Americans will shape this country for years to come as a result of how they cast their ballots during the Nov. 2 general election.
Voters will be asked to make numerous decisions, ranging from city and county to state and national races.
Few races are uncontested this year. In Brainerd, there are 11 candidates vying for either Ward 1, Ward 3 or two at-large seats. In Baxter, there are seven candidates vying for mayor or the two council seats.
Both the House District 12A and District 12B races are three-way contests between the DFL, Independence and Republican party candidates.
The Dispatch, together with the Lake Country Echo and the Pine-River Journal, invited area candidates, excluding those running unopposed, to participate in the 2004 Voter's Guide.
Candidates in House District 12A, House District 12B, Brainerd, Baxter, Crow Wing County and Cass County, were asked to provide biographical information and to answer three questions.
The questions were:
* Why are you running for office? (Limit 100 words.)
* What do you think is the most important issue facing (your office)? (Limit 75 words.)
* How specifically do you plan to work on that issue? (Limit 75 words.)
Candidates in other area city, county, school board and legislative races also were asked to participate.
In addition to basic biographical information, these candidates were asked, "Why are you running for office?" Word limit was 50 words for that question.
City candidates in Backus, Crosslake, East Gull Lake, Lake Shore, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and Pine River and school candidates in Pine River-Backus were interviewed by Lake Country Echo or Pine River Journal staff members. All other candidates included in the Voter's Guide were interviewed by Dispatch staff members.
Additional information is available in this Voter's Guide on the Dispatch's Election Central plans and on Crow Wing County and Cass County polling places and hours.
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