Election season will soon be upon us all

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Now that the last of spring’s flowers have come and gone, another type of bloom has begun to pop up in the Miss-Lou landscape. Campaign signs, both big and small, have been sighted in nearly every corner of the county.

Believe it or not, Mississippi residents are less than 90 days away from the Aug. 4 primary election. Voters will be asked to vote for sheriff, county supervisors, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, coroner, constable and tax assessor, as well as a number of statewide offices, including for state senators and reprenstatives.

In the coming weeks, readers of The Natchez Democrat will also see a shift in news coverage. More stories about the issues residents’ care about this election season and how each candidate plans to address them will be published in the pages of the newspaper.

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As always, candidates have the opportunity to buy paid political advertisements to tell their story and share their vision with readers in print and online.

Besides paid advertisements, candidates have other opportunities to reach voters.

Here is a refresher on The Democrat’s election policies.

Candidate announcements

Every candidate can submit a political announcement and photo to introduce himself or herself to the community. We will publish one announcement per candidate for free.

Announcements must be 300 words or less and will be published primarily on Page 2A in the Sunday editions, as space allows. If necessary, some announcements may run on 2A on Wednesdays.

No announcements will be published the week of the Aug. 4 primary election, which means the deadline to submit announcements is Friday, July 17.

An announcement can include biographical information, experience and qualifications and platform points.

Announcements may be edited for style, clarity, grammar and length.

Letters to the editor

Readers, including friends and family of the candidates, are invited to write letters to the editor about the upcoming race, as long as those letters follow our one rule: Be nice.

We will publish letters in favor of one specific candidate, but will not publish letters that bash candidates.

We will only publish letters containing provable facts and character opinions — not speculations or untruths.

We will not publish letters from the candidates themselves.

No election letters will be published the week of the election, so the deadline for any election-related letters is Friday, July 17.

Top of the Mornings and
other columns

Candidates will not be allowed to write Top of the Mornings, guest columns or letters to the editor on any topic during the election season. The election season is defined as the period from the day after the qualifying deadline to the day after any runoff elections.

News stories

Reporters will work to provide voters with as much information as they can about each candidate, but will present only facts, not opinions.

Our reporters will begin soon publishing news stories profiling each candidate, discussing why they are running and asking where they stand on pertinent issues.

Our news staff will always give candidates the opportunity to speak through news stories they are involved in. Readers who have questions for candidates are encouraged to submit them to us at newsroom@natchezdemocrat.com or by calling 601-445-3551.


Toward the end of July, the newspaper’s editorial board will conduct in-depth interviews with every willing candidate in the major contested races. After giving every candidate a chance to explain their goals and answer the board’s questions, the editorial board will make endorsements in the races on the Opinion page of the newspaper.

If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact me or Jan Griffey.

Ben Hillyer is the design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by email at ben.hillyer@natchezdemocrat.com.