Prior to each election, the Inquirer’s Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, identifies the races where an endorsement can help readers understand where candidates stand on issues and why we think voters should support (or not support) a particular candidate.

We think all elections are important and try to cover as many as we can. In elections like the 2020 general, with many races and candidates, we have to make the hard decision to limit our endorsements to highly competitive races and local ballot questions. This means that unfortunately, we did not have the capacity to endorse in every state House race in the region.

We research the candidates' backgrounds through the work of our newsroom colleagues, as well as through our own reporting.

The Board hosts meetings with candidates running in contended races, where we ask them about their stance on the issues we think are most important to their constituents. This year, we held virtual meetings with them on Zoom. The meetings are on the record, and political reporters and editors are invited to participate, but they do not weigh in on the endorsement process.

We did not meet with the presidential and vice presidential candidates, but researched them heavily, did original reporting, and closely monitored their platforms, public statements, and debate performance.

We invite your comments on this process and our endorsements at If you’d like your comments to be considered for our letters to the editor page, please include your address and phone number (not for publication) so we can verify your identity.

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President: Joe Biden

Fundamentally, there is no common ground shared by Trump and Biden. Trump’s lack of respect for the office he holds, his disregard for the country at a time when we need sound, informed, and unifying leadership, and his contempt for the democratic principles this country was founded on, make such comparisons both futile and absurd. To contrast Trump with a candidate like Biden, who has spent his life in public service, who has gravitas as well as experience in domestic and foreign affairs, and who, frankly, has a healthy relationship with reality, would do a disservice to Biden.

Trump’s own recent COVID-19 diagnosis was the exclamation point on a president’s failure to take seriously a pandemic that has killed 210,000 of his fellow Americans.

We believe Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, have the ability to get America back on a healthy, unified track to regain the country’s strength and its standing in the world. Their priorities must be to confront the twin health and economic crises that face us and to address the social divisions and upheaval that tear the nation.

Read The Inquirer’s full endorsement of Joe Biden for president.

NJ2: Amy Kennedy

While Amy Kennedy herself has never served in elected office, her professional and personal background, and the people skills she has brought to the campaign, should serve her well in Washington. She earned a graduate degree in environmental science and says science and data must inform New Jersey’s ongoing effort to contain the coronavirus. Kennedy also supports continued federal support assistance for the small businesses in the district and beyond that have borne an enormous share of the pandemic’s economic toll. We expect that fighting the impact of climate change on the Shore and in the Pinelands will be a priority for her.

Read The Inquirer’s full endorsement of Amy Kennedy for NJ2.

NJ3: Andy Kim

Andy Kim held foreign policy-related positions in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. A 38-year-old father of two, he lives in Burlington Township, Burlington County — the bluer part of a district that extends from the Delaware River to the Atlantic. But Kim has held regular town halls throughout not only Burlington but also far more Republican Ocean County; that’s where David Richter settled after searching for a district from which to run for Congress. Kim, who has shown an ability to work with colleagues across the aisle, has a bipartisan streak and also serves on a special Congressional committee on the coronavirus, as well as on a committee focused on small businesses. Andy Kim is the right choice for the voters of this district.

Read The Inquirer’s full endorsement of Andy Kim for NJ3.

Ballot questions

We support marijuana legalization and tax breaks for veterans. Vote YES on Questions 1 and 2. But changing the constitution to automatically delay redistricting every time census data is only slightly late is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Redistricting delays are advantageous to incumbents and dilute the influence of growing communities. New Jersey voters should vote NO on Question 3.

Read The Inquirer’s full endorsements for New Jersey ballot questions.