While most of the attention during general election years is focused on high-profile races in the state and the nation, and this year the presidential race is sucking up just about all the attention voters can muster, down-ticket races are vital.

Here’s our recommendations for government closest to you:

Adams County Commissioner District 1 is outside of Aurora, but we can heartily suggest voters to return Eva Henry to the board. Henry knows how cities depend on services from a county seat far from home. Her experience on the Thornton City Council serves all of us well.

In that same light, Aurora Councilwoman Renie Peterson is an ideal candidate for Adams County District 5 seat on the commission. Peterson knows first-hand the difficulty Aurora faces as an urban city, with big needs for big services, and a board of county commissioners familiar only with suburban issues and goals. Aurora has a large and growing population of homeless residents, often living in hotels or couch surfing, or ending up in cars. Working to return these people to the normal life they want is expensive and difficult. County government is best suited to at least fund, if not provide for these vital services. Peterson is bet suited to carry that message to Brighton and bring home the city’s share of needed services.

Similarly, we recommend Aurora City Councilman Bob LeGare for Arapahoe County District 5 seat. Incumbent Bill Holen has been a solid force on the commission of four years, but with Aurora facing so many difficult and expensive issues, mostly focusing on the need for increased pass-through money from the state, that LeGare is uniquely suited to best represent Aurora. Both candidates are faithful public servants, bit LeGare’s long history of transparency and outspoken fairness would be missed in Aurora, and much appreciated on the Arapahoe County Commission.