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If you’re registered, vote

Tomorrow is Primary Election Day, and choice of candidates is critical

Updated: 09/08/08 6:38 AM

Who could miss the fact that this is a big election year? Consider the historic opportunities — the chance to vote for the nation’s first African-American president on the Democratic side, or the first woman vice president from the Republican camp? There’s plenty of excitement to keep national politics at the forefront of any dinner conversation.

Not so fast. Equally important is the primary election facing voters tomorrow.

A few hotly contested races out there will be determined in heavily partisan districts where tomorrow’s winners will be strong favorites in November’s general elections. In other districts, registered Democrats and Republicans and members of the so-called minor parties will pick standard-bearers for more competitive races. That’s important to the democratic process, the general elections, the region and the nation.

The Jon Powers-Jack Davis-Alice J. Kryzan dogfight for the Democratic congressional primary victory, and a chance to vie for the coveted 26th District seat being vacated by Thomas Reynolds, has filled the airwaves with ads and accusations. Voters in in the 144th Assembly District held by Assemblyman Sam Hoyt have a crucial decision to make as he faces a tough primary contest against Barbra Kavanaugh.

Another example of a critical primary is the 61st State Senate District, which retiring Sen. Mary Lou Rath long held. Now Democrats Joe Mesi, Michele M. Iannello and Daniel J. Ward are fighting to face Republican Michael H. Ranzenhofer. And there’s a pitched battle among Erie County district attorney hopefuls, with Diane M. LaVallee, Kenneth

F. Case and Frank A. Sedita III all vying for the Democratic line.

The Family Court primary contest is, by comparison, more sedate, as Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin, Buffalo City Judge E. Jeannette Ogden, Family Court attorney Barbara S. Nuchereno and attorney Michael T. Feeley battle for a 10-year seat — cross-endorsements notwithstanding.

With rare exceptions, The Buffalo News does not endorse candidates in primary races that are, after all, party contests open only to segments of our readership, the registered members of the parties. One such exception, made because of a late flurry of attack ads by outside interests, is noted below.

But we always endorse voter participation in this stage of the campaigns, a critical step on the road to November.

The American right to vote is no small thing. Many Americans have sacrificed to preserve it, many more to extend it to groups that earlier were disenfranchised. Its exercise, in itself, is a vote for the concept of liberty and freedom and self-government that is America.

Don’t dismiss that importance, or miss tomorrow’s chance. Get out and vote.