On Oct. 11, six candidates vying for three offices on the state and local level stepped up to debate the issues and answer questions from the public.

Nebraska Legislature District 16 candidates Ben Hansen and Chuck Hassebrook, Blair mayoral candidates Rich Hansen and Jim Realph, and Washington County Board of Supervisors candidates John Jensen and Steve Kruger each participated in a debate sponsored by Enterprise Media Group and Real Country 97.3.

That's as it should be. For those wanting to be a public servant, one of the key things to remember is that you serve the public. That means tackling the tough questions, facing voters and offering your stance on a variety of issues.

All six candidates did this even when the audience may have voiced their opposition.

A political debate should focus on policies, issues and the vision for each candidate. It's a chance for voters to determine how each candidate would best represent them and how they may react in any given situation.

While so often political candidates are seen spouting rhetoric or slinging mud at their opponent, this debate remained civil and answered many of the questions from readers and those in attendance.

Kudos to those candidates who agreed to participate in the debate, put themselves out there and help voters make an informed decision on Nov. 6.

Kudos also goes out to the public for showing an interest and showing up and to the Blair High School students who helped with the sound system.

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