of Ken Hulshof to be the Republican candidate for governor. I told Sarah Steelman, the state treasurer who also is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, about this, and also told her I planned to not get involved in the Republican primary. I also told her that, like when you have two children and like them both, many times in life you have to select one over the other to be the quarterback or pitcher for family football and softball contests.

However, I'm now publicly stating my preference for Hulshof, because I feel he will be the better governor, if elected, for Missouri.

I do this because I have been disappointed with the distorted campaign against Hulshof by the Steelman managers. It is disappointing to me that negative campaigns are too often successful because voters don't really get to know the qualifications, competencies and character of the two candidates. Negative campaigning has become an art form we can do without.

I leave it up to the newspaper, television, radio and direct-mail advertising to inform Missouri voters of the experience and qualifications of all candidates. I hope the voters so inform themselves before voting.

As reported by David Lieb in a recent Associated Press story: "Hulshof has the support of Sen. Kit Bond, the rest of the state's Republican congressional delegation, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and the state's main business and industry associations. Campaign finance records released last week show Hulshof raised five times as much money as Steelman during the three-month period from April through June."

I went to the birthday celebration of former Missouri governor Warren Hearnes (86), his wife, Betty (82), and Betty's sister and good friend Jane Stacy (70) last Saturday.

There were many good friends and relatives there, but I was only there for the reception and missed Governor Hearnes and Betty because of a previous commitment.

We ran a picture of all three birthday honorees in last Sunday's Southeast Missourian. Happy birthday to three of my favorite people.

Hooray! It looks like downtown Cape Girardeau is going to be getting more parking spaces with the acquisition of a downtown parking lot across from Buckner's. It wouldn't hurt to get even more parking for this vibrant area of Cape Girardeau.

I'm disappointed that The New York Times refused to print a letter from U.S. Sen. John McCain one week after it printed a letter from U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. The Times editors asked McCain to edit his letter and said they would consider printing it. That's their editorial prerogative, but I think it was a poor decision in this case. You can read McCain's letter on the Internet. You decide.

In 1978 Joni Adams, a Southeast Missouri State University student, started working for Cape Girardeau's tri-weekly Bulletin-Journal newspaper. After graduation she became a key part of our three-person (plus a stringer) news staff.

We prided ourselves on local news coverage and our occasional scoops and feature stories which we felt often surpassed that of the local daily.

Joni later married Mark Bliss, a Southeast Missourian reporter, and she became managing editor of the Southeast Missourian after we acquired it in 1988.

It's hard to explain the closeness of a small but highly professional and competent group in which Joni was a mainstay.

Joni died Tuesday after a long fight with cancer, leaving husband Mark and their two daughters with many memories of her brave, never publicly complaining inspiration. She set a positive standard in her personal, professional, religious and family experiences. She was loved by many and will be missed.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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