For a thorough introduction to the candidates campaigning for votes in May’s elections, voters need look no further than the spring candidates’ forum to be held next week.
The forum, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 12 in the Scotland County Courthouse, will be presented by the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Service League, and Extension & Community Association County Council.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates who participate.
Candidates running for the North Carolina District 8 seat on the U.S. House of Representatives, the District 25 seat on the N.C. Senate, the District 48 and 63 seat in the N.C. House, seats on the Scotland County Board of Commissioners, Scotland County School Board, and Register of Deeds have all been invited to appear and present their platforms to local residents.
“Voting is not just our right; it is our responsibility and an informed public is critical,” Becca Hughes, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “I am delighted that the Chamber and the other organizations continue to offer this forum with each election. The Candidates’ Forum gives our citizens the opportunity to meet the candidates in person and ask them questions so that we all become more informed and educated. I hope we will have great participation from the candidates and our residents so that this event can be successful.”
Larry Schulz, professor of political science at St. Andrews University, will serve as the forum’s moderator, calling on candidates by office to make three-minute opening remarks.
“It’s a great opportunity to question the candidates, clarify their positions, and respond to issues that people have raised with them,” said Schulz. “It’s very open and people can ask anything they want.”
Following candidates’ opening statements, representatives from The Laurinburg Exchange and WLNC Radio will pose their own questions. After the media question period, the forum will then be opened for audience questions.
“We get so many great questions,” Chamber President Theresa Pinto said in a statement. “However, in order to keep the forum moving and get to the offices at the end of the program, we ask that audience members limit themselves to one question each.”
According to Schulz, invitations have been issued to more than 30 candidates.
“We’ve issued invitations to maybe 30 or 40 people who are candidates and there will be no way of knowing who will show up,” Schulz said. “Usually if they can’t be there, they will send a representative to make an opening statement.”
For information, call the chamber office at 276-7420.