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Mahoning Valley needs 2-party system

DEAR EDITOR:

I was very pleased to read The Vindicator editorial Nov. 6 titled, “Local 2-party political system is long overdue.” I think it had wonderfully apt observations of our changing political landscape.

I grew up in a community just outside of Pittsburgh, which was as staunchly Democrat as the Youngstown / Warren area. My parents were two of only six registered Republicans in the entire municipality. If 10 or 12 votes were cast for a GOP candidate, it was considered major progress. Like here, that has significantly changed in recent election cycles, also.

Both my mother and father were actively involved in politics. My mom worked in the state capital of Harrisburg prior to her marriage to my dad and then regionally for various officeholders. As a young observer of the behind-the-scenes actions (and antics) of numerous candidates and incumbents, I learned firsthand many of the salient points made in The Vindicator editorial.

I vividly remember one statewide office-seeker saying something that was repeated years later when I aided the campaign of a statewide candidate here in Ohio: “You only fight for the toss-ups! Give your supporters as little as possible. Don’t waste your time on those who will never vote for you.” I think, because “we” (Youngstown / Warren) were such reliable Democrat voters, and too small in number to be consequential like the Big C’s (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati), our ability to attract significant state and national attention has been seriously diminished.

I agree, too, with the belief noted in the editorial that a one-party political system, regardless of being D or R, breeds backroom politics, a lack of transparency and ultimately the type of corruption for which our area has become notorious.

I assert that, regardless of party affiliation, the constituents of this area should be pleased with the outcome of the recent election — another step toward the equalization of the balance between the two major parties. It can only benefit us in the long run.

TIM WAGNER

Youngstown

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