Chamber conducting political forum Saturday

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce is holding a political forum during its Independence Day celebration at Lewisburg's Recreation Center where candidates for county and state offices may speak to area residents.

Saturday at 3 p.m. is when the forum starts in the vicinity of the picnic pavilion and where the annual contest for Little Miss Marshall County is conducted. The moderator for the chamber's political forum is the Rev. Steve Thomas, pastor of Belfast Presbyterian Church, and a Lewisburg Police chaplain.

Candidates will be asked questions that were being prepared by a committee, Chamber Executive Director Ritaanne Weaver said. Members of the committee are not identified, she said, because they requested privacy.

"The candidates won't know the questions," Weaver said. "The questions will pertain to each office.

"They read the paper and keep up with current events," the executive director said.

"We are going to steer clear of any personal background," she said. "There will be no leading questions."

Candidates running for the same office will be presented at the same general time, so the audience will be able to make a comparison or contrast on what the office seekers are saying.

Candidates for school board were scheduled to start speaking with five minutes each from 3-3:15 p.m., including the two who are running write-in campaigns.

Thereafter, candidates for the following offices will speak: commission, sheriff, county mayor, county clerk, circuit court clerk, other offices and then state House and/or Senate candidates.

Unopposed candidates will be provided time at the conclusion of the forum with competing candidates.

The chamber has been announcing in recent weeks that it's accepting calls from candidates who want to sign up for the forum. The chamber's phone number is 359-3863. The organization's leaders have encouraged candidates to "sign up, confirm your time, and get on the agenda."