Starting Tuesday, our editorials over the next several weeks will be devoted primarily to making recommendations for the Nov. 8 general election.
We know some of our picks will be controversial.
While some readers will applaud our choices, others likely will be disappointed, irritated or flat-out furious. We get that.
But weighing in on political races is a long tradition in the newspaper business, and it is one we are proud to carry on.
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We began conducting candidate interviews in mid-August and will continue for the next several weeks. As it stands now, we plan to comment on 23 political races and six state-wide initiatives.
This week, look for our recommendation in the secretary of state race, the choice between Rep. Brad Klippert and Rick Jansons for House District 8, Rep. Terry Nealy and Gary Downing for House District 16 and our preference in the Franklin County commissioner race between incumbent Brad Peck and Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton.
Every year, there are readers who misunderstand the purpose of our political recommendations, and complain that the Tri-City Herald has no business telling people how to vote.
That is not what we are trying to do.
In fact, we hope people do their own homework before they mark their ballots. But in their search for information, we believe we can provide insight that is hard to find elsewhere.
Our interview process cuts through the campaign rhetoric, holds incumbents accountable for the job they were elected to do and gives challengers a chance to say how they could do it better.
In cases where there are two new candidates for an elected position, our perception may be even more helpful because voters don’t have an incumbent’s record to go on.
We often weigh the candidates’ interests and leadership style and try to decide, pragmatically, who we think will better serve the Tri-Cities, the region, the state and — this year — the nation.
Sometimes the choice is clear. Other times, it is a tougher call.
But we are always appreciative of a candidate’s willingness to serve and the time they devote to their campaigns.
In addition to our own political recommendations, the editorial page is a platform for our readers in our Letters to the Editor section. If you want to support a candidate’s campaign, we welcome the input. Letters are limited to 200 words, and those discussing election or ballot issues must be received by Nov. 1.
Our political recommendations are simply that — recommendations. They are a tool we offer our readers as they try to sort through the campaign slogans and decide who gets their vote.