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The results of Tuesday's midterm election are replete with important messages for those who govern.

At the national level came a clear mandate for new direction in the war in Iraq. The status quo won't do. But determining the best course for the war's future will require turning away from partisan acrimony and finding real solutions through bi-partisan cooperation.

Utah bucked the national trend and returned mostly incumbents to office. The state remains, for the most part, republican. Yet what happened in the Salt Lake County Sheriff's race along with close calls in other races suggest a certain restlessness in traditional GOP strongholds.

The rejection of 2nd District Judge Leslie Lewis should remind those in the state's judiciary that they are not immune to public perceptions. It reinforces the fact a mechanism is in place for the public to deal with judges deemed to be acting beyond the bounds of judicial propriety.

The approval of a transit tax in Salt Lake and Utah counties sends a message that taxpayers are willing to pay for services when convinced it's for the public's good. Now, those who control the funds have a responsibility to live up to that generous trust and make sure they do it right.

Important messages emerging from a fascinating election!

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