Tomorrow marks my third anniversary with the Pioneer, but this is actually my first full election season here. I was kind of here for the 2008 elections, but I missed a big chunk – including the primary portion – as I was on maternity leave. I returned in time for the general election, but I still missed quite a few of the debates.
Elections, as with budgets, are not always fun to cover – but I most often do enjoy them. Anything that breaks up weekly routines is appreciated.
Anyhow, we’ve gotten a few calls this week on how we will be covering elections and when we are going to start interviewing candidates and such. So I thought, perhaps, I could explain a bit about our process moving forward (which, by the way, could change – you just never know).
First, it’s important to note that election season started prior to filing actually opening. Some potential candidates sent notices/press releases announcing their intentions to file for office (i.e. current Councilor Ron Johnson, who is running for mayor).
We ran those press releases as we received them.
Then filing opened. (I should note at this time that filing was May 18 to June 1 only for those races that had the possibility of primaries; another round of filing will be Aug. 3-17 for those races – such as Bemidji School Board – that do not have primaries.)
Throughout the filing period, I ran notices of candidates who filed for the council, pretty much daily. Or, more accurately, whenever there was at least one new candidate.
But also during this time period, I continued to receive press releases from candidates announcing their campaigns. We ran these, too, when they were received (such as those from council candidates Jim Thompson and Rita Albrecht).
But there are plenty of candidates that we have not run press releases on – and that, simply, is because they have not submitted anything. If a candidate chooses to submit a press release, we will continue to run them. (However, we probably would just run one announcement per candidate – we don’t need weekly updates. At least not for print. Candidates are welcome to send me as much information as they want – I just may not run it in the newspaper. Might make good blog topics though…)
But, for now, no, I am not doing interviews with candidates. Of course, any candidate is always welcome to call and talk to me or set up an appointment to come in and talk, but, at this point, it would be more of a conversation for background information than a formal interview.
So those are my thoughts.
And, in case someone wants yet another list of council candidates, here you go:
– Ron Johnson
– David Lalone
– Dave Larson
– Laverne "Pedie" Pederson
– Adam Steele
Ward 2 councilor
– incumbent Roger Hellquist
– Reed Olson
– Richard Sathers
Ward 4 councilor
– Rita Albrecht
– incumbent Jerry Downs
– Linda Lemmer
– Byron Rock
– Jim Thompson