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Arizona Republic newspaper says it will no longer make endorsements
The Arizona Republic announced Wednesday it will no longer endorse political candidates.
The Phoenix-based newspaper made its decision public as several other editorial departments across the country have issued their endorsements for the 2020 presidential race.
But the Republic said it's learned from readers in focus groups and surveys that they do not want to be told by the newspaper how to vote, and it decided to make a "consequential change."
"They don't want their daily newspaper or news website telling them which candidates and which party should get their votes," Executive Editor Greg Burton and Editorial Page Editor Phil Boas said in a statement.
"They tell us our endorsements alienate them and blur the way they read our news stories," they added. "They don't see the sharp line we draw between our news and opinion content."
Readers have reportedly informed the newspaper that they think candidate endorsements "compromise our analysis" and are "an intrusion on the electoral process."
But the newspaper maintained that it will continue to tackle ballot initiatives in its editorial section - and cover the election.
"We will inform with perspective and opinion about the major races as they unfold and will raise red flags when we see candidates violating traditional norms," the statement said.
"This newspaper is stepping back from picking sides in candidate elections, but we won't stand down from our important role of encouraging, inspiring and leading the important discussions essential to a free society and a better community," it added.
The Republic came into the national spotlight during the last presidential cycle when, for the first time in 126 years, it endorsed a Democrat, Hillary Clinton, for president.