The election season is upon us. While presidential candidates have been running for the last couple of years, it's finally time for local candidates to file for all those other offices - legislative seats, county commissioners and city councils.
This Tuesday at 8 a.m. the filing period opens for the 2012 State General election, and for cities and school districts with primaries. It closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. The filing period for school district and cities without primaries, and for townships with November elections, comes later, July 31 to Aug. 14.
This is an exciting and important time for the citizens of the state, and we in the news business want to help our readers be as informed and prepared for the election as possible. There is no higher purpose for a newspaper than covering campaigns and elections.
We will be starting our local coverage in the next couple of weeks as the candidates start to file. During the filing period we want to introduce the candidates to the public as they file, giving people brief profiles of the candidates. Once the filing period has closed we will begin working on lengthier, in depth features and profiles.
I would ask anyone who is planning file as a candidate for local office to help us make that introduction.
When you file, please contact The Journal. It seems like such an obvious thing to do that we shouldn't have to ask, but every election year we have people who go to the city or county clerk's office to file for a post, then go home, or go back to work, or go out of town. We call the local government offices daily to see who filed, and sometimes we have trouble tracking down a candidate down to find out a little bit about them.
Be ready to provide a short profile. We will want to know basic information: a candidate's name, address and age, where they work, educational background and work experience, community involvement, previous public service or elected offices held, and the like. We will want telephone numbers and other contact information, like e-mail addresses. And we will want a photo, a good head shot, of the candidate. If the candidate doesn't have one, we can always take it.
We will also want a short statement from the candidate on why they want to run for the office. It doesn't need to be lengthy; there will be time for that later.