Republican Women to host candidate forum for mayoral hopefuls

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018

As a way to help local residents make informed decisions when they head to the polls in the upcoming election, the Carter County Republican Women will be hosting a candidate forum and meet-and-greet session later this month.

The event will take place on April 24 beginning at 6 p.m. at the historic Bonnie Kate Theater in downtown Elizabethton. From 6-7 p.m. attendees will have the opportunity to mingle and speak with candidates seeking offices in the upcoming County Primary Election on May 1. At 7 p.m., the group will host a candidate forum featuring the candidates for Carter County Mayor.

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Juanita McKinney, president of the Carter County Republican Women, said the organization decided to host the meet-and-greet and candidate forum as a way of serving the community and to allow voters to hear from the candidates.

WJHL News Anchor Josh Smith will serve as the moderator for the candidate forum, McKinney said.

During the forum, the candidates for Mayor will be allowed to introduce themselves and briefly discuss their experience and goals before the question and answer session begins.

“We will have some questions, and nobody will know what they are ahead of time so we can see them think on their feet,” McKinney said.

The candidate instructions and answers will be strictly timed to ensure everyone has the same chance to speak, according to McKinney.

The event organizers will be selecting the questions for the forum in advance. “We are looking at questions that have been asked across the country but that are pertinent and relevant to our local issues,” McKinney said.

Questions from the audience will not be permitted during the forum because those attending will have a chance to speak with the candidates both before and after the forum, McKinney said.

In addition to helping voters learn more about the candidates, McKinney said the Carter County Republican Women hope the event also encourages more people to become involved in their community by voting.

“Everbody’s vote is equal and counts,” McKinney said, voting is one of the most important rights a citizen has.

The Carter County Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, May 1. Early voting begins on April 11 and will run Monday through Saturday until April 26.

The Carter County Republican Women are currently looking for new members to become involved in the organization. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month at noon at Beef O’Brady’s in Elizabethton. Those interested in finding out more about the organization or joining are invited to come by one of the monthly luncheons.

“If you want to come out and get involved, we would love to have you,” McKinney said.