Our Opinion: Endorsement recap for Election Day

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A hotly contested Pittsfield mayoral campaign between incumbent Linda Tyer and challenger Melissa Mazzeo comes to an end today when Pittsfield voters go to the polls. The Eagle has endorsed Linda Tyer for re-election to another four-year term ("Linda Tyer for Pittsfield mayor," Oct. 31).

The contest went right to the bitter end, specifically with a flyer sent to Pittsfield households by the Mazzeo campaign over the weekend. The focus of the flyer is on crime, perhaps the key issue of the Mazzeo campaign, and the candidate can certainly spin crime statistics in whichever way she chooses in a political ad. Voters should view any campaign ad with skepticism regardless of what candidate is behind it.

Political ads too often cross a line by using scare tactics to frighten voters, and the Mazzeo flyer crossed this line by featuring a photo of four helmeted police officers invading a house with a caption declaring, "This is what Pittsfield has become." The implication appears to be that Pittsfield has become a place in which teams of police routinely break into homes in pursuit of criminals, which is not defensible. It should be noted that the photo was not taken in Pittsfield. The photo, which ran in The Economist, was taken Georgia in July 2015 and is of a botched SWAT team raid in which a 19-month-old child was injured.

While the mayoral race has dominated the campaign there are races for School Committee and City Council to be decided. The City Council under Pittsfield's charter is a powerful legislative body whose impact in Pittsfield is considerable.

Eight candidates are seeking four at-large seats on the Council. The Eagle has endorsed three incumbents, Peter Marchetti, Peter White and Earl Persip III, along with Jay Hamling, the latter one of three promising young contenders for the City Council ("Endorsements for councilor at-large," Nov. 3).

There are races in five of the city's seven wards. The Eagle endorses incumbent Helen Moon in Ward 1, challenger Michael Merriam in Ward 4, former City Councilor Jonathan Lothrop in the race for the open seat in Ward 5, Dina Guiel Lampiasi in Ward 6, which also has a vacant seat, and Anthony Maffuccio for the open seat in Ward 7 ("Ward endorsements for election to the Pittsfield City Council," Nov. 2).

In North Adams, The Eagle endorses incumbent Thomas Bernard, who is opposed by Rachel Branch, for re-election as mayor.

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