Daily Herald opinion: We endorse in political races to help you become more informed voters
On Sunday's Opinion page, we will begin two weeks of intensive political reflection, with endorsements of candidates in the June 28 primaries to determine each party's nomination for various offices.
We'll start with our endorsements for governor in both the Republican and Democratic primary races. You read that right: Even on the Democratic side, a member of his party is challenging incumbent J.B. Pritzker for governor.
We bet even some regular readers didn't know that.
What's more, with changes to the congressional maps still fresh, it's a good bet some voters don't know who could represent them in Washington, D.C., after November. Many of the people running for Congress have never held public office, so they're relatively unknown.
Then there are races for the U.S. Senate, state Senate and House, county board seats and more in play in the June 28 primary.
It's difficult for anyone to have detailed insights about the people who represent us, let alone those who want to. But, we take pains to study the races, and that's why we endorse as much as we can and why we'll continue to do so.
Sure, you could base your opinions of candidates on their TV ads and mailers -- both the ones in which candidates tout their ideas and accomplishments and those that tear down their opponents. You could base your thinking on whether a candidate knocked on your door.
These are powerful forces, to be sure. They're also carefully crafted one-sided messages.
And, you can do the work of visiting candidate websites, monitoring what they say or how they vote, reading news accounts of what they're up to and who is funding their campaigns, attending forums or watching our interviews with candidates on dailyherald.com, interviews with the League of Women Voters and other news sources. Hopefully, you already do some or all of these things in your candidate research. We certainly do, and that's why we think our point of view on races can be helpful as an added consideration when you go to the polls.
We view people's right to vote as a responsibility if we are to have effective representative government. And because we harp on people with great regularity to vote, we feel it is our duty to help in the research. It's a critical part of our mission.
We have access to candidates that many people don't. Yes, we publish their answers to questionnaires in an effort to extract candidates' positions on the most important matters of the day, but when they sometimes skirt the issues, we follow up with interviews to try to get real answers. We have opportunities for in-person interviews where we can ask questions that illustrate the differences among candidates so you can make informed choices.
We do not take a partisan stance in endorsements. Indeed, the kind of partisanship people usually envision isn't a factor in our endorsements in the primary. Where there are challenges within a party, we will recommend the candidate we think has the best opportunity to represent the party's objectives and carry a message into the general election that's worthy of your attention.
For both parties, we base our recommendations on a long-held set of principles that are socially moderate and fiscally conservative. We recommend candidates who we feel exhibit common sense and a desire to work with others.
For us, the process starts Sunday. We hope you'll find it helpful.