Next week there’s a rally at City Park for the “six-pack,” the ticket of candidates for both the Manhattan City Commission and the school board who are backed by a certain strand of the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, three candidates are running as a ticket of liberals (relatively speaking) in the school board race. The Democrats have also helped candidates in the City Commission race, but they’re being much more behind-the-scenes this cycle than they were in the primary.

This is all flat-out wrong.

These are non-partisan elections. They are that way for a reason, and the fact that they are non-partisan is one of the reasons why local government here has worked very well for a long time. You want to foul it all up? Just elect people indebted to the political parties. That’ll make the shouting match at the school board a few months ago seem like a garden party.

Not everybody has bitten the hook dangled in the water by the parties, and I want to salute Marcus Kidd and particularly Rich Jankovich for their positions.

Asked if he had accepted any help from a political party in the race, Mr. Jankovich answered as follows:

“None. This is a nonpartisan race, no matter what any one candidate’s views are. As such candidates should not be tied to or held accountable to a particular party, PAC or other special interest group. Technically, we are elected by all voters of Manhattan and thus should represent the entire citizenry. By not being supported or assisted by any party I believe I provide a degree of independence in making critical decisions for the city.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Elections should never be one-issue contests, so as a voter you should take into account positions on a variety of issues. We’ll get around to endorsements in these races in a couple more weeks — just suggestions in the event you haven’t already made up your mind — so I don’t want this column to be seen as that.

It’s an extremely important issue, though, and that’s why I wanted to highlight Mr. Jankovich’s position here. Other candidates — notably Wynn Butler and Kaleb James — tried to argue that parties have always been involved, and argued that suggesting otherwise was naive.

That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think the parties have always been involved, then you’re going to go seeking out the help of a party in getting elected. Of course you will. They provide money and logistical help, and if you’re running, you want to win. And if you win doing this, then you know darn well that’s what the candidates will all want to do next time,

You, dear voter, are the only one who can stop this cycle. You can support candidates who steer clear of partisan politics. I’d encourage you to seek them out.

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