This will be a memorable and a remarkable election season. And we’re not talking just about national politics and the presidential race.

Locally, the make-up of city councils and boards of supervisors is up to voters with several contested races. And there are numerous school board and special district elections to follow, as well, though, regrettably, many of them go uncontested. At that, we’re not unsympathetic to those who consider running and choose not to. It’s a big commitment in normal times. Running for and winning office could become a harrowing experience during a pandemic and it’s after effects.

Regardless, thanks to all the candidates for caring enough to want to serve. 

We’ll be emailing simple questionnaires to the candidates, and working with the chamber of commerce to set up some sort of electronic candidates forum. And we’re happy to take suggestions for questions to put to the candidates (email your suggestions to ADnewsroom@appealdemocrat.com).

Repeated here are some house rules concerning election news and marketing:

– Though the filing deadlines are past, we’ll continue to print candidacy announcements for a few more weeks, as they come in. Announcements should be kept as succinct as possible. We will rewrite and edit them down to size. Generally, we believe a candidate announcement story can be told in about 300 words. We’re interested in information about who a candidate is, the candidate’s relevant experience and qualifications, a couple top priorities for the job, and will allow a line or two about family.

We will print mug shots of candidates if we have them on file or they are provided them by candidates.

– In the past, we declined to print letters to the editor about candidates and ballot issues. That’s no longer the case, though there are restrictions.

Letters must adhere to the usual rules – up to 490 words, once per calendar month per writer, written by a local resident or pertaining to a local issue.

They cannot be campaign pieces or involve endorsements. They need to be about issues that candidates should be considering. They can succinctly report how a candidate treats an issue, but mustn’t become an endorsement or disapproval. Candidates themselves can also submit letters under the same rules. At some point before balloting, we will quit accepting letters to the editor concerning candidates and ballot issues.

We won’t accept long columns from candidates or their supporters.

– In the past, the Appeal printed any endorsements that came in – sometimes as brief news stories, sometimes as letters to the editor. Nowadays, generally, we only run them as paid advertising. We think it’s great if you want to endorse someone or if you’ve gotten someone’s endorsement, but we consider it marketing, not news.

– Meet-and-greets, fundraisers and candidate rallies are considered marketing, so must be paid advertising. Simple announcements that a candidate(s) will be speaking at an event can run as calendar items.

– Every once in a while we get calls from a candidate or campaign manager who wants to time an announcement or news release or letter to the editor so it coincides with their media buys. That’s something the news department cannot accommodate.


Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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