Candidate Deadline Is Sept. 15 For Front Page Announcement

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Herald, as the headline hints in suggestive fashion, has a deadline of September 15 for candidates running for local elected office to submit information about their candidacy to our news department.

This is no arbitrary, dictatorial deadline meant to burden candidates or keep information from the public. We will, of course, report the complete slate of candidates on the ballots of Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward in our pre-election coverage. And the ad department is eager to assist right up until Election Day. But for candidates to have an individual, separate front-page announcement will require them to meet the September 15 deadline. Miss that deadline and we’ll connect you with the ad department. If you meet the deadline, of course, we’ll still be happy to hook you up with our crack advertising staff.

Please understand that we have no choice but to establish this deadline to be as fair and transparent as possible, making it clear to all that the news department is not manipulating announcement stories to affect any election.

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The truth is that a few candidates in past elections forced this deadline on all of us—The Herald and candidates. From time to time over the years, one or two candidates would wait until a week or so before the election to come to us with the “announcement” of their candidacy. Quite savvy of them, though quite devious, as well. They were simply timing this so-called “announcement” until the last moment to gain an advantage over their rival(s)—who had announced their candidacy months earlier—by getting their picture and name on the front page just before Election Day. It drove us crazy but we felt we had to publish the so-called “announcement” because there had been no stated deadline.

In truth, these last-minute “announcers” had also been running for months and had also qualified to have their name appear on the ballot months ago, as required by law. They had been active candidates, campaigning for election or reelection, since spring or summer. The whole thing felt like a couple announcing from the balcony of their honeymoon suite on the morning after their wedding night that they were engaged to be married.

The September 15 deadline circumvents all such shenanigans and is fair to everyone, especially those who have already come to us with their information and photo and had their genuine announcement on the front page. The date gives us plenty of time to fairly announce the candidates’ engagement—as a prospective supervisor, school board member or supervisor—to the voters of their locality.

The voters, of course, will decide on Election Day whether to consummate the marriage, or indeed, if there will even be a marriage.

And so, candidates, you are on the clock.