On page 17 of today's paper you will find the first announcement of a candidate for the 2013 primary election.
Atty. Alexandra Sciandra Kokura makes it official that she is running for district magistrate. We expect she will not be the only one.
With that in mind, we believe it is important to spell out how the Sunday Dispatch handles all things political.
For starters, note that Atty. Kokura's announcement does not contain the disclaimer paid political ad. That's because it is not. The Dispatch makes space available free of charge for a candidate's announcement.
There are ground rules. With the free announcement we offer to run a one-column black and white photo. We allow the candidate to list biographical information and a comment or two about reasons for running but we do not allow any claims or comments about opponents. We also reserve the right to edit the text as we see fit.
We will publish free of charge small announcements about meetings and rallies.
All other political items will only appear as paid political ads. If a candidate holds a rally and wishes to publish a full page of photos to indicate the level of support for his or her campaign, fine. But it will be in the form of a paid ad.
Also beginning this year, we will not publish letters to the editor supporting candidates.
The Dispatch encourages letters from readers on any and all topics but reserves the right to reject letters and/or edit content. All letters must be signed and include contact information for verification purposes.