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Posted on Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Coming next Sunday: candidate endorsements for Election 2012

By Paula Gardner is coming into the Nov. 6 election with a body of work that includes news stories, reports of candidate forums, an online voter guide and access to both print and online letters to the editor.

Our next step comes on Oct. 28 when we offer readers our guidance to the general election.

That’s when we plan to offer endorsements in several top-level races that will be on our readers’ ballots: President, U.S. Senate, 12th District of U.S. Congress, and 52nd District State House of Representatives.

We’ll also be offering recommendations in other races, including Ann Arbor mayor, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, and a selection of ballot issues.

This comes as we’re redefining’s editorial voice.

As launched publication in summer 2009, the decision was made to institutionalize the community’s voice on our editorial page. We set up an editorial board that met regularly and debated local issues before we presented a weekly opinion on the topic.

We’ve been grateful to the people who have served on the editorial board and valued their insight. Having those specific community connections was important to a new publication.

Both Executive Vice President Laurel Champion and I are committed to retaining a community voice on this page. However, we’re also ready to veer from the external editorial board format to a more traditional publication’s editorial board: We’ll be evaluating community issues internally as we offer our opinion as

The reason is that, as we look around our newsroom, we believe we have a depth of connection here that allows us to evaluate issues and, when appropriate, weigh in with the opinion.

Laurel and I will lead this effort for the election season and beyond, and we’ll be pulling in other staff, including entertainment editor Bob Needham- a former editorial page editor at the Ann Arbor News. I’ll also continue to offer my own opinion via both columns the Rise & Fall opinion features.

We also hope to cultivate additional guest columnists who can add important voices to this page, and create new ways to involve key community leaders into shaping public opinion - and to give us feedback.

What you’ll see on next Sunday’s editorial page will be traditional newspaper-style endorsements: We’ll be conducting interviews with the candidates and offering our opinion on who deserves your vote.

We’ll also make recommendations in the other key races that we believe we have a way to distinguish one candidate (or ballot initiative decision) above the other due to our reporting of the issues.

Keeping an editorial voice at this publication is important, and we know that the election season is not the time to try something new.

But we also believe that returning to this traditional endorsement format will be valuable for readers. We also look forward to a coming year of creating an editorial page that reflects and influences public opinion.

Paula Gardner is Community News Director at Reach her by email; follow her on Twitter.


chris crawley

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Just watch, and let us hope they look at the candidates and what they think and how respected they are in the community.

The Secret Team

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 4:28 a.m. should endorse Michael Woodyard for 22nd Circuit Court Judge over the incumbent Timothy Connors. Michael Woodyard has served the community as a member of the Criminal Justice Collaborative Council and many other activities.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

Will you bother to ask any of the federal canidates about their position on baseline budgeting and its effect on the $16.3 trillion deficite?

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

I have always found the premise that a newspaper (or a current events blog like this) should endorse any candidate to be bogus. The thought that anybody would care who you endorse is rather silly as well.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

politicians care. when the fuller train station was being discussed the other week at city hall... the HRWC made no statement towards, and the Sierra Club spoke against it. but, the ecology center spoke in favor of the train station on park land. so... what did the mayor do.... he read the endorsement. so, politicians ignore endorsements when they don't go in their favor and they brag about it when they do go in their favor.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

It's quite common for newspapers to give endorsements. can give theirs as well. My only concern is.... and it was echoed on an earlier comment... is that I hope the decision is not based on conflicts of interest. Here's an example.... you endorse so-and-so, and as a result they'll provide you with other benefits. I hope you're able to think things through a clear lens, and to not be pressured to vote one way or the other based on how that might help you politically in the future.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

So will be sitting out the Presidential election, just like the Ann Arbor News did in 2008?

The Secret Team

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

Remember when the Ann Arbor News endorsed Bush in 20004 and many readers responded by canceling their subscriptions.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.



Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Better not ... this is not a real newspaper with a politically experienced editorial board; rather it is a business operation that favors the bottom line over quality content. How many people are making these decisions, and who are they? How neutral are they, and how connected with power centers in town? Do all of them actually live in Ann Arbor? It would be good to know before the "pretense of serious news organization" endorsements arrive.

Tom Todd

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

hey if Kim K or faux news says it's great, well are we sold on it. People Make Your Own CHOICE.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Paula how about a contest this week to see who can best predict's choices? The contest could be modeled after the Oscars predictions people make. My two locks would be that will advocate no on Prop. 5 (everyone except for a crazy few are against it) and no on Prop. 2. This paper isn't exactly a fan of organized labor. As for the prize, the winner could get a year's worth of uncensored comments. :-)

Paula Gardner

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Love it!

kindred spirit

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

I second that idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

This should be interesting.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Bet they'll all be Democrats.


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

or the most liberal.....


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Karen I take it you've never read this paper? Or the predecessor, Ann Arbor News?