3 of 4 mayoral candidates confirmed for Republican Women forum

Published 5:18 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

Three of the four candidates for Carter County Mayor in the upcoming Primary Election have confirmed they will attend a candidate forum next week hosted by the Carter County Republican Women.

As a community service project, the Carter County Republican Women are hosting a candidate meet-and-greet as well as a forum for the mayoral candidates on Tuesday, April 24, at 6 p.m. at the Bonnie Kate Theater. The meet-and-greet is open to any candidates running for office in Carter County and will be held from 6-7 p.m.

Carter County Republican Women President Juanita McKinney said the meet-and-greet portion of the event will be informal and all of the individuals on the upcoming ballot have been invited to attend.

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“We even have a gubernatorial candidate who is coming,” McKinney said.

At 7 p.m., the mayoral candidate forum will begin.

McKinney said she spoke with all four of the candidates for Carter County Mayor personally and three of the four have already confirmed their attendance at the event. The fourth candidate has not contacted her back to let her know his decision, McKinney said.

WJHL News Anchor Josh Smith will serve as the moderator for the mayoral forum.

During the forum, the candidates will have the opportunity to give a brief opening statement and to answer multiple questions.

“The questions are going to be sequestered,” McKinney said.

The Carter County Republican Women are reviewing and vetting all the potential questions, McKinney said. Once the questions are vetted, they will be put into a pot, and a set number of them will be blind drawn and placed into an envelope, McKinney said. Once all the questions are drawn the envelope will be sealed, and Smith will open the envelope at the start of the mayoral forum.

“No one is going to know what questions are in there, not even me,” McKinney said.

Candidates will not have any advance knowledge of the questions or even the subjects covered by the questions.

“Mayors have to think on their feet and be aware of what is going on in their community,” McKinney said.

At the forum when a question is drawn the candidate will then have two minutes to answer.

McKinney said the forum will have two basic rules — adhering to the strict time limit and maintaining respect and courtesy. She said outbursts will not be tolerated and anyone who causes a disturbance will be asked to leave.

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.

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.