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Patricia Owens has it all wrong and has made a terrible argument to support her case ("No protest votes, please," Sept. 16). In many ways, she is what is wrong with our political process. The reason for elections is to find the person best suited to represent the common needs of the people.

In the case of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Maryland voters rejected him because he was a lousy candidate. As lieutenant governor, he was given one thing of significance to do, and he totally botched it. As for allowing Larry Hogan to win, it turns out he makes a darn good governor. I am so pleased with his actions to date that I intend to vote to re-elect him no matter who the Democrats run against him.

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The attitude that you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back no matter what is exactly how we end up with bad candidates like Mr. Brown and Hillary Clinton. Ms. Clinton's ability to channel an endless stream of big money to a large number of Democratic candidates ended up with her starting the primary with a stack of uncontested votes of people owing her. That stack proved insurmountable for Sen. Bernie Sanders to overcome. He came pretty darn close, and as we later learned the Democratic National Committee was undermining his campaign every step of the way.

My problems with Ms. Clinton are lengthy. She took a large speaking fee from a Wall Street bank and then tells her supporters she is going to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots. The biggest reason for the rich getting richer is boardroom thievery. They vote themselves enormous salaries and benefits that they deny to their lower-level employees. Of all of the money the Clinton Foundation raises for charity, only 9 percent actually goes to the charity. These phony personal charity tax loopholes are exactly how the rich are getting richer.

The FBI head laid out a case that would have put you or me in jail and then concluded there was no illegal activity with Ms. Clinton's emails. The FBI caught her in public lies but she never said under oath what she repeats over and over again on the campaign trail. One can only think someone of her stature should know when an email should be classified even if it isn't stamped as such. Now we are learning that evidence subpoenaed by Congress was destroyed after it was subpoenaed. Oliver North went to jail for doing that.

I had given her a pass on Benghazi as we saw with Salman Rushdie and Charlie Hebdo there was credence to that original explanation and it was being talked about in the press even before Secretary of State Clinton made her announcement. Also, the ambassador killed in the attack was a close personal friend of both Ms. Clinton and President Barack Obama and neither of them would have done anything deliberate to harm him. I can't look the other way on destroying evidence.

I am a registered Democrat though I vote independent. I received a post card from the local Democratic party implying like they were "new" (read by me to mean more like the party of Beverly and Goodloe Byron) and I took them up on visiting their website. I am retired and have some time I could give them. It looked pretty good to me until I came to the line "support the party candidate no matter what." As a good citizen, I cannot do that.

My list of dislikes for Mr. Trump are even longer, but I'll save them for another time. If the election were today, my civic duty of voting for the best candidate would lead me to Gov. Gary Johnson. It will not be a vote for Mr. Trump, it will be a vote for Mr. Johnson.

Steven Davidson, New Windsor

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