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Candidate coverage guidelines

This year, Adams County is blessed with a bumper crop of candidates for several county offices that will be up for grabs in elections later this year.

The qualifying deadline was March 1 and 55 candidates qualified to run either as Democrats, Republicans or independents in races including sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, supervisors, constables, justice court judges, tax collector, tax assessor and coroner.

Every race, with the exception of county surveyor has more than one candidate.

Party primaries will be Aug. 6 and any necessary runoffs will be Aug. 27. The general election will be Nov. 5 and any necessary runoffs will be Nov. 26.

Below are a few general guidelines for candidates regarding election coverage in The Democrat in the months and weeks leading up to the elections.

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.

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 no more than 500 words and will be published in either Sunday or Wednesday editions, as space allows.

No announcements will be published after July 28, which is the week before the Aug. 6 primary election. The deadline to submit announcements is Monday, July 22.

Announcements can include biographical information, experience, 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 other 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 Monday, July 22.

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.

News staff will always give candidates the opportunity to speak through news stories in which they are involved. Readers who have questions for candidates are encouraged to submit them to us at newsroom@natchezdemocrat.com or by calling 601-445-3540.

Opinions

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.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com or 601-445-3540.