False flier: The PG did not endorse Councilwoman Smith

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Campaign fliers being distributed by city Councilwoman Theresa Smith in her bid to be renominated in Tuesday's primary have left a bad taste in our mouths here on the Post-Gazette Editorial Board.

Endorsing political candidates is a long-standing newspaper service, a tradition that we wholeheartedly and enthusiastically embrace. That's why every spring and fall as election days approach, we meet with as many candidates as possible and research their backgrounds and positions.

In the case of Ms. Smith, we had the opportunity to interview her and two challengers in advance of a Feb. 3 special election in which she won the District 2 seat on council, filling out the term previously held by state Rep. Dan Deasy. At the time we said the district would be better served by challenger Georgia Blotzer of Mount Washington, and we gave her our endorsement.

Nonetheless, after voters chose Ms. Smith, we published a congratulatory message welcoming her to council and wishing her well in the tasks ahead. It is that editorial that Ms. Smith has reproduced on campaign material, under the headline: "Endorsed Democrat for City Council." It is true that she was backed by the local party committee, but the reprinting of our editorial below it suggests to many that she was endorsed by the newspaper.

So we'll reiterate. The Post-Gazette endorses Georgia Blotzer for City Council because we believe she is the strongest candidate for District 2 Democrats and would best serve the city as a whole.


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