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A look inside CDN’s endorsements

In keeping with long tradition of local news weighing in on important elections

Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu sits at the table with his hands together as he gets ready to be videotaped and have his interview recorded while surrounded by CDN staff members.
Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu, left, sits down for a videotaped and recorded interview with the Cascadia Daily News editorial board, CDN staff and KMRE staff. Endorsements were decided solely by CDN's editorial board, composed of Executive Editor Ron Judd, Publisher Cynthia Pope and nonvoting advisory member Dean Wright. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By CDN Editorial Board

CDN’s editorial endorsements are in keeping with a long tradition of independent news sources weighing in on important local election choices. Here are the guiding principles of ours:

Endorsements are the decision of CDN’s editorial board, composed of Executive Editor and Opinion page editor Ron Judd, Publisher Cynthia Pope and nonvoting advisory member Dean Wright, a veteran journalist, moderator and ethics adviser. They do not reflect the opinions of reporters nor other CDN staff members or employees.

As a private, independent news source with reporters and editors engaged in daily election news, CDN chooses to make endorsements in races we believe have the greatest impact on the largest number of readers/voters. This year those are Whatcom County executive, county council at-large, county sheriff, Bellingham mayor, and the countywide sales-tax proposition to fund a new jail and other services. We regret that we cannot endorse more races, all of which are important, and we hope to do so in the future.

We also limit our endorsement choices so we can conduct more thorough reporting on the candidates or issues in question. We meet with all candidates face-to-face for an on-the-record interview of one hour or longer. We are grateful again this year for the personal participation of every candidate evaluated.

Endorsement editorials represent the consensus of our board. This year, board member Wright recused himself from any participation in the sheriff’s endorsement because of a personal affiliation with one candidate. Interviews and conversations for that race were conducted solely by other board members.

Guiding our process is CDN’s Citizens Agenda program, through which we solicit topics of interest from readers to guide our election coverage. All candidates provide answers to the top questions submitted by readers; those responses are reprinted in the CDN Voter Guide. The questions provide a starting point for our interviews with candidates, who are allowed time to extrapolate in person.

This year, those interviews were videotaped and can be viewed at

We hope CDN endorsements provide useful perspective, from an independent news source, for voter choices. We seek not to tell readers whom to vote for, but to simply share our own choices and reasoning as concerned citizens and journalists.

For questions or thoughts on our process, contact Executive Editor Ron Judd at

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