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How we'll handle letters from Bruchey and others

April 07, 2005

With Hagerstown's May 17 general election fast approaching, it is time to tell readers about two things - our policy for election-related letters and our decision on how to handle statements by Robert Bruchey, a Republican write-in candidate for mayor.

· The last day we will run letters supporting one candidate or another is Sunday, May 15.

On Monday, May 16, the only election-related letters we will run will be of the "get out the vote" variety. No election-related letters will run on Election Day.

No letters making charges that have not been investigated or previously reported will be printed until their claims are probed.

If you are considering writing a letter, we recommend that you do it now. There is only so much space available and when it is filled up, letters arriving after that point will have to be returned.

Preference will be given to candidates who write, to city residents writing about the city election and to those who have not written repeatedly.

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· One special request: If you are related to the candidate, by blood or through some business or civic club connection, please disclose that in your letter.

If you don't, the people who know about the relationship will wonder why you didn't reveal it. They may even conclude that you and the candidate are somehow trying to fool the voters.

· As for statements from former Mayor Bruchey, The Herald-Mail has a long-standing policy of submitting questions only to those candidates who make it through the primaries.

The voters have spoken and Bruchey was not victorious.

However, Bruchey has expressed an interest in answering questions - in letters to the editor - that we have posed to mayoral candidates Richard Trump and William Breichner.

Here's what we have decided: Bruchey will get to answer those questions in letters that will run on this page.

However, because Bruchey will have the advantage of seeing the answers given by Trump and Breichner before he writes, we are holding him to the same 150-word limit we have given those two. Bruchey's first answer, on the hospital issue, will appear Friday.

· One final thought: We hope city residents appreciate all of the hard work that the many candidates for city office are putting into their campaigns. Please consider rewarding that effort by studying their platforms and voting on May 17.

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