The lens through which the Triad City Beat editorial department views the upcoming election is not colored by party affiliation or allegiance to individual candidates. It is focused on facts — both the ones we’ve reported and others from trusted news sources. And it will not be fogged by false equivalencies, unsourced scandals or ridiculous sideshows.

Okay, we might take a quick peek at the sideshows.

We’ve based our news coverage on races from top to bottom, executing a weekly triage on the ones we feel matter most to our readers, with emphasis on competitive races and those with unusual angles.

Our opinion coverage, a separate matter entirely, conforms to the issues that matter to us most — in no particular order: economic opportunity and shared prosperity, racial justice and Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, urban revitalization, affordable housing, education and a few others we follow throughout the year.

We are unapologetically progressive, though we find allies and enemies to our causes in all parties.

Recognizing that ours is but one voice among many, and acknowledging the wide field of political views our readers espouse, we will not be endorsing this year — except in the case of Trump. Don’t vote for Trump.

But we will be putting out a comprehensive election guide, with facts and quotes from candidates in every race that affects our coverage area of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, from the Winston-Salem City Council race all the way up to the US Senate. In this way, we give our readers the information they need to make their own choices. And when we say, for example, Gov. Pat McCrory has refused federal Medicaid funds and stood behind HB 2, while his opponent Attorney General Roy Cooper has promised increases in education spending and to repeal HB 2, the choice for party loyalists from either side is clear.

But with early voting set to begin next week, we urge our readership to join us in the ranks of the unaffiliated voters, those who place principles and people above party ideologies. Because when you’re wearing a jersey, you’ve more or less declared your vote no matter who your party puts up — problematic for many of our readers this year, particularly on the presidential ticket.

And as more of us declare our independence, our politicians will be forced to do the same.

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