by Deb McMahon, retired Iowa teacher
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After participating in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on February 1, it became apparent from the results here that each and every vote counts. Hillary Clinton won on the Democratic side, but it was truly a nail biter. It was the closest contest ever in our state’s history. Senator Ted Cruz beat out Donald Trump, who was favored in the polls. It truly is all about getting out the vote. Iowa set records on participation for both parties, which sets the stage for the rest of the country, beginning with today’s New Hampshire primary.
Now it is up to you. Let’s keep the momentum going!
As a retired civics educator, I taught that with rights come responsibilities. It is important to be informed and study the issues. The candidates stance on public education is paramount when making your decision.
Look for a candidate who is a friend to public education and will fight hard for all students and staff. Experience and their public service record should show where their heart is and what they value. It is a privilege to choose our next president, and we should remember that many fought hard for that right.
Teachers, paraprofessionals and others working in public education have an obligation to set the example by participating in this election. So, just like we tell our students, do your homework! Be informed and cast your vote for the candidate who meets your criteria as the best leader for education.
This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. Make a commitment to cast your vote for the best candidate and be sure to encourage others to do the same. You will be making history by participating, which means you are setting an example for those who come after. It is an honor to vote and if you feel like cheering afterwards, be sure to take your pom poms with you!
Deb McMahon is a retired educator, political activist and regular contributor to A Better Iowa. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.