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Editorial: It's fall - and campaign season

This past Saturday marked the first day of fall. Wednesday, meanwhile -- in its way -- marks the unofficial start of campaign season in southwest Minnesota.

A candidates' forum Wednesday, which is being coordinated by the SW/WC Service Cooperative, will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Worthington High School Media Center. School superintendents from the region have been invited to the event; they in turn have been encouraged to invite their school board members. During the forum, each candidate will be given a few minutes to introduce themselves, and they'll later be asked to respond to education-themed questions.

Invited to participate in the forum are each of the candidates for state office in southwest Minnesota. House incumbents Rod Hamilton (District 22B, R-Mountain Lake) and Joe Schomacker (District 22A, R-Luverne) and their respective DFL challengers, Cheryl Avenel-Navara of Worthington and Gene Short of Currie, as well as Senate District 22 foes Bill Weber (Luverne Republican) and Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh (DFL), have been asked to take part in the event.

While each of these individuals has been on the campaign trail for months -- taking part in everything from door-knocking to fundraising events to community parades -- we believe Wednesday represents the first time each of these candidates has been invited to appear at the same forum. With a mere 42 days still remaining before Election Day, we're hopeful that many more such forums -- on a variety of topics -- will allow the general public ample opportunity to get to know the folks who wish to represent them in St. Paul.