How The Gazette will support the 2021 local election candidates in Iowa

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The Gazette Editorial Board includes over 50 local candidates in our electoral process

(Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Four Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates will answer questions at The Gazette’s mayors’ forum tonight. Readers can register to ask questions and watch the live stream at TheGazette.com/crmayor.

The forum is only part of the newspaper’s coverage of the 2021 election in news and opinion. Over the next few weeks, The Gazette’s editorial board will be making endorsements in several local races and leading a guest columnist among the nominees.

Endorsements are not meant to influence results, but rather to give readers perspective and let applicants know about important issues. This is especially important in local competitions where there is not a lot of information available about each candidate.

Our mentions and editorials have no influence on The Gazette reporting.

With only about a month between the filing deadline and the start of early voting, it is not possible for us to meet all of the candidates on the ballots in Linn and Johnson counties. We have limited our support to races where we think we have something to contribute: Cedar Rapids Mayor and City Council, Iowa City Council, Marion City Council, and Cedar Rapids School Board.

As part of the process, we invited over 20 applicants to meet with the Editorial Board. This week and next, we are hosting virtual meetings with them individually to discuss the issues and their vision for the community.

Our approvals will be the consensus view of four members of the Editorial Board: Editor Zack Kucharski, Opinion Writer Todd Dorman, Head of Branding Quinn Pettifer and Columnist Adam Sullivan. We tend to favor candidates whose views match our stated positions on topics relevant to their position.

It is important that readers understand that our mentions and editorials do not influence the reporting of The Gazette. Our colleagues in the news section sometimes attend the meetings with the candidates, but they do not participate in our deliberations and likewise our opinion writers do not direct the news coverage.

In addition to endorsements, we ask over 50 applicants at the local office to write guest columns and fill out questionnaires. This includes candidates for municipal offices in Hiawatha, Coralville and North Liberty, and school board seats in Linn-Mar, Marion Independent and Clear Creek Amana. Elections in small jurisdictions are just as important as any other, but we don’t have the time or the local expertise to make informed assessments of the candidates.

We also invite community members to make their own approvals. Letters to the editor of up to 250 words in favor of local applicants can be sent to é[email protected]

(319) 398-8262; [email protected]


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