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Unwritten values are important. Our laws do not say much about the character and competence of public officials, or how much the quality of our democracy depends on them. But to citizens, these qualities are obviously critical in deciding for whom to vote.

We want and need public officials who will bring to their offices high personal integrity, exceptional ability, dedication to duty and mindful attention to the services that they render to us. Charles Harrison, candidate for Judge of the Orphans' Court, is one such official.

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As others have noted in these pages, Harrison brings an extraordinary wealth of experience to his position. He has had a long and distinguished career in the FBI. He is an educator in the field of criminal justice administration. He directs a consulting company dealing with security and antiterrorism efforts.

Locally, he is active in many of our community organizations – the board of Shepherd's Staff, the ACLU, the American Legion and several more. All who know him are familiar with his thoughtful approach to problems, and the care with which he listens to and advises others. I am proud to call him my friend.

Since Harrison's appointment to the court, he has demonstrated a conscientious working style, considerate treatment of the public and of other members of the court, and rock solid fairness in his judgments and recommendations. He has reached out to the community as an educator on court functions, and has opened channels of communication among many individuals and organizations in the process. Here is a judge who serves as a superb role model for others. Harrison consistently goes beyond the call of duty, giving us an example of leadership that elevates everyone who comes into contact with him.

Here we have an example of what a public official should be. It is time to elect Harrison to Judge of the Orphans' Court in his own right.

Charles E. Collyer

Uniontown

The writer is the treasurer of Citizens for Charles Harrison.

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