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Letters to the Editor can help, or hurt, your candidate


A Column by the Editor
web posted April 7, 2008
COLUMN – As the races for the County Council primaries get underway I wanted to encourage readers to make their voices heard by sending in letters to the editor. Though EdgefieldDaily.com will not endorse a local candidate for office - readers are free to state why they feel one candidate is a better choice than another candidate is. More importantly, nowhere in Edgefield County can your opinions be read by more people than on EdgefieldDaily.com.

I would also like to offer some tips on the do’s and don’ts of letters to the editor.

Always try to be positive. This will place your candidate in the best possible light and make him or her more appealing to the voting public. Though there may be true negatives about an opposing candidate that may need to be mentioned, try to do so in a respectable manner. Remember, when you express yourself for your candidate of choice you also represent that candidate as a supporter.

If people view your letter in a bad light that may rub off on your candidate even though the candidate has no control over what you say. Mudslinging may be effective in certain instances, but when the mud starts to fly it can go both ways. Try to avoid this at all costs.

Be specific. Do not write that you like a candidate and leave it at that. List the qualities you find attractive in the candidate and explain why they are important to you. Explain what these qualities can bring to your district and the county as a whole.

In a crowded race, such as District One with five candidates seeking the seat, avoid mentioning other challengers. This gets back to the “be specific” suggestion. Mentioning too many names may confuse the reader and sway a voter to another candidate that you do not support.

In addition, you do not have to write a letter supporting any particular candidate and may choose to tell why an incumbent should not be returned to office. That is completely acceptable. Perhaps you have a problem with the process. You are welcome to explain that as well.

With a historic election underway where four of five seats could be overturned, it is important that voters be exposed to as much information about the candidates as possible. The best way to do that is by writing a letter to the editor.

Do not take this as a template for letters to the editor. It is not inteded to be one. Readers are free to express themselves in any manner they choose. These are just suggestions.

Be advised that letters to the editor must contain your name, address, and phone number for verification and only your name and area will be published. Also be advised that EdgefieldDaily.com does not edit letters or correct spelling.

Above all, be sure to register to vote if you have not done so. Remember, if you do not vote you do not have a say in how things are done in our county.


 




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Parting Shots
A new book by Columnist Carl Langley

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NOTICE:
We still need recipes for Cooking Section

WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.