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Deadlines for election coverage fast approaching

The Fourth of July has come and gone, summer will soon be over and schools will be back in session.

Oh, yeah, and the Aug. 6 primary Election Day is fast approaching with some 50-plus candidates vying for 15 countywide offices that are up for grabs in Adams County.

Any necessary runoffs from the primaries will be Aug. 27, and the general election will be Nov. 5.

Deadlines for candidates and their supporters to submit campaign announcements and letters of support also are fast approaching.

Below is a reminder of some general guidelines for candidates regarding election coverage in The Democrat in the last 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.

The Democrat has already published quite a few of those but candidates wishing to do so should go ahead and get them in as time and space is running out.

We will continue publishing as many free announcements, as space will allow in the order they are received.

We will, however, observe the deadline and not publish any after July 28, which is the week before the Aug. 6 primary. With so many candidates remaining who have not yet submitted free announcements, we cannot guarantee all that are submitted with be published, so go ahead and get them in before the July 22 deadline.

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

Announcements can include biographical information, experience, qualifications and platform points, and we encourage candidates to provide a head and shoulders jpeg image of themselves for publication.

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 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@natchezdemocratcom or 601-445-3540.

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