Tomorrow’s Press-Republican will include a special edition capping our extensive 2013 election coverage.
More than a dozen staff members and freelance writers spent weeks producing this 30-plus-page edition, which lists all the candidates up for election in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. The real work came in tracking down and interviewing hundreds of candidates who are involved in contested races for county, city, town supervisor and town council positions.
As always, a few candidates didn’t return our persistent calls. Their names are noted in the edition.
And, if you can imagine, a handful tried to tell us they didn’t want to share information about themselves with the public. We convinced them that when you run for office, you implicitly agree that you will open up a little about your background and ideas, so voters have some knowledge on which to base their decisions.
While it is handy to have all the candidate information for your community in one place, Press-Republican coverage of this year’s elections went well beyond our special edition.
For months now, our reporters have been covering developing news, press conferences, meetings and forums so you know how local candidates stand on the issues. We have also reported on the statewide propositions on next Tuesday’s ballot. If you want to review any of those articles, go to pressrepublican.com and search the archives for the names of candidates or key words from issues.
We have also shared with you about 250 Letters to the Editor written by supporters — and occasional detractors — of local candidates. Some people tell us they find political letters boring or unpersuasive, but we believe strongly in providing as much information about candidates as possible, and letters are one means to learn more about your future municipal leaders. That is why we devote so much space to trying to run as many of the letters as possible.
We also allow online comments on articles about candidates, as long as the writer provides a valid email. However, while we do give online commentors some leeway in criticizing people running for office, we try to weed out particularly harsh submissions, since the writers’ actual names are not attached. We do not allow any Speakout submissions about specific candidates, as that forum is wholly anonymous.
All this verifies that people have no excuse for not being fully informed about candidates as they enter their polling places. Look through tomorrow’s special election edition as a final briefing. We don’t run articles or letters pertaining to particular candidates on Election Day.
We have armed you with an abundance of information. Next Tuesday, it is up to you to use it wisely.