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Assorted football and election ramblings

Today I offer some assorted ramblings from my world.

Are you ready for some football?

If things continue along the same path, high school football — and many other sports and extracurricular activities — will be starting soon.

High school football is set to begin this week, with some teams even kicking off on Thursday. Undoubtedly, the season will be atypical, but that won’t keep away our sports coverage team.

Inside today’s newspaper you’ll find this year’s “High School Football” preview, which includes dozens of pages of indepth coverage of teams. It includes stories about team expectations, rosters, schedules and much more. We’ve been working hard on it, and we hope football fans delve into and enjoy it.

This is just a sampling of the kind of detailed coverage our sports writers will be bringing you each week throughout the season.

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In election news, The Associated Press reported Friday that Rapper Kanye West won’t appear on Ohio’s ballot as an unaffiliated presidential candidate this November, after all.

That’s because Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose rejected the nearly 15,000 signatures and other paperwork West submitted earlier this month in an attempt to run for president.

Also last week, state elections officials in Illinois and Wisconsin rejected his candidacy in those states. Earlier this month, West without explanation withdrew as a presidential candidate in New Jersey. He also missed deadlines or was rejected in numerous others states this summer, including California, Florida and Pennsylvania.

States where he’s on the ballot include Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont.

West publicly supported Republican President Donald Trump before announcing his own presidential bid on July 4.

And just when you think this year’s presidential election can’t get any stranger — or more divisive — some Democrats now are insisting the push for Kanye West to get on the ballot must be coming from Republicans because they say it could draw votes from Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Trump’s re-election campaign denies involvement, but GOP lawyers and activists have helped West qualify for presidential ballots in several key states, including Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado, adding to the suspicions that he’s trying to siphon support away from Biden, the AP is reporting.

Democrats, braced for a close race, are anxious about any third-party candidate drawing voters.

For now, the status of West’s presidential campaign and whether he is truly seeking the White House remains unclear.

Apparently, West did not return a call to his agent placed by the AP on Friday seeking comment.

Brace yourself.

Over the next two-and-a-half months, everything that happens on the national level — and I mean everything — will become the focus of both Democrats and Republicans pointing fingers at one another and accusing each other of attempting to swing the election.

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And speaking of election issues, local candidates in Mahoning and Trumbull county contested races should start watching their mailboxes in the next week or two. As always, we will be mailing out candidate questionnaires seeking information on campaign goals, plans and strategies. Our reporters will use this information and follow-up emails, phone calls and interviews to do stories on the races that we will publish as the Nov. 3 general election approaches.

We encourage you to complete the questionnaires and get them back to us in a timely manner. If you are a candidate in a contested race in Trumbull or Mahoning county and you do not receive a letter and questionnaire from this newspaper by mid-September, I urge you to email me at the address below so that we can get proper contact information and get the questionnaire out to you.

This newspaper’s Editorial Board will be endorsing in several races. If your race is selected for an endorsement, you also will be invited to participate in an interview with the editorial board either in person, via internet connection or by teleconference.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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