For many Minnesotans, the August primary election season is a blip on the radar easily obscured by Vikings training camp news, summer vacations and -- this year -- the Olympics. That's a shame, given the magnitude of the issues facing potential members of Congress, the state Legislature and, on a local level, the Minneapolis School Board.

Members of the Star Tribune Editorial Board have had the privilege of focusing on those issues during recent interviews with candidates for key congressional and legislative offices and potential School Board members who sought our endorsement in the Aug. 14 primary.

We hope the endorsements, which are based on the candidate interviews and other research, will inform the political debate and remind voters that Aug. 14 really does matter. Our goal is to provide informed opinion that voters in these highly contested races will consider along with other information on the candidates, including the stories and voter's guide information compiled by the news staff.

If readers are persuaded by our arguments, that's terrific. Either way, the Editorial Board hopes to see strong voter turnout for the primary and again on Nov. 6.

The endorsements that will appear over the next several days were made by members of the Editorial Board -- me, Jill Burcum, Susan Hogan, Denise Johnson, John Rash, Lori Sturdevant and D.J. Tice. We were assisted in our research by veteran Twin Cities journalist Nancy Olsen. Star Tribune Chairman Michael Sweeney and CEO and Publisher Michael Klingensmith will be involved in our fall endorsement process. The Editorial Board board is independent of the newsroom.

If you'd like to weigh in on the primary or any other issue, use the "Submit a letter or commentary link" on our website. You can also send an e-mail to