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Chamber to hold candidate forum

With less than a month before the March 3 primary, the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce has announced it will be holding a candidate’s forum next week for the Mount Airy City Board of Education, the only city-based political races with primary elections this year.

The forum will get underway at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, at the Mount Airy City Schools Central Office at 351 Riverside Drive in Mount Airy, with an anticipated conclusion around 8 p.m.

This is the first year the city school board will hold partisan races for the seats. Because two of the contested school board seats only have Republican candidates, the primary will essentially be the election for those seats.

In Board of Education District B, GOP candidates Terrell Stephens, Jayme Brant, and Don Moore Jr. will square off in a three-way race that will determine the winner of the school board seat, since there are no candidates running under any other political party banner. Incumbent Mike Marion announced in December he would not be seeking re-election to the board.

In school board District C, candidates Thomas Horton and incumbent Teresa Davis Leiva will vie for the GOP nomination. This will also essentially determine the eventual winner, with no other parties fielding candidates.

In Mount Airy District A, Republican Randy Floyd and Incumbent Democrat Phillip Thacker will each advance beyond the March primary, given that each is unopposed for the party nominations.

Wendy Carriker, who holds the Mount Airy District D seat, is running unopposed in both the primary and November general election.

Chamber President and CEO Randy Collins said all eight of the candidates have committed to taking part.

“That’s the toughest part in a candidates forum,” Collins aid. “Many of these people have a full time job, and it’s a lot ask them to come out to an event like this.”

He said the final details of how the forum will be run haven’t been worked out. Most likely it will operate similar to other forums the chamber has sponsored, with a chamber board member acting as moderator, posing questions to the candidates. Collins said the chamber is still putting together those questions, and that’s where city residents can play a role in the forum.

“As we have done in the past, we invite the public to send us questions, then we put them in a hat, so to speak, and draw them out at random. We allow every candidate to respond. We find that format seems to work for us,” he said.

He said verbal questions will not be taken from the floor on forum night. “People can submit those questions (in writing) and we’ll read them to the candidates,” he said.

While the forum gives candidates an opportunity to get their message out, Collins said the real target of the event is the voting public.

“Part of our objective here it to let people know we do have elected school boards, they do need to get to know the candidates, so they’ll know something about the individuals involved when they are faced with voting.”

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to register and RSVP at the Chamber Facebook page, @mountairychamber. Questions for the candidates will be accepted via email and drawn at random at the event. Questions may be submitted to: randy@mtairyncchamber.org.

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The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a candidate forum next week for Mount Airy Board of Education candidates, similar to the forum pictured here, held by the chamber in October.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/web1_Candidate-this-2.jpgThe Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a candidate forum next week for Mount Airy Board of Education candidates, similar to the forum pictured here, held by the chamber in October.
Event will focus on city school board hopefuls

By John Peters

jpeters@mtairynews.com

Source


Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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