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Cobb will serve us with respect

To the editor:

Thirty years ago I traveled to Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist for the National School Boards Association with my colleagues from around the nation. At the beginning of the second congressional term, we met with our representatives to discuss matters such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and other pending legislation. I was proud to be a small part of our democracy, working to improve the lives of my fellow citizens.

Dave Martin was our congressman then, and although he was a Republican and I a Democrat, our relationship was always very cordial. He listened carefully as we presented arguments, and I listened carefully as he shared his perspective. And after a day of visiting Capitol Hill, he would join us for a beer and an enjoyable social hour. How times have changed!

I remember those visits to Washington fondly, the calm and informative debate among people who may have had different perspectives, but never resorted to angry name calling. We have had a number of representatives since, Republican and Democratic, people like John McHugh and Bill Owens. I was able to share my concerns with them, and I never doubted for a moment that they did not make decisions in the interest of ALL the people they represented, Democrat or Republican, even when I did not agree with their votes.

I ask my friends and neighbors if they can say the same of our congresswoman today. Have you found her willing to meet with all her constituents, regardless of party affiliation? Has she responded to your carefully considered communications with detailed and specific information? Have you been able to meet with her in a town hall setting and ask questions? Has she conducted her political campaigns with the dignity and honesty we deserve in our representatives?

I think back to a time some years ago when I wrote to one of my Republican representatives about a controversial issue and received a detailed and heartfelt response that was clearly sincere and personal. It mattered not that I was a Democrat, the representative a Republican.

I believe Tedra Cobb will treat all of her constituents, Republicans as well as Democrats, with respect, regardless of party. For this reason, I will vote for Tedra next month — a vote for Tedra is a vote for the health of our democracy.

Kirk Peterson

Lake Clear

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