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Presidential primary practically settled before we vote

This time next week, we will go to the polls to cast our ballots for the candidates we believe will best serve our nation as president and our interests in Washington as our Third Congressional District representative.

If you have been paying attention, you have endured many long televised debates featuring as many as 20 candidates vying for the Democratic Party presidential nomination to take on incumbent Republican President Donald J. Trump.

You’ve seen television advertisements and received mailings from the candidates, and you’ve seen numerous televised town halls and television appearances by the candidates on any number of talk shows.

You’ve witnessed the debacle of the Democratic Caucuses in Iowa that took weeks to tally the results of and week-by-week we’ve seen the candidates winnow themselves down from the original 20 to the few who are left going into today’s Super Tuesday primaries throughout much of the nation.

By the time we go to the polls next week, Mississippi Democrats’ choices will pretty much be between the two top runners who have not yet dropped out of the race — Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Biden is a moderate Democrat and Sanders represents the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

Yes, the Democratic presidential primary was essentially settled before we ever got a chance to vote in Mississippi. That doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel and give up, however.

The difference in the two main Democratic candidates is stark, and we will have a chance to cast a vote for the one we believe will best represent the nation if he emerges the winner over Trump in November. And, as of this writing, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren are still running.

Given the way the Iowa Caucuses played out and the way some of the other primaries have gone, however, perhaps it is time for the parties to consider changing the way the primaries are handled.

I for one would like to have a chance to vote before most of the candidates have been culled out by other states.

By the way, in case you plan to vote in the Republican Primary, Trump has challengers on the Republican ticket, too — Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Bill Weld. Yep. Who?

None-the-less also on next Tuesday’s ballots will be candidates for our third Congressional District, which is currently held by first-termer Republican Michael Guest. He has garnered a challenger in Republican James Tulp.

The Democratic ticket for that third congressional district seat features candidates Dorothy “Dot” Benford and Katelyn Lee.

Also on ballots will be incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith who is unchallenged for the Republican nomination but on the Democratic tickets are Tobey Bernard Bartee, Jenson Bohren and Mike Espy.

Despite our lack of choices in the Democratic Presidential Primary races, we do have some other interesting choices on ballots, so study up on the issues and go to the polls next week to cast your well-informed votes.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com or 601-445-3540.