By DAVE KITCHELL

Pharos-Tribune staff writer

Ed Norris of Logansport says the affiliation next to your name in election probably has nothing to do with political philosophy.

“In my opinion, there is only one reason that a candidate switches political parties and that’s to try to get elected or re-elected. It may be to defeat the term limits set by law or to overcome an opponent in the primary.

“A candidate that switches parties would likely be less loyal to either party. I would be less likely to vote for a candidate that switched.”

One high school student studying government said the two-party system is the basis for American government.

“You can still vote for them because they have the right to switch parties whenever they want,” Charles Beckman said.

Wally Dibble of Logansport is wary of huge shifts in ideology when a candidate changes from one party to another.

“If these people are switching parties, there has to be a problem there somewhere. If they’re going in and governing as that party, that’s one thing, but if they’re going to the far left or far right, there has to be a middle of the road thing.

“I believe right now we’ve got enough rhinos with our officials Washington than the one party needs. It truly does no good to either party as far as I’m concerned. It’s either got to be the middle of the road or stay with what you’ve got.”

Ron Leazenby of Logansport says party affiliation does matter.

“If a Democrat was to switch to a Republican, I feel that our worst Republican is better than your best socialist Democrat.”

Four candidates in the Logansport area May primaries have already switched from Democrat to Republican to seek offices. Eel Township Assessor Shelby Ridenour will run as a Republican for the first time. Pulaski County Prosecutor Stacey Mrak, who switched parties to run as a Democrat four years ago in November, went back to her Republican roots this time, and will face her predecessor, Jenean Calabrese. Pulaski Commissioner Michael Tiede will run as a Republican candidate for surveyor and former 5th District Democratic Chair John Kocher will run as a Republican for Pulaski Circuit Court Judge. The incumbent is Democrat Mike Shurn.

Dave Kitchell may be contacted at 722-5000, Ext. 5150, or via e-mail at david.kitchell@pharostribune.com.

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