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Local opinion columnists

Election season brings crush of campaign letters

By From page A8 | May 11, 2014

Signs are popping up everywhere in and around town. Fliers are hitting the mailboxes. Candidates are walking precincts. Sample ballots and vote-by-mail ballots are out.

It’s election time.

We have already published numerous news articles related to the June 3 primary elections, several letters to the editor about one race or another, and as of now, two editorial endorsements. We typically get inundated with election-related letters to the editor, which is a good thing but poses some logistical challenges.

Those challenges increase as an election draws near.

It’s policy at the Daily Republic to publish as many of the letters we receive as possible, so long as they can be properly verified in a timely manner and are suitable for publication. We cease publication of campaign-related letters to the editor the week prior to an election.

Here’s how it will work this month:

We will accept election-related letters to the editor through noon Tuesday, May 27 – one week before Election Day. All election-related letters that can be quickly verified for authenticity will be published either in the print edition or online by Friday, May 30. Those that cannot be verified by that date will not be published.

The primary takeaway here is to not wait until the last minute if you wish to write a letter to the editor to support or reject a particular candidate. The secondary takeaway here is that if you do submit an election-related letter and you get a message from a Daily Republic employee who seeks to verify that the letter is yours, get back to that person quickly.

Walking precincts

Jill and I live near Solano Community College. Thus far our street has seen representatives for two campaigns stop by to make their respective cases – both in the 3rd District Board of Supervisors race.

First, former Fairfield City Councilman Chuck Timm came by in support of Jim Spering’s re-election campaign. Saturday it was Fairfield Councilwoman Pam Bertani making the rounds in her quest to unseat Spering. Should we expect to see Michael Oman – or a supporter of his – next weekend?

Hot contests

I’m keeping a close eye on the Solano County district attorney race. I was somewhat surprised when prosecutor Krishna Abrams filed paperwork to challenge her boss, incumbent Don du Bain. It was a good surprise: I believe incumbents should be challenged in each election, preferably by quality candidates. That’s certainly the case in this contest.

The same is true in races for the 3rd and 4th District seats on the Board of Supervisors. Spering faces two challengers in the 3rd District, while incumbent John Vasquez faces three challengers in the 4th District. Both races will likely see runoffs in November, whereas the district attorney contest will be settled in June.

Yes, challengers must overcome the incumbent advantage. In some cases, that’s a tall order. In others, circumstances come together in such a way that incumbency can become a liability, thereby giving an advantage to the challenger.

A bit of that is showing itself in all three of these races.

Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid fan of the NFL's Washington team, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He's a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club and a board member for the Solano County Library Foundation. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.

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