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Editorial: Forum is a good introduction to candidates

On Tuesday night, 14 Rosemount residents took turns at the podium at city hall to introduce themselves to the voting public in the room and beyond. Some seemed nervous. Others were comfortable. Most proclaimed a love for Rosemount and all asked those people watching in the audience or at home to consider supporting them Nov. 4.

That group in the Rosemount City Council chambers Tuesday represented a little more than half of the field currently on the ballot for two available city council seats. They are the ones who chose to show up for a slightly unusual forum put on by the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Rosemount Town Pages. The candidates did not spend time answering questions. That would have been impossible with so many candidates to consider. But each got two minutes to say hello to Rosemount residents and to explain why they would be a good choice for the council.

Tuesday's forum won't tell voters everything they need to know. But it provided a glimpse. Hopefully it will help the people who were paying attention make some sense of a ballot that looks like a phone book. We applaud the candidates who showed up for taking the time to let voters get to know them at least a little bit better.

For now, at least, that is all residents will have to go on. Mike Baxter, the only incumbent in the race and thus the only candidate with a clear public record, has dropped out to accept a judgeship in LeSueur County.

Those of you who weren't able to watch Tuesday's forum live haven't missed out. The Town Pages broadcast the city council forum and the House District 37B forum that followed live on our web page. Both are now archived for viewing at your convenience. A schedule for playback on the government access channel is on page 2 of this issue.

Twenty-five candidates is a lot to sort through. Tuesday's forum is just a small piece of the puzzle but we encourage you to review it. You'll be that much more informed when you go to the polls next month.