Candidates will take center stage at political forum

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By Molly Haines

With the primary election only 13 days away, members of Leadership Owen County are trying to help voters make informed decisions on May 18.

Leadership Owen County will hold a county candidate forum  at 7 p.m. May 13 in the Owen County High School auditorium.

Co-chairman of Leadership Owen County Dave Jones said the group wants to give Owen countians the opportunity to ask their own questions of candidates.

“We want people to be able to hear the candidate’s views and goals for themselves,” Jones said. “We certainly want the candidates to express what their vision of Owen County is.”

Jones said those in attendance can submit written questions for the candidates to answer.

The forum will be moderated by leadership member Veronica Gayle.

“We hope people will be able to build a better understanding of the candidate’s position on Owen County,” Jones said. “I hope the candidates will be able to tell us about their leadership abilities, which any candidate running for office should have.”

Jones said not all races will be debated, only those in which the winners will have decision-making powers that affect the county.

Those running for county judge-executive and magistrates will speak, as well as the uncontested Josh Smith for county attorney.

“There’s a lot of concern about the county’s nuisance ordinance and we’re hoping to hear his (Smith’s) views on that,” Jones said.

Each candidate will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and give some background on their views.

“I think anyone planning on voting should come out and hear what these candidates have to say,” Jones said. “It’s a great time to hear it and voters will get to know their candidates better.”

Both candidates for county judge-executive and nine candidates for magistrate have agreed to participate in the event.

Jones said the uncontested Josh Smith for county attorney had not responded to the request to attend, but members of Leadership would follow-up with him.