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Mark Western, Published October 03 2010

Not biased but not balanced

I am writing because of The Forum’s Sept. 22 front-page article about the North Dakota District 11 legislative race.

I am disappointed that The Forum chose to focus on a couple of personalities and not real issues. It appears that the thrust of the article was to note Mayor Dennis Walaker’s endorsement of one of the Dem/NPL candidates for state house, and an “independent” candidate’s bid for the Legislature.

The two Republican candidates were apparently added to the article as an afterthought. It is my understanding that the Republican candidates were provided no opportunity to comment on this story. This is unfortunate but also very disappointing.

I do not believe The Forum was being partisan, merely lax in its reporting. I look forward to reading serious profiles of legislative candidates and races that focus on issues, not a soap opera or “reality” contest of who will next be chosen by the mayor.

David Gibb and Zach Heuer have a great deal to offer the residents of District 11, but it appears that this time they have been denied an opportunity to be heard. North Dakota deserves to hear all sides’ views on issues. In this campaign, I hope to see thoughtful and nonbiased reporting that focuses on candidates’ visions for the future of this region and North Dakota. Will The Forum do its part?

Western is North Dakota District 11 Republican Party chairman.