Voters in Midland, Texas, gave a silent cheer when the Midland Reporter Telegram announced that they would no longer endorse candidates for election. But that didn't stop them from doing the things they've always done to help incumbents stay in office.
Name recognition is possibly the most important thing a politician needs for election, especially in this era of the low information voter. The U.S. Representative for Texas District 11, Mike Conaway, has told audiences that he has a person whose full time job is getting him in the news. Hopefully, that person is paid from the huge campaign contributions he gets from the industries that lobby the committees he's on and not by taxpayers. In any event, that person is doing his/her job.
And in the case of the local paper it probably wasn't necessary. See, for example, this space filler photo in a recent edition. There was no news there. The newspaper just wanted us to see the incumbent politician at the podium, and to make sure we knew who he was, they identified him by name. That's how the newspaper helps incumbents. No endorsement necessary.