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Political letters policy

So that we will be able to publish as many statements and letters as possible, The Herald has set up the following rules and guidelines for candidates, parties and supporters. They are similar to those of past campaigns.

Letters to the editors: Letters promoting candidates must be 250 words or fewer. Longer letters will be rejected. A person may write up to two letters on candidates. We will not publish more than one letter from the same person in a single issue (i.e., don’t send in two letters the week before the election).

Letters on general election issues may be as long as the usual letters limit (500 words), but may not be cloaked endorsements (that is, a writer cannot analyze an issue for 250 words and then say, “Joe Smith is the best person for handling this problem.”).

Political statements: Each candidate for contested office may submit a statement explaining his or her position. These statements will run in the pre-election issues. Statements must be no more than 300 words each. However, we will accept longer statements and position papers for publication in a special election section of our Web site.

News items: Brief news items about candidate activities, such as planned forums, visits, endorsements, etc., will be accepted. Pictures will be used if space is available.

Deadlines: Statements and political news items must reach our office by 3 p.m. on the Friday before planned publication. Letters have the deadline of Monday at 10 a.m., but the earlier they are submitted, the better the chance they have of appearing that week.

Fair play: We hope that candidates and supporters will stick to issues and not indulge in personal attacks on opponents. If letters or statements contain strong or serious charges against an opponent, we may opt to offer the opponent a chance to respond. We can reject any letter or statement we think is unfair, libelous or in poor taste. Because they would not have a chance to respond before the election, we will not publish letters critical of candidates in the Oct. 31 issue.

Pictures: Parties and candidates may submit campaign-related photos, but they will be used on a space-available basis.

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