County mayor candidates agree to debate on July 9

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Marshall County Tribune's candidates' debate will be held for the three men running for county mayor, but four of five candidates for sheriff declined to participate.

Told of his competitors' decision, recently retired Lewisburg Police Capt. David Ray was offered the opportunity to attend and speak for himself. Because the others wouldn't be there, perhaps he wouldn't want to debate alone.

"But," Ray replied, "I'd win."

Meanwhile, County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett and challengers Mike Spence and Scottie Poarch have said they will attend the debate scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on July 9, a Friday, in the Marshall County Community Theatre on the north side of Lewisburg's public square.

The moderator will be long-time banker Barry White, senior trust officer for First Farmers Bank. White has also been a local public figure as an announcer and civic leader. He, Tribune General Manager Jim Ward and Clint Confehr, the Tribune's senior staff writer, were meeting Tuesday afternoon to settle on the debate's format and to draft questions for the three men running for county mayor.

There are approximately 16,000 registered voters in Marshall County. Voter registration for the elections ends at 4 p.m. July 6, a Tuesday, the day after state and local government offices are closed following Independence Day, a Sunday this year.

The County Election Commission office is in the Hardison Office Annex on College Street. It's where early voting starts July 16 for the Aug. 5 county general election, the state primary and the election for members of the Chapel Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen. All of that town's incumbents are running unopposed for re-election.