Some help for following local elections

Keeping up with local elections is important, in some ways more so than keeping up with prominent statewide or national contests. But it’s not always easy. We can help.

Early voting is under way in the April 2 municipal and school board elections. Local campaigns often are based mostly on some combination of candidate signs, mailers, social media and Web pages online, knocking on doors and, in occasional cases, candidate forums. Newspaper publicity also is a key component, and the Daily Herald provides it in at least three forms — news stories about candidate events, editorial board endorsements and candidate profiles through which the candidates communicate directly to you regarding the issues that most drive them and the approaches they would pursue if elected.

You can follow all these approaches with the Election Guide at our website, even if you missed a particular story, failed to remember whom we endorsed or just want to find out who is running and what they stand for. Here’s how:

From our website,, scroll down and click on a red-white-and-blue window titled “2☑19 Election Guide.” It will take you to our Election 2019 homepage. You can also get there by typing in the URL “”.

Here, you’ll find news reports on local campaigns, updated continually through Election Day, endorsements, political letters to the editor, candidate profiles and our election newsletter.

When you click on the “Candidate Profiles” menu item, you’ll find an alphabetical list by topic of every one of the more than 150 contested suburban library board, park board, school board and municipal races we are following. Under each topic, you’ll find links not only to the profiles candidates provided us, but also to related letters, endorsements and news stories.

More than 1,400 candidates are vying for a local office in our communities on April 2. Of course, you don’t care about every one of them, but just keeping track of a couple dozen who are running locally for school, park, library and municipal offices is challenge enough. We, of course, encourage you to chat with candidates who knock on your door, to study candidates’ websites and social media posts and to attend candidate forums. And you can add to your knowledge and the strength of your conviction through the Daily Herald’s coverage in print and online.

In general, local races are not as provocative or sensational as those for attention-getting national campaigns. There’s a good chance you’ll see more tweets, social media posts, interviews and news stories about Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. president between now and April 2 than about your local races and candidates. But it is wrong to consider them “minor.” The people we elect will make multimillion-dollar decisions affecting every aspect of daily life from the condition of our local roads to the businesses where we’ll shop, the quality of our local library and parks, the education of our children and how much each of us will pay for it all.

It is important that you give these elections careful consideration. Let our online Election Guide help.