Sarah Stultz: Do what you can to learn about candidates

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

As much as I sometimes dislike election season, I have to admit I do enjoy getting a firsthand peek at candidates through my job. 

During the effort to educate you, our readers, about the people vying for spots in the open local, state and federal positions — in the process we educate ourselves, as well. 

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It is insightful to not only cover the campaign events and forums, but also to see how these people are when they sit down for an interview with us. 

It’s always interesting for me to see how the candidates come to our appointments. Do they come dressed up? Do they come with notes? Do they come with staff? It’s almost guaranteed that candidates running for federal office come with their campaign managers or other staffer.

It’s also a time to learn more about their personalities, how they might interact with us as a newspaper if elected and whether they’re spouting off campaign promises or sincere in their remarks. 

Due to the outcomes of these one-on-one interviews, I’ve found myself often over the years voting all across the board politically when it comes time for Election Day.

If I don’t think the person was sincere or if he or she wasn’t respectful, that can sometimes be enough to be a deal breaker for me. Another important characteristic for me for candidates is their abilities to work with others, which is usually clear by the end of the interview.

I know everyone may not have the opportunity to meet all of the candidates firsthand to find out more about them as people, but I encourage you to find out all you can about them from other sources in the next few weeks so that when you go to vote, you are confident in your decisions and knowledgeable about what the candidates stand for. 

This week, we’ve been lucky to have forums sponsored by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce for all of the city, county and school board races. These provide a good opportunity to learn more about where the candidates stand but also about their demeanors.

On Monday were the candidates for county board, sheriff and state Legislature, while on Tuesday were the candidates for school board.

The last forum starts  at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will feature the Albert Lea City Council and mayor candidates.

While it’s a lot of information being shared, we’ve tried to have myself or reporter Alex Guerrero at all of the forums, and you can expect stories about all of the races. 

Election Day is about three weeks away, and voting is already underway. 

Do what you can to make an educated decision and take your right to vote seriously. 

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.