Labor Day is in the rear-view mirror. The Republicans and Democrats have nominated their national tickets. There is less than eight weeks to go before Election Day.
Because both national political conventions were held much later than usual the presidential race will be conducted at sprint-like speed and now that the primary results are in and filing for city and county offices is closed we expect a noticeable increase in the pace of area political races.
In the Brainerd area that usually means more and more column-inches of the Brainerd Dispatch's Commentary page are devoted to political letters. Our readers have a history of enthusiastically weighing in on city, county, state, area legislative and national races. A lively and robust discussion of candidates and the issues, we feel, can help undecided voters make a judgment before Nov. 4.
Because of the expected influx of letters, however, we do have to restrict the length of political endorsement letters. Letters endorsing candidates are limited to 50 words. (And yes, we do count the words.) If the writer encourages people to vote for or against any candidate or any ballot question the 50-word limit goes into effect. A candidate's position on an issue may be criticized or praised without the 50-word limit being imposed but when the letter writer urges them to vote one way or the other the letter must be no more than 50 words. Another word of warning is that letters that make specific charges may require research on our part and subsequently be delayed in publication.
The reason we impose a 50-word limit is because it allows us to publish many more letters than we could if we let political partisans write 300-word endorsement letters. Also, there's a lot of repetition of political talking points that probably don't need to be rehashed.
Keep those endorsement letters short and sweet - 50 words is the limit.
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