Got questions for Tri-Cities candidates? Let us know | Editorial

The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board will once again be making recommendations to voters on candidates in a number of Tri-Cities races.

But this year, we’d like your help.

What do you want to ask your candidates for city council? Are there priorities you’d like explained?

Email your ideas to us at crexus@tricityherald.com or call Herald Editorial Writer Cecilia Rexus at 509-582-1538.

And please be specific about who you want answers from.

We plan to include as many responses as possible in our recommendation editorials in the weeks before the Nov. 5 general election.

We already are arranging our editorial board meetings with candidates in about 18 local races, including school boards, city councils and the Port of Kennewick.

So, don’t wait to send in your ideas.

Making political recommendations is a long tradition at the Tri-City Herald and at many other newspapers across the country.

Our editorial board routinely provides opinions, analysis and guidance on a variety of important community matters, and elections, we think, should be included in that mission.

Meeting with us is probably the closest to a job interview that candidates have while running for office. As for incumbents, meeting with us can be a lot like a performance review, and it gives us a chance to hold our elected leaders accountable.

Our approach is unscripted — unlike many other political forums in which the format is very structured.

During our sessions, we allow candidates to give opening and closing statements, but in between we pepper them with questions. Such a free discussion gives us a unique perspective that we then pass on to our readers.

Our recommendations are not meant to tell people how to vote, but rather, to provide additional insight that goes beyond campaign rhetoric and statements in the Voters’ Guide.

Already, the Benton County Republican Party has made its endorsement list, while the Benton County Democrats have declined to endorse in nonpartisan races.

We don’t focus on which way a candidate leans politically, we care more about their qualifications and temperament. The goal is to recommend who we think will do the best job.

Often, it is an incredibly close call because both candidates are of such high quality. Other times the better choice is very apparent.

If you want to be a part of the process, send us your questions.

We welcome your input, and we think the candidates will too.