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Letter: Candidates should be willing to face their public

A critical element of a properly functioning democracy is an informed citizenry. You can’t vote for somebody unless you know what they stand for. Otherwise, you could just be shooting yourself in the foot.

An article in the Aug. 19 Washington Post claims that, in certain locales around the country, Republican politicians are avoiding the public eye: They’re not holding public events, they’re avoiding interviews by the media, and they’re taking a low profile on important issues — all because they are concerned about having certain of their views brought under public scrutiny. Case in point: our congressional representative Ben Cline reportedly has refused for some months to debate Jennifer Lewis, his Democratic opponent.

While incumbents like Cline may assert that their positions are a matter of public record, they should be held to account to address the issues of the day in public, in an appropriate forum. Whether Democrat or Republican, they have a solemn duty to stand before us, with all their baggage — so we can know what they stand for today, not only in the past. Debates between Cline and Lewis would be most informative.

D.J. Murphy, Fishersville

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