Lakes area election officials and candidates for various levels of elected office aren’t the only people who are extremely busy these days. With over 30 contested races impacting the lakes area and several local and regional questions appearing on west Oakland ballots next month, our News Department is a very hectic environment these days, considering the large number of candidate questionnaire responses that are flowing in, face-to-face interviews with the candidates in some select races, and meetings with representatives of public safety departments and other institutions with questions on the primary ballot. However, that’s the nature of things during election years. With the Aug. 7 primary election less than three weeks away, we want to inform readers about our online election coverage, plans for publishing endorsements, guidelines on letters to the editor involving primary candidates and ballot issues, and our primary election night coverage.
Beginning today, we’re uploading candidate questionnaire responses and interview transcripts on our website, www.spinalcolumnonline.com. There you’ll find an election coverage banner link. Click on it to find a list of races we are covering for the primary election. Clicking on a race link will take you to a list of candidates vying for their party’s nomination or a judicial seat. Each candidate’s page will include a photo, biographical information, and the candidate’s responses to our questions.
With so many contested races (some with up to 15 candidates) and over a dozen local and regional ballot questions to be decided by voters in the county’s west end, we’ll be publishing our endorsements in two waves — first on Wednesday, July 25, and then on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The endorsements will also be posted on our website following publication in print.
As has been our practice for many years, we will begin to cut off the publication of letters to the editor for our Mail Bag section beginning on Wednesday, July 25. While we’re happy to publish letters advocating for a particular candidate or ballot question’s approval on Wednesday, Aug. 1, our July 25 edition will be the last that we will publish letters taking a candidate or ballot question to task — that way we have another week to allow for responses or to investigate and report on any legitimate charges leveled in a critical July 25 letter. So, if you’re looking to throw a candidate or ballot question under the bus, submit your letter no later than noon on Friday, July 20 for July 25 publication.
Finally, the Spinal Column Newsweekly’s news staff will be working through the night of Tuesday, Aug. 7 and into the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 8 to bring you unofficial primary election results, some analysis, and comments from the candidates on our website. We won’t be able to hold the presses to include election coverage in our Aug. 8 print edition, so visit the website frequently on primary election night and again on the morning of Aug. 8 for complete west Oakland election coverage.