Editorial - Echo Press to endorse candidates soonWith Election Day drawing nearer, readers will soon be seeing the Echo Press’ endorsement of candidates. Through the years, some readers have objected to our decision to endorse candidates. They’ve said that the newspaper has no business telling them who they should vote for. They’ve said endorsements show our “bias’ toward candidates and that the newspaper should stick only with the facts.
With Election Day drawing nearer, readers will soon be seeing the Echo Press’ endorsement of candidates.
Through the years, some readers have objected to our decision to endorse candidates. They’ve said that the newspaper has no business telling them who they should vote for. They’ve said endorsements show our “bias’ toward candidates and that the newspaper should stick only with the facts.
While we appreciate the feedback, we respectfully disagree. Through our editorials, the Echo Press addresses all kinds of topics on our Opinion page – whether we think a local government’s decision is good or bad, how what is happening at the Legislature will impact local residents, what kinds of trends or issues should be addressed that will make Douglas County a better place to live. It doesn’t make sense if the newspaper’s editorial voice suddenly falls silent come election time.
Our endorsements are simply the newspaper’s way of saying, “We’ve put some research into the candidates, weighed their arguments and qualifications, listened to candidate forums and debates, and from our point of view, here’s who we think would be the best candidate to represent the voters in our area.”
For this election, the newspaper will be endorsing candidates for the five Douglas County commissioner races, Alexandria mayor, and state legislative races. The local endorsements will be determined by the Echo Press Editorial Board, which include Publisher Jody Hanson, Editor Al Edenloff and Reporter Crystal Dey. We meet one-to-one with the candidates at the county and city level and talk with them informally to see where they stand on key local issues. We also consider the questionnaires they’ve completed for the newspaper’s Voters Guide that appears in today’s issue. We talk to knowledgeable sources to get a better understanding of how the candidates compare. Because reporting the news is our job, we have some insights about elected positions that the public simply doesn’t have the time nor opportunity to explore. Our reporters, for instance, cover local government meetings week after week and are familiar with local issues and the effectiveness of local leaders in dealing with those issues.
As a group, the editorial board discusses how an endorsement will be written and which points will be raised. Every member of the editorial board reads the endorsement and makes suggestions or revisions. Sometimes it’s a unanimous consensus; other times it’s mixed. All in all, we believe it’s an informed, fair and thoughtful process.
As a Forum Communications Company newspaper, the Echo Press will also be running endorsements from the Forum Editorial Board for higher offices as well, including Congress and the presidency. This board, too, meets with many of the candidates, considers input from other Forum newspapers, and puts significant time and research into its endorsements.
Endorsement decisions aren’t always easy. People running for office are good people who care about their community and they all should be credited for wanting to improve the lives of their constituents. That’s what our endorsements are attempting to do as well.