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Wilson County Votes: Lebanon, Mt. Juliet plan candidate forums
Oct 09, 2012 5:00 pm
For those who find the array of candidates for the upcoming election a bit bewildering, The Lebanon Democrat and the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a candidate forum Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at Lebanon High School auditorium. All candidates from Lebanon and Watertown are invited to participate.
The forum will offer voters a chance to "meet and greet" candidates from 6-6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., the Lebanon City Council candidates will have a formal introduction time before moving into a question-and-answer session.
Rick Smith is a part of the chamber's efforts to work with the Democrat to give voters a more in-depth look at the people who want to serve them.
"I think the chamber and the Democrat had the same idea at the same time," Smith said of the two organizations joining forces. "We're working together to get it going. Right now we're still in the planning stages."
Smith said since local candidates are not on television, this is a "great opportunity" for voters to meet the candidates face to face.
With the only seat on the Lebanon Special School Board on the line, challenger Johnie Payton defeated incumbent Steve Jones by a single vote in the August primary. Jones successfully moved to have the results overturned. The forum will offer these two candidates a chance to meet voters before their November rematch. The pair will also have a meet and greet followed by a question-and-answer session.
This session will be followed by the three candidates vying to be the next mayor of Lebanon: Philip Craighead, Bob O'Brien and David Kievernagel, introducing themselves to voters before going into a debate-style format.
"We are excited to team up with the chamber on such a worthwhile and informative event," said Jared Felkins, director of content at The Lebanon Democrat. "This forum will allow voters the chance to better get to know the candidates running in the Nov. 6 election, as well as their platforms. This opportunity is one that voters should not miss in order to make an informed decision on the future of Lebanon and Watertown."
The Mt. Juliet News will play host to a forum of its own for mayoral, council and commission candidates in Mt. Juliet on Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Juliet City Hall.
The forum will allow Mt. Juliet candidates running for office the chance to answer questions on a variety of issues facing Mt. Juliet and west Wilson County.
Invited to participate are incumbent Mayor Ed Hagerty and his challengers Jamie Luffman and current District 4 city commissioner and county commissioner Jim Bradshaw. District 2 county commissioner candidates Terry Duncan and Richard Moses have also been invited, as well as city commission District 2 candidates Jonathon Brydalski and Robert MacClary. Current District 3 Commissioner Art Giles is being challenged by Britt Linville and they have been also been asked to participate.
There will be pre-set questions, as well as questions unveiled during the forum. The audience will also have an opportunity to ask questions. Mt. Juliet News Managing Editor Laurie Everett said the city of Mt. Juliet has graciously agreed to provide the venue and technical expertise in order to stream the forum live and on Channel 3.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.