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Signs show political season is in full swing

Fall is officially here. All the telltale signs of the season are on full-display.

Sure, the cool weather is the first clue. Countless pumpkins decorating porches and homes help set the mood. The leaves create a kaleidoscopic display of reds, yellows and oranges.

But those things aren’t the dead giveaway. Nope, that would be the eclectic collection of political signs that line the streets of Ironton and Lawrence County.

Want proof that it is fall? Just drive down any street or rural road and you will see dozens of candidates clamoring for the voters’ support.

Now is when citizens need to start doing their homework and asking questions of candidates. Finding the right person to fill these positions is vitally important.

Careful examination of political advertisements is a great start. Plus, voters should keep their eyes open for all the news coverage that will surround these races in upcoming weeks.

With that in mind, The Ironton Tribune is working on its 2007 election guide that will publish the last Sunday of October. We have sent every political candidate a brief questionnaire seeking basic biographical information and asking a few general questions about what makes him or her the best person for the job.

All candidates should have received these letters by now and have until Oct. 17 to return these to our office in order to be included in this section.

This information will be provided to the community as a free public service. Every candidate has also been given the opportunity to include paid advertising as well.

Readers will also continue to see a variety of Letters to the Editor supporting or opposing various candidates or ballot initiatives.

Though we published letters earlier in the year while the election was still months away, we will no longer accept letters from candidates themselves. This policy is designed to maintain fairness and ensure that every candidate is on a level playing field since it would be impossible to provide equal space to the more than 140 people seeking office in this county.

We will publish letters from citizens as long as certain guidelines are met. The letters must be based on opinions rather than facts that are difficult or impossible to verify.

Plus, all endorsement or politically focused letters must be received by Friday, Oct. 19, an extension from the published deadline set in late September.

This will allow us enough time to get all the letters published well before the election.

Every election is important and should never be taken for granted. The democratic system our nation was built upon demands that elections are fair and just.

Voters should do their homework now before they visit the polls.

The decisions made this fall will have impact for many seasons to come.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.