A total of 34 candidates are vying for three local and three state legislative offices and with the Jan. 10 filing deadline for the May primary election in the rearview mirror, now is the perfect time to lay a few general ground rules for what we will and won’t accept in the form of election-related submissions to the opinion page.

This year local voters will decide among five candidates for mayor; 12 to fill four spots on the city commission; five Franklin County jailer candidates; four contenders for the 56th District House seat; two vying for the 57th District House seat; and six competing for the 7th District Senate seat.

While we have and will profile each candidate in every race, as has been our policy in previous election cycles, The State Journal will refrain from endorsing specific candidates because, quite frankly, we don’t think it is our business to tell readers how to vote. In fact, not plugging candidates has become the practice of nearly 70% of newspapers across the country, according to a recent Editor and Publisher survey.

We welcome readers’ letters to the editor endorsing candidates until May 12 — a week before the primary election — provided they are the original work of the author and less than 300 words (the number of words in this editorial). Form letters will not be accepted.

Letters may be emailed to letters@state-journal.com and must include a name, address and phone number for verification purposes. As with all letters to the editor, The State Journal reserves the right to edit endorsement letters for grammar and brevity.

However, endorsement letters and guest columns written by candidates, members of campaign committees and registered officers of political action committees that financially support candidates will not be published on this page between now and the election. We offer affordable advertising space for submissions from those parties.

Which candidates have secured your vote in the primary? Drop us a few lines explaining why.

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