Mayoral candidates debate next Friday night

Friday, July 2, 2010

The moderator for the Marshall County Tribune's Candidates Debate one week from tonight makes a distinction between that event on Lewisburg's public square and the forum being conducted by the Chamber of Commerce at the city's Recreation Center on Saturday.

The moderator is Barry White - an assistant district attorney for five years and a lawyer in private practice for more than two decades, whose career has been in banking since 2003 - says, "A forum is a good thing, too. This isn't that."

Candidates for county mayor who've accepted the newspaper's invitation to participate in a debate are Joe Boyd Liggett, Scottie Poarch and Mike Spence.

"We're not giving them a stump" from which to make a speech, unchallenged by a prepared moderator, says Barry White. "We're giving them a hot seat."

Candidates, however, will not be grilled, White said. They will be treated with respect and asked questions that are relevant to the office they seek.

The Marshall County Tribune's Candidates Debate starts at 6 p.m. in the Marshall County Community Theatre on the north side of the public square. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Requests for reserved seats are being taken at the newspaper office on the south side of the square.

White graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in marketing/management in 1972. After graduating from the University of Memphis Law School in 1976, he accepted a position as assistant district attorney general for Lincoln, Bedford, Moore and Marshall counties. He worked as an assistant district attorney until 1981 when he began private practice in Lewisburg.

He practiced in city, general sessions, circuit and chancery courts in counties across Middle Tennessee, and extensively in the state courts of appeal as well as the Supreme Court of Tennessee. White is a member of the state and county bar associations and has served as a member of the House of Delegates to the Tennessee Bar Association.

Among his many civic activities, White is: on the advisory board of Marshall Medical Center; a Rotarian; and has served on the board of directors of the Marshall County Child Development Center, the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall County Community Theater. He's been a "Community Helper" in the kindergarten, read to middle school children and lectured to high school civics classes.

White is a member of the Columbia State Community College Foundation and he's taught business law at the college as a part-time professor. He has served on the J.R. Moon Foundation Golf Committee since its inception. This golf tournament raises money for scholarships for Marshall County students to attend CSCC.

After 27 years of practicing law White was named Marshall County president of First Farmers and Merchants National Bank in November 2003. In 2009, he was named senior trust officer for the First Farmers Trust Department that controls over $3 billion dollars in assets. White also serves as chairman of the First Farmers Marshall County Advisory Board of Directors.