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According to the Feb. 5 Free Press editorial ("The Day The Caucus Died"), some critics ask how Iowa is a good starting place for a campaign whose winner seeks to be president. The editorial explores another option for the start of the nomination process.

National Public Radio reportedly did research to find the state that most closely represents the nation's demographics in several categories. They determined Illinois was that state.

If Illinois accurately represents a cross section of the country, why not let Illinois select the president, not just as a nominee, but for the job itself at the White House. This would be very efficient, and other states wouldn't have to endure all the campaigning that we don't trust anyway.

Imagine the outrage from the East and West Coasts, where they would be screaming, "One state shouldn't be selecting our president!" Without the Electoral College system in place, that is essentially the scenario we face — just a few states choosing the president.

Colorado and New Mexico have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Their residents may someday find themselves wondering why their votes didn't count at all.

Be careful what you do in knee-jerk reactions.

Terry Johnson, Hixson

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Ex-Haynes employee supports re-election

Recently, Assessor of Property candidate Randy Fairbanks made accusations that a few female employees left the assessor's office because they couldn't work for Marty Haynes.

My name is Olivia Holden, and I am a former employee of the office. I worked for Mr. Haynes for three years after college, where I was given opportunity, trained well, treated fairly, and promoted as the first female appraiser in Hamilton County. Mr. Haynes is a kind and honest boss who values education and hard work from his employees, which is why the state recognized him as one of the best assessors in Tennessee and his office for their exemplary work in valuing property.

After three years, I left for only one reason: to pursue a job as a missionary with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). Anything other than this is an outright lie. In fact, when I left the office, Mr. Haynes not only encouraged me in this new job but joined my team of financial and prayer partners.

Mr. Haynes has my full support in his re-election campaign to continue to serve us as Hamilton County assessor — and I implore each of you support him too.

Olivia K. Holden

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Fairbanks would be an honest assessor

I am speaking to the Republican voters of Hamilton County. When you head to the polls to place your vote for the assessor of property here in Hamilton County, I want you to consider these items I am making you aware of today.

For 22 years, we had the stability, professionalism and honesty of Bill Bennett as our assessor. Since 2016, we have had our current assessor, Marty Haynes, in charge.

I can tell you we have had quite the opposite of Bill Bennett in charge of this important post of our county government. I have spoken with former employees, and current employees of the assessor's office, and also a family member who was a dedicated employee for over 20 years.

We as residents, taxpayers and voters deserve a qualified, honest, and professional person as our assessor of property.

So on March 3, vote Randy Fairbanks as our assessor of property (early voting begins Wednesday).

Jason H. Griffith

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