The Independent’s primary election coverage moves online in 2020, as our small staff struggles to keep up with the news—from constant coronavirus updates to graduation, fires, and everything in between.
In past years, our habit has always been to interview the candidates, and report that in print. This year, we simply haven’t had time to do that.
What we’re doing instead is turning to the electronic apps and platforms that are in use in businesses and town halls around the state, livestreaming (when it works) a Zoom forum for candidates onto our Facebook and YouTube pages.
As the editor of this newspaper, I feel this is a poor substitute for the in-person forums we have hosted, and our regular election coverage. I have had to concede that we couldn’t do everything I thought we needed to do as the primary election date nears.
We have hosted an online forum for legislative candidates in House District 50 and Senate District 19. A video of that forum is available on The Independent’s Facebook page, facebook.com/news.ind.llc.
On May 27, we hosted a forum for the Torrance County Commission District 3 race. There are six candidates, three Democrats and three Republicans, running for the position, including the incumbent.
After a failed attempt at this forum Monday, we broke the six into two groups, one for each party. A video of two of the three Democratic Party candidates is available on The Independent’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
We had technical difficulties with the Republican forum, but are going to try again May 29 and through the weekend. We’ll be inviting Republicans to that one, plus the one Democrat who had to work when our forum aired.
There are also races in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties that deserve our attention. We have one forum scheduled for Bernalillo County candidates and hope to do one for Santa Fe County as well.
In the end, The Independent is a small, family-owned business, and the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in has heavily impacted us, just as it has most small business. As much as I hate to admit we might not be able to cover all of the races in our area, that might be the case.
We will work from now until Tuesday to bring you as much information as we can about the candidates in our area, which you will find online at our website, edgewood.news, along with our social media. Look for us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
We will also be bringing you primary election coverage June 2.
Finally, the changes in the way we are handling the primary election this year in no way represent a shift in our position that voting is a privilege, a right and our civic duty. We hold all forms of civic engagement in the highest esteem, and encourage you to vote—whether you do that by mail or in person. Go vote. Su voto es su voz, and it matters.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.