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Don't discount the down ballot candidates this election

Take the time to vote for your local representatives, they matter more than you think

Kelli Butler

Down ballot candidate Kelli Butler, who is advocating for races like hers this November, poses for a photo with supporters on Oct. 14, 2016.

No matter how dissatisfied we are with this presidential election, we can't forget that there's more at stake than just the White House.

When you get your ballots this November, make sure to do your research on the other names you'll see farther down on the sheet of paper.

When you think about it, down ballot races are actually more important than the national elections. 

Usually people will vote along party lines when it comes to the president, senator and sometimes governor.

But congressmen and state-wide positions are where party lines are crossed in the masses. Here in Arizona, there are some pretty important state-wide races on the down ballot this year.

While the state is safely-Republican when it comes to most national races, (Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by one and a half points here), Democrats are poised to take back key seats in both the house and senate.

Dr. Eric Meyer and Kelli Butler are two of those Democrats who have a chance to turn Republican districts blue.

Student holds House of Representatives campaign event from The State Press on Vimeo. Video by Austen Bundy.

These are the kinds of races that truly matter because residents are directly affected by the choices they make as your representatives. The only way your voice can be heard at the state capitol is through candidates like them.

"When people know that their vote is important, and they have the access to talk directly to someone that is hoping to go down there and make decisions that really will impact their lives, I think it just empowers people that they can really be part of the process," Democratic candidate Kelli Butler said.

And, the best part about it is that they are regular citizens just like you. These aren't Washington bureaucrats or career politicians looking out for their own self interest.

Candidates like Meyer and Butler can make a real difference for citizens like us, especially students. 

These are the local positions that can affect education funding which, in turn, affects our tuition prices and resources as students.

These are the local positions that can affect state taxes and infrastructure development.

These are the races that matter more than deciding who sits at the Resolute Desk on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

If you've ever felt frustrated with any of these things, then these are the people you have to make sure hear your voice.

Don't complain, vote.

Reach the columnist at or follow @abkbundy on Twitter.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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