Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

March 24, 2014

It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

TAHLEQUAH — If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

The offices with which we’re most concerned are those with a direct impact on Cherokee County: State Senate District 18; State Representative Districts 4, 14 and 86; U.S. House District 2; U.S. Senate; and district attorney and county offices, including commissioner seats No. 1 and 3, assessor, treasurer, district attorney, district judge and associate district judge for Cherokee County. There are other state-level offices up for grabs, including governor, but we typically get this information from the Associated Press rather than publish individual announcements.

For many years now, the Press has asked candidates to submit announcements for publication by the final day of the filing period. It’s a short fuse, but not an unreasonable one, because most office-seekers know their intentions before the filing period even opens, and have been campaigning for some time. We also believe it’s justified by the fact that we’ve traditionally allowed each candidate something most papers don’t: a bit of space on the front page to explain his or her qualifications for office.

The filing period for offices is Wednesday, April 9, through Friday, April 11. Candidates who wish to run one free announcement on the front page of our newspaper have until 5 p.m. April 11 to submit material to us, either by dropping it by our office at 106 W. Second, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, or by emailing it to news@tahlequahdailypress.com. An emailed announcement should be followed up by a phone call to our copy editor, Sheri Gourd, to ensure we received it. An emailed announcement can be accompanied by JPEG (.jpg) photograph of the candidate; photos should also be included with drop-in announcements, which must be typed and double-spaced.

Candidates should include biographical information, such as family and employment history, education, organizational memberships, awards, and qualifications for office. We reserve the right to edit for clarity, grammar, potentially libelous content and to meet space limitations. To be fair, under no circumstances will a member of the Press staff compile a candidate’s announcement for him or her; it must be presented in the form of a press release. We will take photos with appointments, if needed.

It’s especially important to note that if a person has announced his or her candidacy in another publication, it is “old news,” and therefore has no place on the front page. Also, if for some reason a candidate does not turn in his announcement by deadline, we may be able to print it on an “inside page,” though we make no guarantees. But in any case, no announcements received after Friday, April 18 will be published free of charge. These, too, constitute “old news,” because we will have already published the list of candidates by this time. Although we do try to honor requests for announcement publication on certain dates, we do not promise a specific date until we have the announcement in hand. To give each candidate the best spotlight, we only one publish one announcement per edition (even if they involve different offices), and we do this on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for placements must be made through the managing editor after announcements are submitted.

By the way, candidates who are serious about serving the public should know advertising pays off. Those who advertise in newspapers, even in modest amounts, historically fare better at the polls than their counterparts who do no advertising. There’s plenty of time between now and the election to get the word out. Call our advertising department and they’ll set you up with an account executive.

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